Calipolis: the hotel working for a better world

28th February 2024

Good practices

Calipolis: the hotel working for a better world

The Calipolis Hotel in Sitges is a very unique establishment, as it allocates half of its profits to social projects. A rarity in the sector, its uniqueness is rooted in its association with the Roviralta Foundation, an organisation dedicated to promoting the development of the most vulnerable groups through employment inclusion projects, training, and many initiatives.

This is a unique case in Spain, more akin to a non-governmental organisation than to a hotel, which implements all kinds of initiatives: from building wells in Africa to provide access to water for rural communities, to installing computer classrooms in Peru to promote digital literacy among children in underprivileged neighbourhoods.

These aid programmes are not only carried out around the world, but are also put into practice directly in the hotel itself. For example, they have a laundry service managed by Càritas with a workforce composed of workers from social reintegration projects: former prisoners and other vulnerable individuals facing difficulties in finding employment.

Their altruistic vocation is also evident in their ties to the town of Sitges. The hotel management is always willing to provide the facilities free of charge to organisations that need space for meetings.

Improvements in the day to day thanks to the Biosphere seal

In this context of regular participation in social initiatives, the obtaining of the Biosphere seal has represented a quality leap for the hotel, allowing it to systematise a significant number of improvements in the field of sustainability.

Although the establishment had previously made efforts to meet certain quality parameters, adhering to the new certification has increased the level of requirements. These are indicators with hard-to-achieve targets but, thanks to the Biosphere's support, the hotel has successfully incorporated them. 

Obtaining the seal to an extent compels members to improve their practices and reconsider certain processes to enhance efficiency. This is the case of water resources that, at Calipolis, have been locally sourced since 2021. The water is obtained from mains supply itself and is filtered into bottles for the consumption of guests. This does not exclude customers who prefer to drink certain brands, who are offered a water menu.

Biosphere certification has also helped the hotel to promote selective waste collection in many of its activities: cardboard and paper in the administrative area and also glass, used fryer oil, or aluminium from Nespresso capsules in the restaurant area.

The seal has also sparked greater awareness among guests, a crucial aspect within the hotel industry where their involvement can make sustainability practices more effective.

This is the case with the frequency bathroom towels are replaced. The hotel provides instructions for guests to hang them in a specific location when they need a new one. Now, thanks to the greater awareness of guests, towel changes are no longer requested every day, but can be extended for almost a week. This alleviates the laundry burden and, as a result, represents a considerable water saving.

In short, for a hotel like Calipolis, an establishment known for its steadfast commitment to social activities, the Biosphere seal represents invaluable support in improving its practices and maximising sustainability efforts.

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