Sustainability in the region
Sustainability has been an issue for hotels and businesses in the Achensee region even before the Fridays for Future movement started. For example, at the Atoll Achensee.
Set on an area of 6,500 square metres, the Atoll Achensee combines swimming pools, a spa area, a fitness centre, an indoor bouldering wall and restaurants under one roof. Naturally, the swimming pool and spa area consume a lot of energy. The energy to operate the leisure centre is not provided by fossil fuels but is obtained by four heat pumps from a deep well, explains site manager Anna Schwaninger: “The Atoll Achensee opened in 2018 and was built according to an innovative and sustainable concept which is unique to this day. The ventilation, space and water heating are provided by the groundwater of the Eben community”. The used water is pumped back into Lake Achensee with no waste.
In addition to heating, great importance is placed on sustainability in all other areas of day-to-day operations: Heat is recovered in the kitchens and cold rooms, the showers stop automatically to save water, lighting controls help save electricity, and there are no paper dispensers in the toilets. Anna Schwaninger also mentions initiatives to tackle the amount of waste inevitably produced by such a large facility: “We are trying to reduce the volume in cooperation with the suppliers.” Therefore, the chemicals needed for the water and the cleaning of the facility are supplied in reusable containers. Moreover, chemicals are only used where it is a mandatory requirement.
Visitors are also encouraged to contribute to sustainability: There is a bus stop directly in front of the Atoll Achensee, a charging station for electric cars and 150 bicycle parking spaces. So why not combine your visit to the Atoll Achensee with a leisurely bike tour?
The concept continues in the outdoor facilities: In a pilot project with the Tirolean Environmental Ombudsman, the numerous green areas have been planted with perennials so that an annual redesign is not necessary. The lighting concept was developed on the criteria of the initiative “The Plight with Light” to minimise light pollution. And finally, there is an unusual example for upcycling, which Schwaninger wants to point out: The old Achensee steamer St. Benedikt was not scrapped but converted into a playground which keeps children of all ages entertained.