Casa das Santiagas has been assuming sustainability as a determining factor for the quality and efficiency of the products and services it provides, as well as assuming the social and environmental responsibility that it has as an actor in the promotion of sustainable tourism.
It is in this sense that, in a constant search for excellence and quality, the Casa das Santiagas commits to adopt the requirements established in the referential Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle, in order to:
- Comply with the legal requirements applicable to its activity;
- Motivate and teach its employees with training and awareness actions on the principles of responsible tourism, as well as promoting good environmental practices;
- Put into practice a sustainable management of its activity, through commitments oriented towards the prevention of pollution, elimination or reduction of environmental impacts induced by its facilities and activities;
- Optimize the sustainability of the house and guarantee the continuous improvement of its environmental performance and sustainable tourism (social, economic and environmental scope), as well as customer satisfaction;
- Strengthen the integration with the local community as well as the involvement of all its customers in environmental and sustainability practices;
By implementing the basis of this policy, Casa das Santiagas ensures that it establishes and fulfills its commitment to Responsible Tourism.
Some of the sustainability measures implemented at Casa das Santiagas:
- The surrounding ecosystem has been idealized taking into consideration the least possible use of natural resources (e.g. water) and the non-use of any pesticide to control invasive plants and in the maintenance of the gardens;
- Equipment is used to reduce the consumption of natural resources (e.g. flow reducers for the unit’s taps and showers, low consumption light bulbs (LED) and motion sensors);
- Installation of photovoltaic panels for energy production, which represent 20% of the total energy consumption;
- Installation of solar collectors for heating sanitary waters;
- Reduction in the use of disposable plastic materials (e.g. hygiene dispensers in all bathrooms replacing individual doses and we offer non-bottled filtered water);
- Encouraging waste separation (plastic, paper and glass) and composting organic waste;
Society and Culture:
- We have created a partnership with a social support organization in the region for collaboration and socio-economic support;
- We prioritize hiring local people for support in our unit;
- Non-discrimination of any kind is guaranteed in the operation of our activity;
- We guarantee training for our employees on various topics, particularly in the areas of sustainability, environment and culture of the region;
- We provide information to guests about the main points of interest of the cultural and natural heritage of the region and encourage respect and conservation of them;
- We collaborate in sustainability projects with public organizations in the Arouca region.
Governance and Economy:
- We use mostly local food products and promote awareness of traditional local cuisine;
- We boost local entrepreneurship, local SME’s products and services, namely local restaurants and artisans, local tourist entertainment agents and local bakeries/markets;
- We make our unit more accessible/inclusive through removable fittings in the unit’s bathrooms and ensure accessibility to common areas.