Guest Column by
Family Owner of Hotel Beaumont, Maastricht, The Netherlands
As owners of a 103 year old family business we are far from unfamiliar with this term. Sustainability is action, it’s a mindset. To run sustainable operations you must ensure that the founding principles of sustainability are carried throughout the organization. It should not be a set of rules or obligations to simply adhere to, it should be taught and understood as an integral part the way we work. Explaining the “why” of things.
The Green Globe training programs are a huge help in getting people on board. We train all of our staff twice a year, have regular committee meetings and encourage our stakeholders to help us on a regular basis. We’ve seen the ripple effect first hand, changing the way some of our suppliers think and work for the better.
We run a very flat organization: responsibility, authority and decision making are spread throughout all ranks. WE make decisions together. Department managers do not only answer to the company directors, they answer to each other. This way decisions are carried and made by the people that directly deal with their consequences.
As we have no external shareholders our decision making process is short and our investment horizon broad. We don’t have anyone pressuring us to book short term results at the expense of long term goals. If we buy new solar panels we know they will pay for themselves. It’s just going to take around 10 years.
We all have an obligation to each other, and ourselves.