The ambitious certification process is based on the idea of reducing waste by exceeding the 90% separately collected waste target
Mission Zero Academy (MiZA) audited Ribno Alpine Resort's success in implementing zero waste measures and compliance with the strict conditions required by the Zero Waste (ZW) Business Certificate. With a rating of two stars out of three, the audit rewarded the efforts of the resort, which since 2016 has been implementing measures for the responsible handling of natural resources and waste with Ekologi Brez Meja (EBM).
Kaisa Karjalainen, MiZA coordinator said: "More and more people want to holiday in a sustainable way and the zero waste certificate is a seal of excellence for tourism providers who prove that they offer this possibility. Ribno Alpine Resort has inspired thousands of tourists, students and waste management professionals with its ambition, leadership and daily implementation of waste reduction practices. It undoubtedly deserves the ZW Business Certificate and we are thrilled that Ribno Alpine Resort is the first business in Europe to receive this certification.”The European ZW Business Certificate, developed by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and operated by its sister organisation MiZA, was created on the basis of more than ten years of professional experience in the field and is intended for different types of organisations. It encourages the introduction of effective systems that save on natural resources through the prevention of different materials becoming waste. The ambitious certification process is based on the idea of reducing waste by exceeding the 90% separately collected waste target, and consists of four key steps: expression of interest, implementation, certification and annual improvements. It includes ongoing support from professional mentors and contains general criteria adapted to different sectors (hotels, restaurants, events, offices and groceries). One star means good practice, two is equivalent to a best practice at the national level and three is a best practice within Europe.
Katarina Strgar, head of marketing at Ribno Alpine Resort, highlighted: “The title of first zero waste hotel in Slovenia, which we acquired four years ago, was proof that we are on the right track. As our offer expanded, we extended our measures to both glamping and tried to improve them all the time. We are proud and pleased that our efforts have also been recognised and confirmed at European level. The European ZW Business Certificate gives us the impetus to continue to work at the resort to implement good zero waste practices.”
However, after obtaining the certificate, the work does not end. In addition to upgrading the measures, their regular monitoring should continue. At least every three years, an external audit will be repeated to maintain the certificate..As this was a pilot audit for the Business Certificate, the MiZA team included external waste experts to ensure the process was fair and matched MiZA’s ambition. One of these external auditors, Colin O’Byrne, project manager at Voice Ireland, said: “Congratulations Ribno Alpine Resort for receiving two stars. There’s a lot of work behind them, but the effort has paid off, because they are the first company in Europe to receive this certificate! Now that they have shown that this is possible, we are confident that more companies will follow in their footsteps.”
EBM, Slovenia’s national zero waste organisation, has been collecting evidence and will continue in its role as mentor. Among them is Ana Golja, expert associate for Zero Waste Tourism, who emphasises: “We are happy that the Slovenian zero waste title has finally been upgraded to the European level, as there is already great interest in implementation at home and abroad. Slovenia has once again shown that it can be an example.”
The network of Slovenian organisations with the existing zero waste title, which is awarded by EBM is also expanding. Soča Guesthouse and Gostilna Mrak joined the first zero waste resort this year. Both tourism providers successfully introduced zero waste measures and exceeded the limit of 90% of separately collected waste. In the following years, they will devote themselves to reducing the amount of waste and preparing to obtain a European certificate.