“It is amazing how much we can save” – Tórstein Christiansen in a talk about sustainability action at the new Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands
With the start of the building in 2019 and the opening in October 2020, Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands now is the new international hotel brand on the archipelago. Sustainability is at the core of the building, and a local architect – Mayfinn Norðoy – made sure to apply the old knowledge and wisdom of building in the weather-dominated environment of the Faroe Islands.
Atlantic Airways owns the hotel and franchised to Hilton because of the group’s expertise from a similar project in Iceland. Building in the Faroe Islands needs to consider many things: the direction of gushy winds and rains, geological situation, the placement of the building in relation to the neighbourhood, the selective use and limited availability of suitable materials and latest technologies to reduce and measure all impact. All these aspects are important to be “sustainable” in a sensible ecosystem as in the islands.
The location of the famous Kallur Lighthouse in Kalsoy island gave inspiration for the shape of the building, this landscape’s uniqueness also proved by being selected as a filming location for the 25th James Bond film No Time to Die, which was released in 2021.
Kalsoy is a place full of legends and magic and staying at the Hilton Garden Inn can be the perfect backdrop for sitting at the fireplace and reading about those legends, like the romantic and sad story of the seal-woman of Mikladadur.
We asked Tórstein, part of the Hilton team as their Sales and Marketing Manager, for his motivation to join the project – here is what he says:
“It was a great opportunity for me to be involved in the development from scratch and working my way through the tasks and an elaborate guidebook. Hilton Garden Inn underwent a Brand Change in 2020 with new brand standards, and the Tórshavn Hilton Garden Inn is the first hotel applying these new standards of Nordic Style Hotels—we categorize as 4star superior hotel brand.”
“The changing demands raised from the Tourism and MICE industry cause changes in product provision – I like that challenge to be flexible and innovative.”
The strict requirements of the sustainability and social responsibility driven “Hilton Light Stay” concept could so be respected already in the construction phase of the Tórshavn property – and part of this concept is also the involvement in the local society and the support to grow the Faroe island’s own sustainable, responsible tourism industry.
In line with Hilton’s “Travel with Purpose 2030” goal to double their sourcing from local and sustainable businesses, the resort supports the Faroe Islands’ industry – the majority of the hotel’s meat, fish, and vegetables come from local suppliers, which helps to reduce carbon footprint for transport and reliance on imported items.
“The sustainability policy of Hilton requires strict performance measurements: to reach our goals in reducing energy, we need to consider water use and recycling, waste management, energy efficiency, provision of renewable energy through biogas, heating etc. – all are permanently measured and reported back to Hilton along a strict catalogue of parameters.
“To scale back water consumption, we use for example a new generation of shower systems which pour significantly less water but keep the same pressure through a smart lining of the water hose.”
This winter we will also install 2 e-mobility charging stations at the property”
Tórstein, what is your personal preferred feature in the whole project?
“This would be a technical aspect for me – the measures taken to reduce the use of energy through special LEDs, motion sensors etc. – it is so amazing, how much energy we can save through new technology.”
To emphasize Hilton Garden Inn’s commitment to drive positive impact in local communities, the Hilton Effect Foundation supports a local non-profit organization in the Faroe Islands by giving grants to Tórsbyrgi, a green house project for neighbourhood gardening.
Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals commit to doubling investment in social influence and reducing environmental footprint to 50 % by 2030.
Hilton Garden Inn in the Faroe Islands has 130 rooms and is the 2nd biggest hotel in the destination. It is conveniently situated near the Nordic House Congress venue, which is another sustainability partner of the Visit Faroe Islands Meetings.
The new Hilton Garden Inn 4 star superior hotel in Torshavn: https://www.hiltongardeninn.fo/en/area
Travel with a purpose program: Travel with Purpose – YouTube