Transnational GREENinMED workshop in Nice, France, on energy and water management in the tourism industry after the COVID-19 crisis


On February 25th, the French GREENinMED partner Capenergies hosted a transnational workshop on Energy and water sustainable management as assets to relaunch the regional tourist accommodation offer after the health crisis at the IMREDD – Mediterranean Institute of environmental risk and sustainable development in Nice, within the framework of the GREENinMED project which has the goal to promote innovative energy and water solutions to make the Mediterranean tourism industry more sustainable. 

The aim of the workshop was to enable tourist accommodations to detect the best solutions available on the market matching their expectations in the water and energy management, learn from other establishments’ virtuous practices, as well as understand the funding opportunities provided at national, regional and project levels in support of making their offers more sustainable. In addition, innovative solution providers had an opportunity to understand the expectations and trends of the hospitality industry after the Covid-19 crisis, meet potential future customers looking for energy and/or water efficiency solutions, as well as present their technical offers in a European context.

After an opening address by IMREDD Head of Innovation Paulo Moura on How natural and articicial risks can affect the building sector and the tourist offer, Aline Fresier, Relaunch Plan coordinator at ADEME Regional Direction Région Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, gave the participants an overview of the actions undertaken by government to relaunch the tourist sector after the Covid-19 health crisis, namely the recovery and transformation plan, as well as the fund for sustainable tourism, and the fund for renewable thermal energy.

This was fallowed by a presentation of the European hospitality industry’s most recent performances and recovery trends after the Covid-19 crisis by Michelle Fawcett, Tourism, Culture and Hospitality manager at the InExtenso consultancy group. She introduced the main trends concerning the hospitality industry in France and Europe, showing that the crisis mostly affected the upscale and luxury segments of hotels in big international cities, like Paris. As for the future, in the long term, she estimated that recovery of the tourism industry will be led by domestic and intra-regional travel. Interestingly the health crisis pushed hotel managers to rethink their offers by often improving their sustainability. 

After that, Marc Thepot, President of the Marseille Metropolitan Tourist Office and Convention Bureau, presented a case study of the strategy of the City of Marseille to make its hospitality offering more sustainable, namely through the Green Key program, which proposes the labeling of hotels and hotel residences in Marseille in view of greening the tourist offering of the city that will host some competitions of the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Green Key Label allows tourist accommodation providers to evolve according to 7 main axes of sustainable development including the water and energy management. The Office’s objective is to label at least 40% of its portfolio of hotels by 2024.

The 2021 GreenKey Award was granted to Hotel 96 for its sustainable water and energy management. Hotel 96 manager Alice Denoix explained the efforts put into this boutique hotel of 15 rooms at the heart of the Calanques National Parc in order to improve its energy and water consumptions. The buildings were conceived and built in order to reduce energy consumption;  a flower garden and a vegetable garden are grown according to permaculture techniques in order to minimise the need for irrigation; and soon some photovoltaic panels will be installed to feed green power to the buildings.

The afternoon was concluded with presentations of several solutions to optimize the performance of tourist accommodation buildings, ensure the comfort of their customers and control their operating costs:

  • Rico Den Ouden of Hocosto presented their new technology allowing co2 neutral seasonal thermal energy storage underground
  • Eric Burkel of Hydrao introduced the world’s first smart shower with nudge technology
  • Pierre Magnes of FGWRS – Pierre MAGNES demonstrated the Firmus greywater recycling system

A recording of the workshop can be viewed on the GREENinMED Facebook page