Dentdelion Sarl Sustainability Charter

Introduction

Lagom is the newest brand in a stable of three luxury brands owned by Dentdelion Sarl, providing luxury holidays in Europe's finest ski destinations.

At Dentdelion Sarl, we recognise that the Earth is a finite environment, with its physical and environmental systems tightly interconnected with all life on the planet. Humanity is changing at a faster pace now than at any previous time in history. Since World War II, human development has gained momentum and our actions now have a significant impact on the global balance of both the physical and biological environments, as well as the integrity of the biosphere.

Running and operating a business where our very existence and survival is so heavily dependent on weather systems and good snow conditions, we have become increasingly sensitive to ensuring we have sound sustainable development policies.

Year-on-year, we have seen increasingly variable snow conditions. But beyond this, there are a number of unavoidable global observations giving us a clue to the current state of the planet, and the urgency to instil a corporate value system with a responsibility for addressing our own practices.

1. Reducing Glaciers

Reducing Glaciers

1. Reducing Glaciers

Glaciers are reducing at an alarming rate. Glaciers currently cover 1/10th of the planet’s surface and hold 75% of our freshwater supply. The rate of their melting is currently unlike any time in the past 3,000 years. The Aletsch glacier in the eastern part of Valais is the longest in Europe and is decreasing in length at about 50m a year. It has lost 1.4km in the past 40 years.

Reference: Glacier Monitoring Switzerland

2. Polluted Oceans

Polluted Oceans

2. Polluted Oceans

There is an estimated 150 million metric tonnes of plastic in the oceans, and every year approximately 8 million metric tonnes of additional plastic waste is added to this. Meanwhile plastic production globally is on the rise annually with dramatic increases in use for short-term, or one-off use, primarily packaging.

Reference: Ocean Conservancy 

3. Deforestation

Deforestation

3. Deforestation

Forests, the lungs of our planet, cover about 30 percent of the Earth’s land mass and are one of the world’s largest carbon sinks. But, due to farming, illegal logging, fuel wood harvesting and fires we are losing 18.7 million acres of forest annually. In addition to the significant detrimental impact on our biosphere, this drastic loss of ecosystem is resulting in a significant drop in biodiversity.

Reference: World Wildlife Fund

4. Compromised Air Quality

Compromised Air Quality

4. Compromised Air Quality

The industrial age has resulted in significantly increased greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases into the atmosphere. The observations of these emissions are most notably visible through increased smog around developed cities. In addition to the impact on global warming, there is a significant impact on human health. The World Health Organisation reports that 4.2 million deaths each year are attributable to exposure to ambient air pollution.

Reference: World Health Organisation

The above are only high-level observations on the condition of the planet. These indicators alongside a common-sense approach have led us to a belief that it is high time we take a firm stance on the sustainable development of our organisation. Achieving this requires a set of values that are ecologically sound, socially just and economically viable. As Europe’s leading exclusive chalet operator, we are committed to pioneering a business model that is sustainable in each of these three categories: environmental, social and economic. This is a dynamic plan and will be acted on in three phases (see our goals below).

The ‘Dentdelion DNA’ has always held a deep passion for the wild and dramatic natural world around us. It is what has fuelled our success in the mountainous environments that we thrive in to-date and is one of the founding principles of our newest brand, Lagom. Through this brand, we are committed to providing our guests with informed options, so that they can make conscious choices, and take ownership of the impact of their luxury holiday.

We recognise that the decisions our guests make, and the actions that we as the operator take in delivering these holidays are only two small elements in the complex fabric of the future sustainable economy, and we will work as closely as possible with local government, other local businesses, and the owners of the properties we operate to achieve a common goal and vision, minimising our impact on the planet.

It is no longer acceptable to play ignorant to our part in the unintended consequences of our current systems. Information is more widely available today than ever before, and technology is changing at such a rapid rate that what may seem ‘impossible’ will quickly fall into the realm of 'possible' in the not too distant future.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.
Albert Einstein

We believe that a sustainable future ultimately comes down to individual actions, whether collectively as business owners and government in the form of policy, or individually as consumers by choosing where we spend our $ and therefore determining what is supplied to us. Through individual action, we believe in a compounding set of reactions caused by the ripple effect of a movement which will lead to exponential change.

We ultimately believe in the force of positivity, and while the best time to take action for our environment was 20 years ago, we believe that the next best opportunity is now.

Our Principles

We have a set of principles to help guide us in tackling the three facets of sustainability – Environmental, Social and Economic/Governance.

Environmental

Social

Economic/Governance

Our Goals/Commitments

Long Term Goal/Commitment (2030)

Our group mission is to ‘provide holidays in private spaces that fulfil the wildest dreams’. Alongside this, we have one big primary long-term sustainability goal … to provide a carbon zero luxury ski holiday by 2030.

This is a complex and ambitious goal that involves 100% commitment within our organisation that is not limited by a fear of failure. It also requires a co-operative relationship with all our stakeholders, including property owners, guests, suppliers, partners and the local, provincial and national government.

We see this as an equivalent co-operative race for the moon. Who will be the first client to make all the right choices, the first property owner to invest in all the right technologies and the first destination to provide the right technology? We want to be the first luxury operator to pull it all together.

To achieve a complex long term goal such as this we are going to have to draw on our core value system to evolve and address key issues in staged strategic efforts. We have broken these down into bite-sized goals over the immediate, short- and medium-term future. These will be re-assessed annually against successes and failures.

Immediate Commitments and Goals (Winter season 2018/19)

  • Target Reached
  • Target Pending
  • Through our brand Lagom we embrace the concept that positive reinforcement and conscious choice are the key initiatives to exponential positive change. Through our system of rewarding guests for their choice to consume less, we are enabling them to make informed decisions about the services they require while considering the environmental impact of their choices (The slider).
  • We will undertake an energy audit of the service options provided in the Lagom so that the service sustainability score is tangible.
  • We will contribute 1% of all revenue from Lagom to philanthropic causes. The focus of these commitments will be 100% local at first. We have chosen to support Summit Foundation in our first year.
  • Write and implement a Code of Conduct for Social and Environmental Compliance, which we will work towards and expect our suppliers to be working towards too. We will work towards 100% adoption of the code of conduct for all suppliers to Lagom.
  • Continuation of our existing commuting policy where the company will provide a vehicle to transport our staff to and from our head office in Verbier outside of seasonal lift operating periods.
  • Continue our existing body of work ensuring that our business model draws on operating systems that are fully compliant with local labour law.
  • Write and establish a strategy document to ensure a successfully implemented company-wide reduction in the use of single-use plastics.
  • Reduce operational printing requirements wherever possible by using booking whatsapp groups and distributing digital itineraries and rotas.
  • Learn from waste management systems in different jurisdictions and apply our learnings by writing a waste management policy adopting best-practice procedures to minimise and correctly deal with waste for implementation across the business.
  • Reducing all waste, including food waste. Where possible we will coordinate collections of toiletries and food ‘waste’ to distribute to less advantaged people.
  • Analyse resort management transport requirements and implement a transport strategy document mapping out a proposed implementation plan electric transport options for management and central team members over the short and medium term.
  • Focus on increasing awareness, training and empowering action for of all of our staff, in all aspects of their daily work life, with particular focus on energy and water conservation as well as waste management practices. We will also encourage responsible and considerate driving practices to ensure energy usage from our vehicles is kept to the most efficient minimum.
  • Implement sustainable practice guidelines for our central office. We will buy a soda stream and a magic bullet to enable practices that have a positive impact in line with this charter.
  • We encourage our central team to donate four hours of their paid working time per month to a philanthropic cause. Ideally this time would be given to the same organisation/cause month on month to achieve exponential benefits.
  • We will coordinate three internal focus group sessions through the season with resort management to discuss the goals discussed in this charter, how these are being acted on, the actions that have been taken to-date and explore any further suggestions or thoughts that have arisen to improve our sustainability agenda. These will take place in January, March and end of April.
  • We will coordinate a group-wide philanthropic event across all six destinations that we operate in where every seasonal employee will give four hours of their ‘work time’ to a combined cause of our choosing.
  • Begin developing a detailed database of information through our blog and other communication platforms to help educate our staff, guests and other stakeholders on sustainable topics.

Short Term (6 months to 2 years)

  • Target Reached
  • Target Pending
  • Undertake a full environmental audit of our business so that we can better understand our current impact ... What gets measured gets noticed.
  • Embrace further technological development to measure and analyse the environmental impact data points learnt from the environmental audit, and overlay this with our existing operating cost models to give us a fully transparent business operation.
  • Continued efforts to move to a paper-free enterprise by implementing technology alternatives for forms and other regular printing requirements.
  • Develop a set of Key Performance Indicators that enable us to measure our progress against short term and medium term goals.
  • Reduce our use of plastics (especially single-use plastics) by carefully looking at our procurement strategy. This will include the following measures:
  • Changing our toiletries from single-use containers to refillable containers.
  • Procuring, where possible, beverages in glass rather than in plastic.
  • In all the mountainous villages in which we operate, water from the tap is considered as good as it gets. In these environments we actively promote the use of tap water over bottled water by providing carafes in all properties and by providing complimentary water bottles to our guests.
  • Phased eradication of plastic coffee capsule systems in all our properties. Where we continue to use capsules we will ensure these are properly recycled.
  • We will actively pursue the Reduce, Re-use, Recycle mantra in minimising our impact on the planet. We are also committed to understanding the impact variance of recycled plastic versus recycled glass.
  • We will source responsible clothing for our uniforms using recycled materials where possible.
  • Establish focus groups with other sustainability-driven organisations in our community so that we can collaborate and work together towards our medium and long term goals.
  • We embrace electric transport systems and recognise that with renewable electricity sources that this is the future. We will begin to transition to clean transport systems for resort operational and management teams.
  • We will focus on growing a diverse workforce ensuring that our team draw on a depth of backgrounds and experiences.
  • Work with existing and prospective owners to develop a set of criteria/information to develop a property environmental rating, as well as informing them of existing technologies that are available which may improve their properties’ environmental score. For example switching all lights across to LED technology.
  • We will engage on a strategy of upcycling of older properties for the Lagom portfolio.
  • We will promote open ties with local government and infrastructure providers to ensure that our communities are working towards a common long-term goal of zero carbon emissions.
  • Continued work on the supply chain to ensure that we are working with organisations who share our long-term goal. We will also ensure that we source products (in particular cleaning products that are non-toxic to the environment.

Medium term (3 - 10 years)

  • Target Reached
  • Target Pending
  • Achieve 100% sign-up from supply chain on code of conduct compliance.
  • Establish a committee or investment board to ensure that we have a coherent and sound strategy to maximise the positive impact opportunities of our philanthropic fund (1% of all Lagom revenues) relating to our sustainability principles.
  • Continue transitioning our transport systems to clean energy alternatives, with the objective of having a fully ‘green’ fleet by the end of the medium term.
  • Continue our work to eradicate all single-use plastics from our operation and ensure that we have 100% up-take on waste management best-practice across all our locations.
  • Adopt 100% renewable energy and a carbon emission free central office.
  • Develop and expand on our system of guiding our guests through the decision-making process of booking their luxury holiday while considering their environmental impact, to include all periphery elements of their holiday, including transport to and from their destination, additional activities and reservations booked etc. (The slider)
  • Actively work with property owners towards our long-term goal of providing zero impact carbon emissions holidays guiding them through the elements that are in their control.
  • Actively work with the local government and community towards the goal of building infrastructure that supports minimum impact zero carbon emissions holidays.
  • Continue to monitor, develop and embrace technological improvements and innovations that achieve efficiencies and greater transparency en-route to our long-term goal.
© Dentdelion sarl 2018. All rights reserved.

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