Martin's Hotels

Country: Royaume de Belgique
Hotel type: Business hotel
Web address:
Introduction: "Tomorrow needs today"

Hotel Story

Martin's Hotels is a company that owns and operates hotels and that handles all of the group’s centralised activities and services.

It applies the circular economy model to its purchasing, waste and during the renovations it undertakes at the various sites.

A sustainable purchasing policy, a supplier code of conduct and purchasing and waste targets have therefore been established since the implementation of the environmental management system in 2010.



Sustainable purchasing charter

The sustainable purchasing policy implies the need to take environmental performance and costs into account throughout the life cycle of the goods and services acquired, including planning, purchasing, use and recycling at the end of life. Some of the cost items related to environmental factors during tendering processes include, but are not limited to, operating costs, overhead costs, administrative/operational costs, the initial investment that allows subsequent savings, as well as liquidation costs.

Purchasing targets relate to recurring products and services, i.e. products and services purchased or provided on a recurring basis in order to run our hotel business. These are not so-called “spot” purchases: products or services purchased or provided in a one-off or sporadic way.

The indicator is a percentage of the volume of purchases of recurring products/services delivered by suppliers adhering to our Code of Conduct in relation to the total volume of purchases of recurring products/services.
The goal is to favour, in line with the economic constraints and the contractual agreements, the purchase of locally sourced food and water, i.e. bought within a radius of no more than 300 kilometres.



The Supplier Code of Conduct

Martin's Hotels has vetted its suppliers as external stakeholders with an indirect environmental influence on its activities (through their action and/or product and service offerings).

In order to improve their impact on waste, electricity, mobility, gas and water, Martin's Hotels has set a target to encourage these suppliers to participate actively in the "Planet" aspect of its project: the drafting of a Code of Conduct.

With more than 80 recurring suppliers and a large volume of purchases, it is indeed essential to define this kind of target.



The target is to improve waste sorting management through selective sorting (glass, paper/cardboard, organic, plastic, used oils, batteries, neons and tube lighting, cartridges and toners, computer equipment, HVAC filters, etc.). The group has set itself the goal of sorting at least 30% of all waste generated.

Since the activity is not industrial, hazardous waste is not significant.
The indicator used is a percentage of the volume in KG or expenditure in € of waste entering a selective sorting channel in relation to the total volume of all the waste combined.

Waste register                                                                                                                        
Martin's Hotels keeps the disposal invoices for all its operations, whether they are located in Flanders or in other regions. Similarly, annually, a summary of the waste evacuated, by type and by operation, is requested from the company collecting the waste from Martin's Hotels Group.
This allows Martin's Hotels to monitor and control the quantities and type of waste being evacuated at any time.


To achieve the target set in terms of purchases and waste, various actions and initiatives have been put in place.

Means deployed:

Sustainable purchasing charter:

  • Give preference to local, natural, recycled/recyclable and seasonal products
  • Encourage suppliers to adhere to our Code of Conduct
  • Minimise the flow of incoming waste and recycle as much as possible the waste inherent to the hotel business
  • Continually analyse the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and opt for circular economies (leasing/rental contracts as well as donations of non-standard products to charities)
  • Work exclusively with authorised suppliers in the 3 regions and comply 100% with the technical-legal requirements in terms of safety, compliance and maintenance of technical equipment


Martin's Hotels, has undertaken several actions related to the choice of the supplier or a product:

  • Choice of an eco-labelled laundry for its linen
  • Integration of environmental performance into the analysis of tenders
  • Purchase of 100% green electricity
  • 100% of the paper (toilet paper, kitchen paper, hand dry paper) carries an eco-label
  • 100% of the paper for printed matter and brochures is FSC certified
  • Fitness equipment, company cars, computer equipment, coffee machines in rooms, seminars, restaurants and bars are under a leasing or on loan for use contract. This reduces the total cost of ownership and the cost of the life cycle by enabling, at the end of leasing, either re-use or buy-back/resale, recycling or donation.
  • During the renovation projects, the majority of the furniture is donated to associations
  • All linen (sheets, towels, restaurant linen) is rented and the linen of the Martin's Klooster is labelled "eco-fairtrade”
  • Feasibility study by external consultants on large investment projects (photovoltaic, complete energy audit, cogeneration, carbon footprint, etc.)
  • Signing of a contract with Edenred to allow guests to pay for their overnight stays with eco-vouchers, their meals with e-meal vouchers and the transition from paper meal vouchers to e-meal vouchers for staff
  • Signing of a contract with a local caterer at Martin's Klooster



The waste produced by the hotel business is mainly household waste (paper-cardboard, glass, PMC, organic, all-purpose). There is therefore little so-called hazardous waste, mainly batteries, waste electrical and electronic equipment (including light bulbs and lamps and ink cartridges) and some cleaning products.
Martin's Hotels has not waited for regional waste sorting regulations to come into force and has been sorting paper and cardboard and PMC for several years.
In addition, waste glass, organic waste, plastic, batteries, waste oils, cartridges, toners, computer equipment, metal, wood ... are also sorted and disposed of separately…


Means deployed

Martin's Hotels has also undertaken several actions related to this waste target, including:

  • Waste stream group audit by an external supplier
  • Almost 67% of maintenance products are rechargeable, eco-labelled or in concentrated doses, which reduces the volume of waste
  • Maintenance of an ERP system to manage purchase orders, delivery slips and invoices 100% electronically in order to limit the use of paper
  • Double-sided printing in all offices
  • Double-sided printing of guest bills (on request)
  • As far as possible, periodicals are downloaded electronically and no longer provided in paper form
  • Insertion of contractual clauses in our order forms and in the Supplier Code of Conduct encouraging suppliers of products and services to take back their waste and packaging
  • Change in the size of water bottles in all meeting rooms (from 0.5L to 1L)
  • Guests are encouraged to sort paper, glass and PMC in their rooms
  • Selective sorting bins at Martin's Brussels EU, Martin's Château du Lac and Martin's Klooster in the common areas
  • Limitation of the packaging of hospitality products and use of rechargeable pumps for soap/shower gel
  • Installation of a Recupel centre at Martin's Château du Lac in Waterloo, Mechelen, Bruges and Brussels
  • Installation of a water fountain in Bruges
  • Installation of a bin for sorting hazardous waste packaging at Martin's Château du Lac in Waterloo and soon in Brussels
  • Implementation of PMC sorting in all our operations, in the 3 regions
  • Organic sorting in Mechelen and Bruges, in addition to Martin's Château du Lac and Leuven
  • Removal of plastic cups from bathrooms in Brussels and Mechelen and from the minibars at Martin's Relais
  • In Bruges, restoration of antique furniture (rather than new purchases)
  • Intensification of bulletins and training for staff
  • As far as possible, more bulk purchases for kitchen and housekeeping products


Other initiatives have been taken by managers, hotel employees and group management such as:

  • the donation of end-of-life furniture and unused bedding to a number of associations
  • the donation of linen (500 towels) at the end of life to the association "doucheflux" that provides Brussels’ homeless population with access to a shower.
  • the donation of old pillows from Martin's Brussels EU to the Red Cross and the CPAS
  • the recovery of used soaps to make new ones and offer them to staff members
  • use of old furniture to create shelves



Business and social relevance of the initiative

The purchase of recyclable "cradle to cradle" carpet tiles for our renovation projects at Martin's Brussels, Martin's Brugge and for all carpet renovations in the future. These tiles make it possible to subsequently only replace the necessary pieces rather than the entire carpets.

Desso is a cradle to cradle company that takes sustainable development to another level through the use of healthy materials, the reuse of raw materials and the use of renewable energies. The products are designed to be recyclable and to allow the reuse of materials in new, superior quality products. They thus avoid the permanent exploitation of the world's resources in order to respond to the increasing demand from consumers all over the world.

Leasing or loan for use contracts make it possible to reduce the total cost of ownership, life-cycle cost, either through re-use, or buy-back/resale at the end of leasing, recycling or donation, to take advantage of a maintenance guarantee, to have new innovative equipment, to maintain long-term relationships with suppliers.

  • fitness equipment
  • company cars
  • IT equipment
  • coffee machines in rooms, seminars, restaurants and bars
  • water fountains
  • linen
  • The partnership with the main food supplier has allowed us to do an enormous amount of substantive work on local purchases; more than 5,000 products purchased from it have been reviewed and alternatives have been determined either locally or that are available in greater bulk, or both.

The group's main food purchasing supplier has also taken action internally by hiring 2 buyers, which has enabled it to be much more present in the morning market and thus increase its local purchasing, to work less with imported products and to favour local products.
On its website, the company ISPC offers calendars of seasonal fruits and vegetables, fish and game and a brochure of products that are 100% Walloon.

A reduction in the number of food suppliers in Bruges to favour cooperation with "Boerengod" (cooperative of farmers offering local produce).

Staff information and training

Training is provided on a regular basis in order to refresh the knowledge and involvement of staff members.

The various environmental issues are also addressed with the staff, in particular during staff recruitment, monthly quick checks and annual internal audits as well as via targeted bulletins, an idea box and an e-mail address for contacting the Select Committee for any environmental questions or suggestions.

The staff is the driving force behind the Martin's Hotels Group's activities, and it contributes to reducing the impact of its activities on the environment on a day-to-day basis thanks to simple gestures that constitute good practices.
These good practices have been transcribed on individual environmental identity cards handed to each staff member.


Acting with the guests

The Martin's Hotels group, which has no direct influence on the behaviour of its guests, encourages them to reduce their environmental impact in a responsible manner during their stay at the hotel through different actions.


The Eco-Bon programme

This programme suggests that, during their stay, guests adopt 5 simple gestures that reduce their environmental impact:

  • Ask for a slight refreshment of the room instead of a complete cleaning
  • Ask for non-daily replacement of towels
  • Manage their power consumption in a responsible manner (light, heating, air-conditioning) and sort their waste
  • Choose an "EcoetBon! dish and/or beverage “in one of the bars or 3 restaurants of Martin's Hotels group
  • Manage their trip/transportation responsibly

By signing up for this programme and adopting these simple gestures, the cus

tomer will be rewarded by Eco-Bons which can be exchanged for Gift Vouchers.

The zero carbon footprint seminars

CO2 emissions from residential and non-residential seminars can be offset by the creation of clean energy in emerging and developing countries at the request of guests. 

This new approach allows the client organising events or seminars to reduce their environmental footprint, to make a strong symbolic act and to invite reflection among their own staff.

The client receives a compensation certificate for the emissions related to the organisation of their seminar. It authenticates the choice of a sustainable supplier.

Through compensation, Martin's Hotels financially supports a reduction in CO2 equivalent to the emissions that cannot be reduced despite its improvement actions (EMS) and the good actions of its customers (Eco-Bons).

This compensation is provided by CO2logic, a Belgian organisation that is controlled and duly recognised for its expertise and for the quality of the projects in which the funds are invested.




Encourage and inform the public

Martin's Hotels is present as a speaker or “case study” at various conferences and/or workshops dealing with the environment, the various certifications or corporate social responsibility. The system, actions and good practices are also shared and exchanged with other bodies during meetings organised by networks such as The Shift, environment and EMAS clubs.
Web communication is provided via the Tomorrow Needs Today web pages ( It contains all the information about the sustainable development project, the environmental policy and statement, as well as an interactive presentation containing the key elements of the environmental statement.

For its part, the sales and marketing department is committed to communicating this project via all means available to it (newsletters, face-to-face, point of sale information, presence of posters in hotels, explanations on the project in the room directories, information available on the PC and i-pad terminals accessible to the customers in the hotel lobbies...).
Awareness-raising activities are organised in partnership with municipal administrations. In 2015 and 2016, Martin's Hotels organised a "Martin's Run" in partnership with the municipalities of La Hulpe and Rixensart on the theme of the environment.



The hotel has numerous awards and certificates during the years, including  2017  EMAS Awards Winner!

  • EMAS
  • ISO 14001
  • Green Key for Martin’s Klooster – Martin’s Patershof – Martin’s Brussels EU The Green Key label is awarded to tourism establishments that respect the environment and natural resources and that meet certain specific criteria concerning the management of water, energy, waste, and cleaning products.
  • Eco-dynamic Enterprise for Martin’s Brussels EU is an official recognition in the Brussels-Capital Region for companies in Brussels that implement environmental management internally, particularly with regard to the management and prevention of waste, the wise use of energy and water, and other criteria as well…




Objective for 2018 - to reduce the consumption of electricity with 11%.


Objective for 2018 - to reduce the consumption of water with 11%.


Objective for 2018 - to reduce the consumption of gas with 14%.