"Pro Loco" a Sane Tourism Tactic, Travel Sage Says

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Best Practices: Scandic Hotels

We could all probably use a little more omtanke in our lives. The Swedish word means "care, consideration, and attention." Scandic Hotels (www.scandic-hotels.com), a mid-priced northern European chain, considers it a good policy for both its guests and the environment.

To serve both, Scandic in 1995 introduced "recyclable rooms" for its 140-plus hotels in nine countries. Displaying an IKEA-esque ambience, the rooms employ as much wood and natural fabric as possible while avoiding nonrenewable, energy-intensive plastics and metals.

"Hotel rooms require regular renovation," says Scandic's environmental director, Jan Peter Bergkvist, "so we choose all-natural, fully renewable resources."

When possible, wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The chain's newly built eco-hotels take resource efficiency to a still higher level, with rooms kept cool when vacant but signaled to warm up when a guest checks in.

Scandic has made over 9,500 of its 20,000 rooms recyclable. The company—acquired by Hilton International in 2001—continues to win awards for environmental leadership. "Guests choose us," says Bergkvist, "because they share our values."—Jodi McKeeman

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