Garda Green is Lake Garda’s ecological protocol that sprang from the commitment of the small and medium enterprises that see Lake Garda as a resource to be protected and who wish to make their contribution to the strategies designed by the institutional bodies to protect the environment. Thanks to the backing of prestigious companies on the Italian scene that have developed its themes and identified practical solutions, the Garda Green protocol was made to guarantee companies an effective and common guideline that avoids them useless and heavy investments.
The thematic areas that make up the Garda Green Ecological Protocol owned by the Garda Green Club corporate network are:
• Garbage and separate collection
• Sustainable mobility
• Energy production and procurement
• Cleaning and water recovery
• Energy efficiency
Sustainability is an added value – on holiday and in business – it becomes mandatory. To live better, to increase the competitiveness of small and medium businesses, and to stand out as a touristic destination. The numbers are clear: activities, as management, that undertake the path towards environmental sustainability that includes also a green communication strategy have tangible results in terms of profitability and positivity of their external image.
Green communication is efficient as it opens/consolidates new market space if all the equipment at disposal is used in a coordinative way. If managed with professionalism towards the internal (employees, collaborators, partners, stakeholders) and external structure (clients, sponsor, management ect.). Internet users and partners of the Green Garda network can turn to Silvia Bevilacqua – communication strategist and copywriter for companies and corporations – for an analysis of the current positioning and the definition of an integrated Green Communication strategy compatible to the identity and medium-long objectives of the company.
Proper management of garbage and a high level of separation are inexorable elements to keeping the environmental impact of tourism down. That’s why with the logo of their Eco-man mascot the staff of the Bacino Verona 2 Consortium provide the best resources available for the best and proper disposal of the large amount of garbage produced every season, ordering the work of the SMEs with that of the competent town halls.
The use of green energy from certified renewable sources is a fundamental element to the Garda Green ecological protocol that sets out to minimize the environmental footprint of tourists, also by spreading electrical vehicles and the relative charging tools. In this area, Garda Green goes beyond the classic guarantee of origin, requiring its facilities to procure it from renewable sources that are certified by TÜV, a primary international certification body. Repower, a historic electricity company and key player in the electric mobility industry, is the company set in place to assess the provision of electricity at the Garda Green member facilities, and at the same time, it is the contact for all that concerns electric mobility.
Carlo Uccelli, Repower’s consultant in the Garda area, can perform an energy consumption assessment at the facilities adhering to the protocol as well as aid in and offer innovative solutions for introducing electric mobility into the business model of Garda Green’s members.
The dynamics of cleaning and washing of the SMEs are essential to reducing pollution due to discharge into the sewer, especially because the hotel industry can make its own contribution to protecting Lake Garda’s reservoir. To address this topic we must act both to train the personnel and to use highly soluble and low-impact products.
Mr. Maurizio Faccio, entrepreneur company partner, works in the professional cleaning industry collaborating with the industry’s most important multinational companies. In 1999 he helped found ALL SERVICES H. & C. s.r.l, with the objective of giving working answers to the customer’s needs, perfecting the service and developing consultancy. Today, thanks to the company support team, he boasts a business relationship with some of the most important hotels on Lake Garda. Known to be a problem solver in the environmental health industry, he heads this role with the task of analyzing the internal procedures, training personnel, and selecting the products to meet the requests expressed in the parameters of the ecological protocol.
The energy efficiency of buildings and systems functional to them is strategic to reducing the environmental footprint of tourism on Lake Garda, heat pumps, CHP plants, efficient boilers, high performance building envelopes, and modern and certified systems are inexorable to obtaining Garda Green certification.
Engineer Mauro Vinco of the Studio Piramide S.r.l. in Verona is in charge of this task, who has been appointed to monitor the facilities that have obtained the Garda Green mark and support those who have started the process of adhering, avoiding them investments or environmentally useless solutions.
When we talk about environment and tourism we touch on complex fields in which the regulations must be followed, rights recognized in terms of financing, and incentives used. All the actions undertaken by the Garda Green Club network must be legal and transparent.
Lawyer Anna Maria Desidera from the Roedl&Partners associated firm has been assigned this task. Vast experience in the dynamics inherent to the environmental and renewable energy industry, not to mention the experience gained in construction and management of the corporate networks allow the SMEs to act completely legally and safely in pursuing their goals of respecting and protecting the environment.
In order to maintain their performance over time, every good habit or technical solution must be monitored and constantly compared with other solutions adopted to identify which yield the best performance. All the Garda Green facilities and all services offered by the corporate network are equipped with a control device and an application at the reception for collection and monitoring of data.
Eng. Claudio Girlanda, founder of Girtech s.r.l. has the job of developing the Garda Green sensor system and reception App with the objective of building and managing a major database with all the elements that characterize the consumption and the green facilities reserved for tourists, but also the reservations and tourist flux data in order to always have the environmental footprint data of the facilities adhering to the Garda Green ecological protocol.
Timely technical assistance in the event of problems and in general in terms of green retrofitting the buildings is highly important especially while the tourist season is going on. That’s why the SMEs can count on competent and precise service that adapts to each specific case.
Technical manager Marco Ghiradini De Guio is the figure in charge of following every technical element useful to achieving the ecological protocol’s parameters in the simplest and cheapest way and to maintain them over time
In the hospitality sector, the swimming pool and the wellness facilities in general have long been an undisputed qualifying point of what is on offer to tourists. Nowadays, these offers do not always reflect the "state of the art" of the most advanced technologies nor the policies aimed at downsizing the carbon footprint in terms of reducing the use of chemical products, as well as cutting down electricity and water consumption. In a Green key, collaborations with researchers and microbiologists is essential in order to offer the most respectful approach to the environment and to the health of the guests that science can provide, in particular in the field of the new developments in filtration and water treatment technologies.
IsolaVerde Piscine can boast over 35 years of experience in this field because it has created environmentally friendly tourist facilities in the Garda area, as well as in tourist areas in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Panama, Kenya, etc. This experienced company that is specialized in ecology also collaborates with Garda Green to provide all the specific solutions that can reduce the need for aggressive water and environmental treatment, by minimizing water consumption, packaging, transport and the quantity of synthetic chemicals used in the facilities.
Thanks to his important, twenty-year experience in the international hotel industry, Arrigo Bussinello has been a partner and the business manager of IsolaVerde Piscine since 2010. His competence and professionalism has made him a decisive person at national technical round-tables, both in Assopiscine (The Italian Manufacturers' Association Piscine) and in Wepool, the first national business network in the sector. He is the consultant at the SME and he is also in charge of the development of the protocol on behalf of Garda Green.
To date, the vast area of action of the Garda Green protocol has been identified in 11 towns on the Verona side of Lake Garda: Malcesine, Brenzone del Garda, Torri del Benaco, Garda, Bardolino, Lazise, Peschiera, San Zeno di Montagna, Affi, Cavaion e Costermano.
The corporate network is expanding to the Trentino-Alto Adige and Brescia shores of Lake Garda. In fact, its mission is to increase the number of Garda Green companies so that the collective commitment can significantly impact the protection of Lake Garda’s ecosystem.
Who can join
Companies and businesses, either in individual or associated form with a vocation for tourist hospitality, restaurant service, tourism services in general, and production of individual food and wine products, including cultural enterprises that, in serving their customers, place particular emphasis on limiting their environmental impact on Lake Garda may adhere to the Garda Green Protocol.
This includes these businesses:
• Hotel facilities in general
• Restaurants in general
• Production companies of typical local products
• Public subjects
• Public or private bodies
• Public or private associations
The Garda Green ecological protocol was defined after a major collection and processing of data. The criteria that contradistinguish it are:
• General criteria
• Required criteria
• Optional criteria
By general criteria we mean all those elements that are inherent to a business compliant with regulations and include:
1. Legal requirements for the service provided
2. Legal requirements for the building permits
3. Requirements for system regularity
4. Legal requirements for safety and prevention
5. Legal requirements for any landscape integrations
6. APE – energy performance certificate
7. Water energy gas samples monitoring system
8. Separate garbage collection
By required criteria we mean all those elements required by specific current laws in the area of energy savings and efficiency whose parameters have been re-elaborated taking into account the extremely particular climate of Lake Garda and surrounding areas. The Garda Green ecological protocol therefore includes technical solutions that cost much less for the same amount of pollution produced compared to those needed to follow the guidelines of national and European regulations that instead take into account much less localized geoclimates and 365 days rather than the 200-210 days of operation of the tourism activities on Lake Garda. The required criteria include macro areas of intervention: electricity, thermal energy, building envelope, temperature regulation, lighting, air-conditioning, system maintenance, garbage, sustainable mobility, communication, soaps and detergents, and restaurant service.
By optional criteria we mean a series of elements that are given a score that it is up to the hotel keeper to work on until totaling at least 25 points out of 125 possible. This rationale springs from the fact that the hotel keeper knows his facility and the dynamics of management, his own, of his employees, and his clientele. The objective is still to intervene extensively, avoiding useless investments. Having earned 25 optional points, SMEs can display the Garda Green/Hospitality/Camping/Restaurant logo on their company brochures and company website, but will not be considered members of the Garda Green Club network, which instead requires earning 50 points out of 125. The 25 optional points are enough to communicate a concrete ecological commitment to one’s own clientele, but not enough to intercept new strongly ecologically oriented client segments around which instead the Garda Green Club communication, marketing, and tourism offering plan is centered.