SUSTAINABLE HOTEL FARMING AT SANTO MARIS OIA LUXURY SUITES & SPA
Nature in Balance
At Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, we document the creation of a sustainable ecosystem by:
- Producing our own food based on sustainable terms
- Investing in our place’s wisdom. We learn and utilize local farming and horticultural practices drawing on knowledge from the Minoan Bronze Age to the present day
- Applying cultivation and horticultural practices that eliminate our environmental footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Developing a self-controlled ecosystem through the sustainable man-made landscape management with biodiversity zones.
Food Production System
We follow the principles of the European Green Agreement, and we aim, through the EU “From farm to fork” strategy, to contribute in a positive way to the actions for the climate change and environmental degradation, as well as to a sustainable, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system.
Our sustainable choices include the optimal management of natural resources — water, energy, food raw materials —, the promotion of soil health as well as the management of organic waste through four different application fields: vegetable gardens, herbs, edible nuts, and grasses.
We seek to connect sustainable food production with gastronomy, offering healthy food options (slow food) to our guests.
Sustainable Hotel Farming
At Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, we have implemented a 360º approach incorporating 4 pillars:
- Issues Related to Energy
- Own Food Production
- Sustainable Man-made Landscape Management
- Training & Communication
1. Issues Related to Energy
- Fertilizer production, distribution & application: 1.61 kg Co2eq1 / kg / per average fertilizer preparation
- High energy consumption for the production, distribution & application of pesticides: 5,500 kg Co2eq / ha / per year
- Food travel: food travels an average of 2800 km to reach our plate
- Key components affecting GHG: Food & Beverage, Landscape, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Building & Reconstruction, and Transportation.
- We work towards reducing carbon greenhouse gas emissions
- We use EU-approved formulations, thus achieving GHG savings
- We trust the earth to act as a binder. We avoid using fertilizers and pesticides, thus allowing the soil organic matter to function and bind carbon
1 Equivalent Commitment CO2
- Today, we are in the 3rd year of recording comparative models.
We reduce our energy footprint by implementing a coherent policy of sustainable practices for horticulture, cultivation, and food supply chain.
2. Our Own Food Production
In our gardens, we cultivate using certified sustainable practices:
- organic herbs
- organic fruits & nuts
- organic vegetable gardens
Self-production of fresh vegetables
Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa policy is to apply certified, innovative and sustainable methods of food production and cultivation, utilizing local practices and knowledge that have their roots thousands of years ago.
- Lazy Beds: A form of cultivation used by the Minoans (and the Incas — although they had not culturally "met"). This form increases productivity in units of time and land, ultimately leading to an increase in food production and a subsequent increase in population and culture.
- Open Air Seasonal Production:
- We choose indigenous plant varieties, thus reducing the need for continuous care and energy consumption as the endemic species adapt to the local climate and geology.
- We cultivate based on seasonality. This way, we do not have to "push" or "reinforce" nature to produce something other than the natural
- We apply combined cropping in varieties among which we have identified auspicious coexistence, thus saving space, water, nutrients, and fertilizer.
We offer what we produce to our guests
Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa has its own organic gardens. We directly connect the cultivation of our gardens to our hotel’s restaurant and bar. In combination with the "Sustainable Supplies" initiative, we associate the production of raw materials with quality and responsible consumption and gastronomy.
Each year, the teams of chefs and gardeners decide on the crops. The restaurant’s menu is based on production capacity; on the other hand, the gardens adapt to what the kitchen team wants to offer.
3. Sustainable Man-made Landscape Management
Sustainable management of man-made landscape, a term used to denote the intervention of man to plant something where it did not exist, is based on our following actions:
- We take care of soil health.
- We use nutritional preparations, soil conditioners and protection products, fertilizers with organic matter, and earthworm compost.
- We utilize composting. The first step to achieving significant results concerning climate change is to stop the production of methane coming from landfills. We achieve it by simply preserving biodegradable organic materials outside of landfills. Thus, we prevent high methane emissions and build healthier soils. Also, in this way, we replenish carbon reserves by allowing natural soil functions and we support sustainable agriculture resulting in healthier food production.
- We reduce water use.
- We do not use synthetic pesticides or herbicides.
- We apply non-human intervention zones allowing nature to act. Thus, we encourage the development of biodiversity zones that contribute to creating a self-controlled ecosystem.
- An organic cultivation and horticultural process takes place in our gardens, while we have been in a process of accession the European regulation EU 2018/848 for our organic agriculture.
4. Training & Communication
Mindset transformation comes through small actions. At Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, we contribute to developing a new concept of hotel agriculture and its connection to the production and supply of food. It is our moral duty to inform and educate the stakeholders with whom we interact, namely:
- The Executives and employees of our Hotel
- Our existing and future guests
- Our partners and suppliers