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Hotel Okura Amsterdam balances people, planet, profit

The Hotel Okura Amsterdam, located in the heart of The Netherlands’ capital, is considered as one of the country’s most luxurious five-star hotels. This chic hotel combines European sophistication with a touch of Japan. The property has four restaurants that have all been awarded by Michelin and a culinary cooking center offering exceptional cooking courses for fine food lovers.

Green Globe has congratulated the Hotel Okura Amsterdam and staff on its recent re-certification acknowledging its commitment to best sustainable practices.

Emmy Stoel, General Manager at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam said, “For us, corporate social responsibility means that we take into account the impact of our activities on the environment and we want to have a positive impact on the people within and outside our company. In other words, the better the balance we can achieve between people, planet and profit, the more sustainable the results will be for both Okura as a hotel and for society in general. Being recertified is a great acknowledgement of the efforts our dedicated team has put into making our daily operations as sustainable as possible and makes me very proud.”

The Hotel Okura Amsterdam is committed to making a meaningful contribution towards solving problems within society. This is achieved by supporting local and national organizations, both financially and also utilizing the hotel management’s expertise and available materials.

The hotel sees its natural heritage as an important part of its communal heritage and preserving the natural environment is a key part of the property’s sustainability policy. The hotel is a member of Natuurmonumenten (the Dutch Society for the Protection of Natural Heritage). The society helps to protect various flora and fauna, by adopting areas of natural interest. This allows visitors the opportunity to enjoy nature along the footpaths, cycle paths, observation points and during excursions.

To help create a better society the hotel also supports the Emma Kinderziekenhuis children’s hospital through donations that include various kitchen materials, the formation of a ‘teenage kitchen’ and various workshops conducted in the hospital.

In 2013, Hotel Okura Amsterdam launched the Okura – Emma at Work Award with the aim of encouraging companies to create job opportunities for young adults with chronic illnesses. In February 2014, the event was organized for the second time and attended by more than 100 employers who were interested in providing jobs for a group of ambitious youngsters.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives the Hotel Okura Amsterdam organizes a range of activities for local residents living in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Activities include bingo evenings at a nearby elderly care facility, repair days at the local petting zoo and concerts. Furthermore, the Hotel Okura assists local community groups by organizing work projects for young people. Hotel staff are actively involved with the Stichting Streetcornerwork foundation which assists young homeless people and young drug addicts from the Amsterdam Zuid city district.

Finally, in line with its waste reduction strategy the hotel donates empty ink cartridges to the Stichting AAP (a foundation for the rescue and protection of primates). The foundation sells these cartridges to raise funds to finance a large part of the cost of caring for the animals in their care. This has a dual impact, benefiting both the environment and the foundation. In addition, the Hotel Okura Amsterdam donates furniture it no longer uses to charities such as refuges, retirement homes and hospitals in Surinam. The furniture from the Hotel Okura Amsterdam is always warmly accepted and put to very good use.

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