Photovoltaic self-consumption and green energy to decarbonize hotels

Decarbonization of the 97 hotels, located in 21 countries, and each destination having an emblematic biodiversity project are the main objectives in the environmental area of ​​the sustainability strategy of the Riu hotel chain, Proudly Committed that it will develop between this year and 2026.

In the recent presentation of this strategy, Catalina Alemany, Director of Sustainability of the chain, placed this plan in a very defined context: «as a tourism company, it is obvious that our activity has an impact; Some of our establishments are even in environmentally sensitive areas. We have proposed that this impact be as minor as possible, that the operation of each hotel is responsible and that the company's activity is always as positive as possible, both in the society where it is developed and in its ecosystems,” concluded Alemany.

Four pillars

The company views its sustainability strategy as a transformation process in which the challenge is to maintain what has been achieved to date, in quality of services and results, while increasing social and environmental commitment.

The objectives in four pillars: Community and Sustainable Destinations, Environment and People and Transparency. For all of them there are specific plans established, whose results will be measurable and verifiable.


In the environmental area, the purposes are: minimum footprint on the environment, increasing circularity and supporting an emblematic biodiversity project per destination.

The decarbonization plan is about bringing the hotel chain to neutrality. It is not starting from scratch, since there are already projects underway both for contracting energy of certified renewable origin – it already represents 70% of the total electricity contracted – and for investment in self-generation in photovoltaic plants located on the roofs of the buildings themselves. Hotels. So far there are installations in 22 hotels in different countries, with an investment of more than eight million euros. Between them, the balance of CO2 emissions reduction in 2023 was 27%.

Energy efficiency will also be a decarbonization tool. The company already has energy management projects that allow detailed knowledge of consumption through sensors and specialized software, to optimize and reduce them and detect areas for improvement.

Allies to protect biodiversity

An area that will become more important in the Proudly Committed strategy is the protection of biodiversity. Alemany explained that “we will try to contribute positively to the tourist destination, and for this we have two programs. One focused on protected native species and another on protected natural areas, which will be designed depending on the type of destination and its characteristics. In any case, the goal is to have an emblematic project in each place where they have hotels.

The idea from now on is to “look for entities that are already working on conservation or recovery projects, rather than launching new projects from scratch. Because we already have the luck, and the experience, of finding good allies in practically all the destinations where we already support projects. Two specific examples: «one in the Balearic Islands, related to the marine environment; and another in Cape Verde, where we have been working for more than 10 years with the protection of sea turtles.

circular residues

In terms of waste, it is rather a matter of continuing to advance, since, in addition to the recently obtained Zero Food Waste Certificate, various establishments of the chain in Spain are following various plans to reduce, use and recycle as much as possible the waste they produce. Circular Hotels, Circular Tourist Communities and Somos Circulares are projects in which their hotels in the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are already working together with several chains in the sector and in which agricultural organizations and a factory of artisanal glass pieces are also involved. And, in the first two, compost is made with the organic waste that is used in the suppliers' agricultural production; With this, they additionally reinforce the consumption of local products.


When presenting the Proudly Committed strategy, Catalina Alemany said that “at Riu we are obsessed with rigor”, explaining that “before going out into the fray with this project, we wanted to be sure that we are going to be able to do it. Therefore, in the Transparency pillar the main objective is verification, that in 2026 all Riu hotels are certified under some sustainability seal. So that it is not a mere piece of paper, but rather means that we have closed the circle of everything we have proposed and will be the basis for the 2027 strategy.