Green hotels are very few in France. The hotel Gavarni, one of the first, is on the road thanks to the beliefs of one man, deeply committed in this project… its hotelkeeper, Xavier Moraga.
Hoosta : « What are your motives ? »
Xavier Moraga : « Beliefs, only. It’s a personal approach. What I did at home since a few years now, I want to do it in my hotel. To use goods from organic farming, because of food hygiene and health, for example. Fair trade, energy conservation, carbon emissions must be taken into account. If it wasn’t by the past, today the subject can’t be ignored! »
Hoosta : « Are you a pioneer ? »
Xavier Moraga : « Not a pioneer, but one of the first. Towards sustainable development, France is really behind other countries, and hotel business is not an exception. Just for example, there is only one hotel in Paris which carry the European eco-label and less than ten in France. The European eco-label helps consumers to distinguish greener, more environmentally friendly products and rewards the establishment for its efforts in favour of sustainable development. But applying for this certification is expansive, that’s why some hotelkeepers don’t want to become involved in. But theses cases are very few. By the way, organic market is little developed for societies and the government’s policies to encourage companies to save energy or do more selective sorting of their trash are nonexistent. »
Hoosta : « This decision isn’t easy to carry on ? »
Xavier Moraga : « And, that’s why I stress on the terms of belief and choice. It’s an obstacle course that takes a lot of times. In most cases, we receive no help, no information and, sometimes, no answer! Nowadays, one of the main problems we must face is the little development of the organic market for societies. Organic farming is still in its early stages. We suffer from a lack of choices and we can’t find the packaging appropriated to our occupation. We always have to look for cleaning products and foodstuffs suppliers but also for facilities. To become involved in the green cause is a real revolution, source of considerable changes and expenses. »
Hoosta: «Why did you become a hotel manager?»
Xavier Moraga: «Incidentally and out of necessity. I attended lessons in computer engineering and in design! After my studies, I did my military service. Only one year, but when I came home, I didn’t success to find an interesting job, as my speciality advances really fast… So I changed my mind and began a training in hotel business! I entered the hotel Gavarni as a receptionist, it was eleven years ago… Why the hotel business, you may ask? Two reasons: speak foreign languages, I was already speaking four at that time, and for the importance of human intercourse.»
Hoosta: «What balance would you strike today?»
Xavier Moraga: «I don’t regret anything! I love this job, even if I don’t feel like a real hotelkeeper in the way that I learnt, and continue to do so, by practising whereas most of the people got that in school. And, the hotel is like me: welcoming and friendly. Moreover, everyday is different, what won’t be possible in a bigger hotel or a chain. Nevertheless, I didn’t forget my first loves… Since my arrival at Gavarni, I have created a society specialized in design and then, an other one in import/export of goods from the Philippines. I’m the kind of man who has plans, takes up challenges and gives concrete expression to his dreams!»
Hoosta: «What did you change since you became the manager of the hotel five years ago?»
Xavier Moraga: «We renovated the hotel in 2004-2005, mainly the ground floor and the veranda’s creation. That work allowed me to apply my gifts in engineery and to become my self architect! By the way, I’m considering to buy an other establishment we would renove from top to bottom! But this is not the main change… Since two years now, the hotel has become involved in the respect of environment and sustainable development. A decision that revolutionize the hotel and costs a lot.»
Being a green hotel in Paris, protecting the environment, and securing the European Ecolabel are steps that cannot be improvised. At Gavarni hotel, in the heart of the 16th district, it is far from a superficial marketing strategy. On the contrary, the ecology value and sustainable development are an integral part of the premises.
For Xavier Moraga, the hotel’s director, adapting the hotel to the environmental standards is an absolute necessity. Changes that required time, sacrifices and investments and by obtaining the label, it will require more care and attention. But it is worth as effort. Firstly because, the eco-travelers, which the number sees an increase from year to year, demands that the luxury urban hotel take into account the eco-tourism activity, and also because being an ecological hotel can guarantee the survival of the establishment in the future. An issue has been well understood by Hotel Gavarni, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year!
Driven by conviction and perseverance, Xavier Moraga transforms its prestigious hotel into a 100% ecological establishment. Using the low consumption light bulbs, reducing the water flow in showers, carbon off-setting, bio breakfast, using soap dispensers instead of traditional samples, albeit less glamorous but much more eco-friendly! Actions strongly committed for environmental protection, and being recognised by the European Ecolabel.
Comfortable and luxurious, hotel Gavarni do not lose any quality of services while providing a green environment and being responsible. An ideal hotel for contemporary travelers who want to try the ecotourism in Paris while enjoying high quality service.
In this occasion, the hotel organizes a “green day in Paris”, an ecological journey in the capital, that will allow you to discover the eco addresses and bio restaurants in Paris. And to discover the small act that can make the difference to the planet, the blog of the hotel offers multitudinous tips to eco-traveler. The civic involvement of the hotel Gavarni reminds us that everyone, in his own ability, must take part in this effort. Just as what written by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, an eco-traveler prior to the time, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children.”