Eco-Friendly Destination: Crowne Plaza Copenhagen, the Greenest Hotel in the World

Exercise bikes at the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen allow guests to generate electricity. Pedaling for 15 minutes earns exercisers a meal voucher, and creates 10-watt-hours of electricity. iPhones on the handlebars indicate the amount of power being generated.

The scheme, launched last year, is a pilot project. If it works, all 21 Crowne Plaza hotels in the UK will offer exercise bikes. Critics, however, note that the guests aren't really contributing much electricity: one hour of exercise is  enough to power only a single 100 watt bulb for one hour.

One the other hand, it's not just about the energy. As Alex Randall, a spokesman for the Centre for Alternative Technology, made the following comment regarding the Crowne Plaza bikes: "As a lesson, and a means of public engagement, it's excellent – if you sit someone on a bike, pedalling hard, and show them they are only generating enough to power one lightbulb or TV, is makes them appreciate how difficult energy is to produce, and therefore why we should be careful not to waste it."

The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen uses solar panels and TripleLynx inverters to make the hotel a terrifically energy efficient and eco-friendly destination.  Energy consumption in the hotel is about 53% of conventional hotels. The building, which opened in November of last year, is now CO2 neutral. The hotel will save an estimated 1,373 tons of CO2 on an annual basis.

A unique groundwater-based heating and cooling system helps the hotel conserve energy. It essentially recycles energy, providing the heating and cooling for the hotel. All 366 rooms, the kitchen, the restaurant, the conference room and the offices use ground water for climate control.

Other innovative features that make the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen an eco-friendly destination include LED flat screens, computer-control of all electronic equipment, and biodegradable shampoo bottles. The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen is a Green Key certified building (which means that all energy consumption is well-monitored), as well as a certified EU Green Building. The hotel is also a member of the UN Global Compact. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen also received the award "det gyldne søm" (the golden nail) for the most innovative eco-friendly construction.

According to Skål International, the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen is the world's greenest hotel. This is no surprise, coming from Denmark, which is a very eco-friendly destination. More than half of all hotel rooms in Copenhagen have received some kind of eco-certification, such as the Green Globe, Green Key or Nordic Swan. The city also offers plenty of locally harvested organic food, bike-friendly routes, and electrically powered buses.

Photo: Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers