Growing Demand for Green Meetings in Spain

16/09/2011 - La Mola Hotel & Convention Centre

La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre relies on a natural environment and locally grown food to optimize high-performance meetings.

Environmental awareness and respect are the two trends currently in vogue in the meetings and event industry, playing an increasingly more important part in the organization of workshops, congresses, conventions, etc. These so-called "green meetings" are characterized by the use of local produce in catering services, well-connected natural environments, tranquility and ecologically friendly venues. All that is needed to clear the mind and promote concentration.

With the aim of pioneering the green meeting trend in Spain, La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre – a property located next to Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac Natural Park, specifically designed for high-performance meetings – has been promoting a new hotel concept since 2008.

Only 25 minutes away from Central Barcelona and 35 minutes from El Prat International Airport, La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre has 186 guest rooms and a 4,000sqm conference centre with flexible facilities for hosting all types of meetings, congresses and workshops.

Ivonne Ortiz de Zarate, CEO of La Mola, commented that "although the green meeting concept is still very new in our country, it is a general trend in Europe and USA because the CSR policies of many companies demand that meetings are held in sustainable environments."

In addition to the 4-star hotel, La Mola also boasts a restaurant captained by chef Artur Martínez (Michelin Star holder at Capritx) with the accent on the use of local grown and preferably ecological produce, a gastrobar-terrace serving original signature tapas, and a spa & wellness centre featuring solarized waters and the innovative AlphaSphere ultra-deep relaxation chair.

In addition, there is trekking and mountain biking, among other outdoor activities, in the Natural Park, as well as the possibility of playing a round on Golf El Prat, one of the largest courses in Europe.

To host a green meeting, it is necessary to comply with a series of strict sustainability criteria. For this reason, La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre is committed to protecting the environment and the use of renewable energy sources, in tune with the UN’s Sustainability Guidelines.

Along these lines, the gardens contain an abundance of local vegetation and are only watered with recycled water, solar panels produce between 20-50% of the property’s energy needs, low-energy bulbs are used for lighting, and part of the air conditioning is generated by free cooling, a thermal insulation and natural ventilation system that uses less energy than conventional ones.

In line with its commitment to innovation and prevention, La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre has become one of the first hotels in the area to have a semi-automatic external defibrillator (SAED) and a team of 14 staff members trained and certified by the Red Cross.

La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre’s expertise in green meetings is reflected by the creation of the "meeting angel" figure, whose job it is to coordinate with the company representative all the details of the meeting so as to ensure that it meets all the requisite sustainable criteria.

In addition, the "meeting angels" advise clients on the latest trends in the high-performance meeting segment and are on hand to provide solutions when needed.

Owned by Layetana Inmobiliaria and managed by the British chain Principal Hayley, La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre is the first high-performance convention and congress centre in Spain.

La Mola had a turnover of over €4,600,000 in 2010 and, this year, the figure is expected to top €6,200,000.

More than 400 institutions and companies, such as Audi, Danone, ESADE, the regional government of Catalonia, Grupo Planeta, La Caixa, La Vanguardia, and Sony, have held their conventions, meetings and workshops at La Mola Hotel & Conference Centre.

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