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October 19, 2021

In the circular economy, waste no longer exists; everything is a raw material and is part of a cycle. How do hotels contribute to this economy and to a sustainable city in the broadest sense of the word? Especially after the Corona pandemic. Will the next hotel be a transformation or a new construction project? How does the hotel entrepreneur look to the future? How has the City of Amsterdam encouraged its ‘front runners’ in this challenge? What does this mean for the daily routine of the hotel guest?

Bert Dirrix (DiederenDirrix,  Rino Soeters (LBG Hotels), Froukje Anne Karsten (Municipality of Amsterdam) and Amber Westerborg (The Student Hotel) gave a presentation about this topic.

Presentation Bert Dirrix 19.10.2021

Presentation Rino Soeters 19.10.2021

Presentation Froukje Anne Karsten 19.10.2021

Bert Dirrix (Architect Partner DiederenDirrix)

Transformation of a monastery complex into DomusDela Ceremonial House & Hotel Mariënhage and a new hotspot for Eindhoven.

The functionality and the transparency of the entire DomusDela complex added a new public space and a contemporary meeting place to the city for all residents of Eindhoven. A public podium that provides space for a diverse programme of activities. DomusDela is a new focal point of architectural, urban planning, cultural and social connection at the crossroads of past and present.
DomusDela won the BNA Building of the Year Audience Award in 2020.

Diederendirrix signed for the transformation of the complex. Questions that play a role in the context of circularity and C2C: How were the sustainability ambitions determined during the development of DomusDela? Did the municipality of Eindhoven also play a part?

The preservation of heritage, the preservation of authentic details, the establishment of a relationship between inside and outside and the opening up of a monastery complex and a church for a new public function all bring challenges. What can the architect share with our audience in this respect?

Bert Dirrix is extremely interested in existing environments, in revitalising them functionally with smart interventions, in making their history readable again and in exploiting their capacity for amazement. Aiming for maximum preservation guarantees a sustainable relationship between renewal and familiarity. Making connections on all levels is what drives me.

Rino Soeters (Founder/Managing Director at LBG Hotels)

Sustainable dynamics for the hotel entrepreneurship

In addition to Hotel Mariënhage, LBG Hotels has various hotels in Amsterdam, Maastricht (including Kaboom and Townhouse) and soon in The Hague in its portfolio.

What sustainable choices do you make as an entrepreneur in the hotel industry? We don’t really think about making sustainable choices anymore, we take them for granted. In the selection of suppliers, energy, cleaning agents, food procurement – in short, in all processes where external parties are involved – we only ask for a quotation if the parties can demonstrate sustainable production. Guests ask less and less for proof; they assume that, as a hotel organisation, you are sustainable. Insulation, a grey water system, a WTW system, etc. go without saying. We demand of our landlords that the buildings have at least an A+ energy label.

How are you determining the future circular ambitions? What are crucial success factors?

When choosing partners, “money” never comes first; partners such as Auping and Mosa are selected based on quality, sustainability, local anchoring and local production. Partners are essential to the success of a hotel concept. A concept is different from a theme…… In a concept, as a guest, you experience a ‘genius loci’. To achieve this, everything has to be right, including the choices you make in the realisation of the hotel, not just in the execution.

Rino Soeters: I have a keen eye for real estate and hospitality concepts and can be pretty picky about the details. Together with extremely driven and talented people, I am working on value innovation and surprising our guests every day.


Froukje Anne Karsten (Municipality of Amsterdam)

Initiative Koplopergroep Circulaire Hotels

For four years now, a group of about 25 sustainable hotels in and around Amsterdam has been joining forces in the Koplopergroep Circulaire Hotels. They do so at the invitation of the municipality. The group is very diverse, but they recognise each other in their drive to take new steps. Because it is time for change! Raw materials will really be running out soon, so we need to move away from ’take make waste’. Hotels, as buyers of many goods and services, can be important drivers of this transition. Especially in Amsterdam, with over 500 hotels. That is why the hoteliers are sharing knowledge and experience so that together they can move from a linear to a circular economy. The motto is: alone you may go faster, but together you will get further’.

Froukje Anne Karsten is sustainability advisor for the Amsterdam Municipality and project leader of Koplopergroep Circulaire Hotels.

Froukje Anne Karsten 2021

Amber Westerborg (Director of Sustainability & Impact | The Student Hotel)

Sustainability Strategy for The Student Hotel chain

Amber will take us through the business operations of The Student Hotel and the role that sustainability plays in this process. Depending on how the world looks like in October, Amber will also discuss the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak for TSH. Which sustainable adjustments has TSH made to its protocol? How were these choices made and how are they communicated to the guests and other stakeholders? How does TSH look at the future and its role in the Koplopersgroep Amsterdam?

Amber Westerborg has long had an interest in the interaction between human societies and the physical environment, in what drives people, how they engage with each other and how society can be shaped and influenced. As the Director of Sustainability & Impact, she works on making The Student Hotel as sustainable as possible. Their strategy focuses on minimizing their negative impact on the environment through green and resilient real estate and hotel operations, and maximizing their impact on society through community engagement.



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