It is fundamental for us here at Hotel Arctic to have commitment and to create the kind of results that also benefit society and the nature that surrounds us. Only with dedicated employees, a dynamic town and a healthy environment is it possible for us to offer our guests a sublime experience.
Year after year, we have reduced Hotel Arctic’s environmental impact by educating our employees and using new technology. From 2013 the hotel is100 per cent CO2 neutral and in 2014 we installed solar panels that produce appoximately 20 percent of our electricity.
Roots in the community
Hotel Arctic is an important workplace in Ilulissat. All year round, we have 60 employees and in the peak season this figure increases to about 70. We always have between eight to twelve young people in training as cooks, waiters, receptionists, reception and tourism assistants and office clerks.
In the kitchen at Hotel Arctic our cooks are constantly developing new dishes based on Greenlandic ingredients, which we process ourselves: Musk-ox, reindeer, Greenland halibut, Arctic hare, ptarmigan, wolffish, prawns, mussels, sea urchins and redfish etc. as well as herbs, lichens and seaweed. A few years ago, we won the most prestigious Nordic food award.
Hotel Arctic is a member of CSR Greenland. The organization’s vision is to play a role in creating a social, economic and environmentally sustainable development in Greenland through a focus on the social responsibilities of companies and through innovative partnerships between the public and private sectors and civil society.
At Hotel Arctic our commitment to the environment is wired into our DNA. We live, surrounded by the powerful forces of nature and our location has a front row seat to some of the most fantastic scenery on Earth. This commands commitment.
The Green Key
Over the years we have reduced Hotel Arctic’s impact on the delicate Arctic environment step by step. Already in 2000 we received the “The Green Key" environmental award. Since then we have made investments focused on green technology and training. Everywhere in the hotel sensors and thermostats together with energy-efficient solutions ensure that we do not use more electricity, water and heating than necessary.
One of our five igloos already uses exclusively solar energy for heating and electricity. In coming years we will also convert the other four igloos to 100 per cent sustainable energy.
Reduced CO2 emissions
Twice yearly, all the employees at the hotel take part in an environmental theme day. Here, we focus our attention on daily routines – from restaurant to reception to cleaning–and together we find green solutions to the challenges. The hotel awards prizes for ideas that reduce consumption of resources, so we have the least possible CO2 impact on the planet.
During 2012 we reduced the hotel’s CO2 emissions by about 100 tons and in 2013 Hotel Arctic became 100 per cent CO2 neutral: Not just our electricity, but also the hot water for our heating and for our tap water is now based on hydropower.
In 2014 we took further energy-saving steps: On the roof of the hotel’s Puisi Wing we have installed 230 square metres of solar panels. The production is 37.500 kilowatt hours per year – approximately 20 percent of our electricity consumption – and the investment will break even in less than seven years.
In 2012, Greenland’s government awarded Hotel Arctic with its Environment and Nature Award.
New routines and solutions
In December 2012 a new hydroelectric plant was opened near Ilulissat and it now provides all the electricity for the town. Hydroelectric power is a great step forward and it eliminates the overall CO2 impact of producing electricity. For us at Hotel Arctic it provides more inspiration to develop routines and to introduce new, technological solutions which minimise our carbon footprint on the planet.
Training positions for young people
Hotel Arctic considers it one of our most important tasks, to create as many training positions as possible for young people who want to work in the hotel industry as cooks, waiters or receptionists. For many years we have trained a large number of skilled young people from Ilulissat. Our trainees have often earned distinctions during their periods at catering school.
Alone in the winter of 2012-2013 we are able to congratulate six young people who have earned their diplomas as cooks, waiters or receptionists. 12 more young people are at present trainees at Hotel Arctic.
Training typically takes between three and four years – and combines professional training at the hotel with periods at school in Narsaq in South Greenland and in Aalborg in Denmark. For young people who want to start training in administration, we have three-month internships.
60 local jobs
All year round Hotel Arctic has about 60 employees. In the peak season this number grows to about 70. The hotel – like the entire tourist industry – is an important place of work in the town.
The Greenlandic trade union movement – SIK – presented its special Management Award in 2013 to Hotel Arctic’s managing director, Erik Bjerregaard for having “contributed to inspiring and encouraging the people of Greenland to educate and better themselves, not just for their own benefit but also for the benefit of progress in Greenland “.
The local community
In Ilulissat Hotel Arctic works with others in a concentrated effort focused on the older school children. This work takes place together with Foreningen Grønlandske Børn (Society for Children in Greenland). The intention is to prepare students for the transition from school to work or higher education. The project is called ”Sapiik”, which means ”courage to get started”. Over the year we have also taken in many school children for two-week internships.
You can enjoy beautiful presentations of Greenlandic ingredients every day in the summer at Hotel Arctic. We work hard to serve as much local food as possible and we produce most of it ourselves. Ingredients such as musk-ox, reindeer, Greenland halibut, Arctic hare, ptarmigan, wolffish, mussels, sea urchins, redfish and much more are on the menu daily. We collect our own herbs in the fells: sheep sorrel, knot weed, mountain sorrel, lousewort, northern marsh yellowcress, common mouse ear, knotted pearlwort and many more.
From the fields of the Norsemen
We use seasonal vegetables grown in the fields of former Norse farms in the Ameralik Fjord south of Nuuk – onions, carrots, kale, potatoes, broccoli and turnips. The place where the vegetables are grown was called Vesterbygd by the Norsemen. We also get local produce from other places around the country, e.g. we hope to be able to serve Greenlandic strawberries from Uperniassuvik, South Greenland again this year.
Even out of season, our kitchen uses as many ingredients from Greenland as possible. In the winter we dry Greenland halibut for our own use. Since 2011 we have worked on developing our own winter-dried musk-ox meat. We are hoping to make a product that equals the high quality of a Serrano ham. Our refrigerator is full of preserved angelica and turnips and in the freezer we have e.g. crowberries, blueberries, Labrador tea and thyme.
In our dry stores we have dried “the fells” – angelica leaves and crowberry heather and much more. Seaweed from the Disko Bay is used in our salads, ground as a seasoning or used in emulsions and soups etc.
The smoked Greenland halibut which is served everyday at our breakfast buffet has been salted and smoked in our own smoker. The breakfast buffet also serves honey from South Greenland.
Awards and cooking championships
In recent years, Hotel Arctic has received several awards for the great culinary experiences we provide based on Greenlandic ingredients. A few years ago, we received the prestigious New Nordic Food Award which is given each year to a restaurant, institution or person from one of the Nordic countries. In 2013 we received Brugsen’s award for use of Greenlandic ingredients.
Our chef, Jeppe Ejvind Nielsen, is the only person to have won the Greenlandic Cooking Championships three times – in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In the following two years- 2009 and 2010 – the winner was cook Inunnguaq Hegelund, who works in the kitchen at Hotel Arctic.
At Hotel Arctic we train cooks, waiters and receptionists, office assistants and reception and tourism assistants. We also offer three-month internships to young people who are studying service management. The number of trainees at the hotel varies between eight and twelve.
To be accepted on the training courses you need to apply to Inuili, the catering school in Narsaq. Once you have been approved by Inuili, you can apply to take the practical part of your training at Hotel Arctic.
Training takes four years and alternates between practical work and five school periods. The first three school periods are taken at Inuili and the last two are taken at Food College Aalborg.
Training takes three years and four months. Training alternates between practical work and four ten-week school periods, the first two of which take place at Inuili and the last two at Food College Aalborg.
Training takes two years and four months. Training alternates between practical work and school periods, the first two at Inuili and the last three ten-week periods at Food College Aalborg.
Reception and tourism assistant
Training takes two years and six months. Training alternates between practical work and school periods, partly at Inuili, partly at Niuernermik Ilinniarfik Qaqortoq.
Training takes four years and alternates between practical work and school periods at either Niuernermik Ilinniarfik Nuuk or Qaqortoq. Hotel Arctic offers one trainee position and therefore takes on one new trainee every fourth year.