Leitlhof – carbon neutral and energy self sufficient
On my way to Italy I decided to take a detour to the picturesque Pustatal in Tyrol. I wanted to pay a visit to a hotel in the Dolomites that has tickled my eco-fancy: the Leitlhof – a carbon neutral hotel that is paving an exemplary way into a sustainable future.
When I enter the lobby I am immediately enthralled by the distinctive scent of stone pine, known to have a positive effect on the body and mind. I feel myself relaxing straight away. Dietmar Walder, the heart and soul of the Leitlhof reception, has kindly taken the time to show me this green hotel and to tell me how the Leitlhof became the second carbon neutral resort in Tyrol.
During the compilation of the 2012/13 guest magazines the idea to print carbon neutrally was born. With this first print, the first step toward climate protection was taken and the Leitlhof began its committed journey on the road to becoming carbon neutral. The Mühlmann family, owners of the hotel, found innovative ways to actively promote climate protection in every aspect of their operation: from smaller initiatives such as hotel staff commuting to work by bike or public transport, to a large scale investment in a wood-fired power plant that produces eco-electricity and thermal energy for the whole hotel. The wood required for this process is harvested in the local forest.
As we sit on the sunny terrace, Dietmar Walder tells me that the idea to install a wood–fired power plant was born out of concerns over the high costs generated by heating the outdoor pool. I learn that the Leitlhof is energy self sufficient, which I find really impressive. It is well known that in any organization electricity and heating are the major culprits for CO2 emissions. That’s why the Mühlmann family has taken it upon themselves to produce their own energy supply, and to do so in a carbon neutral way. Furthermore the journey from tree to wood burner is kept short with the use of wood from the local forest, and the production of the needed wood pellets is also eco-friendly.
“I feel extremely positive about the future,” says Stefan Mühlmann, Junior Manager and the brains behind the change in energy production at the Leitlhof, “we are now the second carbon neutral hotel in Tyrol, with exceptional CO2 results.”
Green hotel Leitlhof offers various outdoor activities: hiking, swimming, biking, skiing, sledging, or simply relaxing and enjoying a spa day to rejuvenate the body and mind.