We have a simple goal: in the next three years we would like to develop Solberga Gård to become the most environmentally friendly farm and accommodation business in Sweden. To achieve this, we first need to define what it would mean to really become one of the greenest companies in Sweden. At this point, we want to discuss only the environmental objectives, social and economic challenges are presented under Social aspects and Economics. The following environmental issues are particularly important to us:
- The farm minimizes the consumption of electricity, water, detergents, fertilizers, consumables and generates as little waste as possible.
- We produce our own electricity with solar panels.
- We buy only "green" electricity from wind and hydropower. Where possible, we use biofuels (eg lawn mowers) or produce our own energy (firewood).
- for our own on-site mobility, we would have to use an electric car.
- We encourage our guests to travel by train and to borrow a small rental car with us or bikes in Kalmar.all emissions of greenhouse gases, both our own and the arrival of the guests will be compensated, using a United Nations Gold Standard for emission reduction certificates.
- We use only environmentally friendly, eco-certified products, both for the cleaning of rooms and bathrooms as well as in the Crêperie, where only certified organic food is served.
- as many foods as possible are produced directly on the farm.
- All waste is separated into as many fractions as possible and recycled.
- Upcycling is an alternative for our rooms, ie we use old furniture and furnishings, provided they can be reused in an appealing way.
- The welfare of our animals will be checked on a daily basis and we use only organic feed.
- We communicate our environmental work towards our guests and try to involve them in our work.
- Our suppliers and partners also need to think ecologically to work with us. For this purpose, we have for instance asked all of our suppliers to stop sending printed advertisement materials to us.
What we have achieved
In many of the above areas we have come quite far. Essentially everything on the list above has been done, or is in progress. In some areas we still need to improve, however. We have, for instance, 3.2 kWp of own solar capacity, even though we would need 65 kWhp. To achieve this goal, we will collect, from 2015, onwards 5 kr per guest night from the room fees for the expansion of our solar system - hopefully we can already begin in 2016 to build new cells on the south-facing barn roof. If you want to help us, then donate another 5 kr per overnight for this project – with 10 kr per night we can then go twice as fast! In addition to the solar power, another unmet goal is the electric car. This is an economic problem, as we are economically struggeling as it is – we’ll have to postpone this for another two or three years.
- In terms of energy consumption, we can proudly report that we have halved the energy consumption at the farm, within five years, from 125,000 kWh to 65,000 kWh. We achieved this by replacing all incandescent light bulbs with low energy and LED lamps; exchanging all refrigerators, washing machines, tumble dryers; the abolition of our freezer space and the purchase of five new small freezers; energy management through smart radiator technology; the adaptation of heat pumps and the replacement of an old heat pump and additional insulation in various buildings. We also involve guests in energy savings by asking all with air conditioning in their flats/houses to pay 3 kr per kWh. This is a nuisance for the guests we apologize for, but it helps to remember that we want to save energy.
- The solar system generates 3,600 kWh of electricity per year, locally produced on the farm. The area corresponds to the consumption of our three newly built summer homes.
- To compensate for unavoidable emissions we have bought Gold Standard emission reductions in 2014 from the German emission compensation provider Atmosfair, 100,000 kg! Since our electricity already comes from wind and hydro power that is much more than what we have actually emitted since 2010. By 2016, we will calculate what emissions are caused by the arrival of our guests, and even compensate those.