“Anyone who advertises a “mountain experience” must also do something to preserve its quality”.
Urs Wohler, Managing Director Niesenbahn AG
Three-dimensionally sustainable means “careful” with regard to guests and employees, “successful” with regard to profitability and financial success, “forward-looking” with regard to the environment and climate protection. This attitude is our entrepreneurial duty; a basic attitude. That is why we are also involved in #ceo4climate, “Cause We Care” and #SwissTourism4SDGs and more. And actively, from the front, as influencers, not as followers. Just like the Niesen: he is at the front and not somewhere at the back of the chain.
Below you will find a list of measures that we have explicitly dispensed with in order to strengthen three-dimensional sustainability.
myclimate – climate neutral company
We have been a climate-neutral company since 2022. In 2016, we drew up our first carbon footprint; this resulted in 398 tonnes of COS. In 2020, there were still a total of 183 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Around 60 per cent of these came from catering. The difference compared to 2016 lies in the elimination of fossil fuels in the Berghaus Niesen Kulm after renovation and conversion in 2018/19 of seven million Swiss francs as well as in catering (reduction due to COVID-19). The primary measures for climate neutrality are “avoid” and “reduce”. NIESENBAHN AG will strengthen these measures. Nevertheless, the time has come to offset the current remaining CO2 emissions of 183 tonnes with the myclimate foundation.
cause we care
Since 2017 (start of the programme), we have been involved in the national cooperation “Cause We Care” for climate protection.Our guests participate directly: for example in the webshop, where 1% of the booking sum can be voluntarily paid for climate protection, or with the parking fees, around 25% of which is also used for climate protection measures. In this way, CHF 36,000 was collected from guests in 2020, and the Niesenbahn AG doubled the amount. A quarter of the total amount was invested in the project “Clean drinking water for schools and households in Uganda”, three quarters in own measures on site. Since 2017, a total of CHF 81,000 has been paid voluntarily by guests.
In 2019, we were awarded the MYCLIMATE Award – Climate Pioneers for Mountain Holiday Destinations.
Since 2020, we have been analysing food waste from the restaurant and the kitchen with two “KITRO devices”. While the restaurant produces leftovers from plates and buffets, the kitchen produces waste from the kitchen, oil, coffee grounds and overproduced goods that may no longer be used. The devices constantly take photos and record the weight of the waste. What is disposed of is identified online and the value of the goods is calculated. This is how we know that 1,698 kg of avoidable food waste worth CHF 12,238 was disposed in the restaurant in 2022. The top three places are occupied by French fries (161 kg), mashed potatoes (54 kg) and scrambled eggs (26 kg). Based on the experience of the Kitro businesses, measures for waste reduction can be derived.
united against waste
The United Against Waste association is a sector association of the Swiss food industry. It is actively committed to reducing food waste along the entire value chain. As a member of United Against Waste, we would like to make a contribution to combating the 2 million tonnes of food waste that are produced in Switzerland every year.
Since 2021, food waste has been recycled with the help of the WormUp initiative. The WormUp SCALE is a worm composter for outdoors and larger waste volumes. The worms ensure an efficient and odourless process and convert the waste into valuable soil. This, in turn, can be used for planting the Niesenbahn’s floral decorations.
ONLY ELECTRICITY FROM HYDROPOWER
The Niesenbahn consumes around 700,000 kWh of electricity per year. The trend is downwards, as electricity is being saved and also recuperated with the renewal of the drives of the two funiculars.
Thanks to this partnership, the travel needs of people with mobility impairments can be addressed even better on the Niesen and strengthens social sustainability.
OK:GO supports tourism providers in Switzerland to collect and publish information on the accessibility of their offers and services. This facilitates travel planning for people with disabilities, senior citizens and families with small children. Added value for all!
Food waste (returns from the restaurant, leftover grub, oil, coffee grounds, etc.) is processed into fuel (biogas) at the Frutigland biogas plant. Among other things, this is used to power the lorry of our laundry partner “Wäsche-Perle”. This makes the delivery almost climate-neutral.
Renovation berghaus niesen kulm
In the Berghaus Niesen Kulm, the oil heating was replaced by a heat pump and recovery system during the renovation (2018/2019). No fossil fuels are used.
A total of CHF 1.1 million, or 16% of the last restaurant investments, was used in energy and environmental measures. We obtain our electricity exclusively from renewable energy sources. (Currently REPOWER and hydroelectric power).
regionality – guests, employees and suppliers
Focus on the local, regional, national market so that guests can travel short distances by public transport and MIT. Because our corporate responsibility does not begin at the valley station, but where the guests come from. As a company, we rely on local employees and hire mainly people from the region. In addition, we count on local and regional suppliers wherever possible.
PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL TO WORK FOR EMPLOYEES
Every year, Niesenbahn AG takes part in Bike to Work. This initiative serves to promote sustainable travel to work and to strengthen the team spirit in the Niesen team. By choosing the bicycle as an environmentally friendly means of transport, we actively contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and at the same time improve our own fitness and health..
Promoting the next generation
We focus on the promotion of young talent.
The internship in marketing, sales and events, which starts every year, offers a good introduction to the tourism industry and is a “practical test”.
In cooperation with Stockhornbahn AG, we also offer an apprenticeship as a cable car mechatronics technician every four years. The apprentices get an exciting insight into two different cable car companies at the same time.
What we do withou:
- We refrain from advertising in foreign markets, with the exception of southern Germany.
- We refrain from naming an aircraft after the name Niesen.