The Interreg 2 Seas FACET project wants to encourage entrepreneurs in the tourism sector to apply circular solutions within their company, thereby creating new sustainable revenue models. Entrepreneurs are increasingly interested in adopting sustainable practices, but they often lack knowledge and skills necessary to implement green innovations. Dr Jin Hooi Chan, Associate Professor at the University of Greenwich, looks at how this project will develop various practical, accessible, and small-scale pilots and demonstration projects to help entrepreneurs gain practical knowledge and experience in the transition from linear to circular practices.
FACET is a 2Seas Interreg Project, co-funded by the European Regional Development fund, aiming to support entrepreneurs in the transition phase from linearity to circularity. The project focuses on the adoption of Circular Solutions within the specific industry sectors of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure. International project partners, from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the UK, conducting pilot studies within the area of circular accommodations, food waste reduction and-prevention, and waste reduction.
University of Greenwich, as one of the British project partners, is drawing on the expertise of two core centres of excellence in sustainable business, innovation, financing, and entrepreneurship. Since the start of the research project in January 2020, the Team of University of Greenwich has accompanied the pilot case-organisation “Paardekreek” in building a truly circular camp-site accommodation in the Netherlands.
Paardekreek is a campsite, situated in the popular Dutch region of Zeeland. As tourists are getting more interested in a sustainable life-style and sustainable holidays, Paardekreek wanted to meet changing market demands. The accommodations are built in a truly circular way. Therefore, design, construction and implementation of the accommodations focused on circular aspects. For instance, the entire accommodations could be dismantled at any point in time, with all resources and material being reused, rather than disposed.
The project was divided in three phases. Firstly, the idea generation and design phase. In that phase, the accommodations were carefully planned in conjunction with an experienced architect. The aim was to incorporate the suites in the natural habitat, of the local dike. Hence, their name – Dijke Suites. In doing so, nature was respected, and no additional land was used. Within the second phase, the implementation process began. This phase was shaped by dealing with the search for suitable material, as well as dealing with challenges and changes in design, and the early promotion of the suites. The circular aspect, and particularly the reduction of waste within the building process, were prioritised. Therefore, the soil from the dike, was reused for a nearby project. In doing so, Co2 emission of the lorries collecting the soil were kept to a minimum, and the amount of wasted soil reduced. Furthermore, the accommodations are built with a special concrete material that can be stacked in each other. In doing so, the accommodation could be dismantled should there ever be the need. The interior followed the circular theme, by reusing gym floors as tabletops, and building on other circular material. Electricity and heating systems benefit from timers, allowing holiday makers an individual usage.
The last phase, operations, focused on the promotion of the circular Dijke suites in respective sustainable holiday portals. The circular idea about the suites is furthermore shared with residing guests in form of information leaflets provided within the suites. Although, the educative part is challenging, as guests come to relax rather than being educated in greater detail about the idea of circularity.
If you are interested in being part of FACET project, you can contact Nadine Leder, visit our website, or follow the project on LinkedIn. Our case-organisation “Paardekreek” holiday campsite can be contacted via the following website.