CLIENT DEUTSCHES JUGENDHERBERGSWERK LANDESVERBAND BAYERN E.V.
Diversity under a sustainable roof
Lounge of the moun10 youth hostel in Garmisch / Photo: DJH Landesverband Bayern
The Deutsche Jugendherbergswerk Landesverband Bayern e.V. (DJH Bayern) has been implementing a sustainable corporate strategy together with fors.earth since 2017. A good five years later, it was time to further develop the strategy and push ahead with implementation in the individual youth hostels and the office. At the Sustainability Days 2023, the innovations were presented to selected employees for the first time and incorporated into further recommendations for action.
One common strategy, many unique locations
In 2017, DJH Lvb Bayern developed the first sustainable corporate strategy together with fors.earth. The world has changed a lot since then, and the corona pandemic posed major challenges for youth hostels. fors.earth supported the Bavarian state association in looking back on the past few years and developing a sustainability strategy 2.0 in order to continue on the path it has taken and to further expand the positive impact that has been achieved so far. But how can a strategy be implemented in so many different houses with their very individual circumstances?
Sustainability days with tangible results
At the end of March 2023, the board of the DJH Lvb Bayern invited the department managers, hostel managers, members of the executive committee and employees of the office to the DJH sustainability days. For a day and a half, more than 60 employees and volunteer representatives worked intensively on the new strategy and its implementation. The focus of the conference concept developed by Yan Tung Chan was the exchange of information between the branch and the houses, but it was also about recognizing and defining the roles and possible contributions of all those involved.
Day 1 began with a visit of Herrmannsdorfer Landwerkstätten and the organic hotel and organic restaurant Alter Wirt in Grünwald to get inspired and to learn how other sustainability concepts are implemented in reality and what the motivation is behind it. On the second day, fors.earth founder Frank Sprenger moderated an all-day workshop, gave new impulses for sustainability and, in particular, conveyed the view from the outside. In advance, the participants had taken part in an online survey in order to determine the most important questions regarding the implementation of the sustainability strategy. During the workshop, they exchanged experiences and jointly developed recommendations for action: For example, the hostel guests should be made aware and understand the value of infrastructure and catering and the associated higher costs right from the start. As part of the strategy, each house is given the freedom to adapt the core topics to regional, individual circumstances and to set its own priorities. In this way, the strategic guidelines are not only tangible and understandable for employees, but also for guests. An example: If employees get to know their organic-regional producers better through on-site visits, they can give guests in-house transparent information about the origin of the food used, either personally or via information screens.
Photo: © DJH Landesverband Bayern 2023
Sustainable places of learning and education with added value
The new sustainability strategy 2.0 allows DJH Lvb Bayern to achieve positive effects on many levels, including in the areas of "energy (100 % green electricity)", "supply chain (high proportion of regional organic food)" and "education (for sustainable development)". The intensive examination of the sustainability strategy not only strengthened the communication between the branch and the hostel management, the internalization of the values and unique selling points now also enables the employees to communicate purposefully and authentically to the outside world: youth hostels are perceived as sustainable, public welfare-oriented places of learning and socially pioneering designs for the future. Last but not least, the local and regional networking of the houses, the exchange of knowledge and the use of digital tools also contribute to increasing the joint impact.
"The DJH Sustainability Days, which were accompanied by fors.earth, have allowed us to grow closer together as an association and have shown once again how much change and courage there is in our team. The Bavarian youth hostels are aware of their responsible role as places of learning and meeting for people of all ages and as preservers of natural and cultural areas and stand shoulder to shoulder for a sustainable future.”
Winfried Nesensohn (board DJH regional association Bavaria)
Detailed information on the sustainability strategy of the DJH Landesverband Bayern can be found here.
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