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Sustainability pioneers – Hotel Lamm

On a regular basis Green Pearls® informs you about visionary personalities who have written history in changing the world to a better place. Part nine is dedicated to Katrin Holl, who operates Hotel Lamm in the Black Forest. The hotel’s philosophy contributes to sustainability for decades, and by now the nature hotel has also been positioned as a selfness hotel and is regarded as a pioneer in this area.


Sustainability as a family tradition


The hotel has been in the hands of the Klumpp/Holl family for 92 years and is managed by Katrin Holl since 2010. However, the history of Hotel Lamm goes back even further. It started more than 200 years ago, when the small brewery Lamm, including a beer bar and distillery, was opened. In 1926 Katharina Klumpp inherited the brewery and transformed it into a hotel. From 1952, her son Ernst and his wife Gertrud took over, followed by Ernst Klumpp Junior and his wife Gundi in 1976, and then finally by Katrin Holl. Of course, a lot has changed over the decades due to reconstruction, refurbishment and modernization. However, some has remained like the name Lamm as well as various architectural elements.



Sustainability at Hotel Lamm looks back on a long tradition: “Decades ago, my parents intuitively implemented environmentally-friendly measures: separating waste, saving water and electricity and purchasing regional products. This has been normal for me from an early age. In general, my childhood was characterized by living in and with nature,” says Katrin Holl. “Besides, sports, nutrition and mental strength have always been an important part of my daily life.” This conscious lifestyle, which she now passes on to her own four children, was also an important factor during her active time as a soccer player. Until 2004 Katrin Holl played in the German Soccer League for FC Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg. The determination in pursuing her goals benefits her today as the owner of a successful sustainable hotel just as much as it did back in her career as an active athlete and during her business studies.




A mindful lifestyle

“Experience the region, feel movement, sense nature” (in short: ReBeNa for “Region erleben, Bewegung spüren, Natur fühlen“) is the holistic selfness concept of the nature hotel. Hotel Lamm is not only known for its sustainable approach, but also for harmony, relaxation and its culinary delights. “Our guests have appreciated the successful balance between a feel-good atmosphere, coziness and sustainability for decades,” says Katrin Holl. “A lot of individual travelers and families are interested in outdoor activities and the region surrounding Baiersbronn provides many opportunities: it is ideal for hiking, cycling, geocaching and climbing, and the high ropes course is also very popular. Above all, there are many great opportunities for children to explore nature.” The focus on the region and authenticity also take center stage in the kitchen: “We purchase about 80 percent of the products from farmers and suppliers in the immediate region. This also ensures that dairy products, pasta, meat, fish, vegetables and jams are particularly fresh.”



Tradition meets modern technology

One focus of the family business is on sustainable energy and heat generation: the hotel is energy-efficient, supplied by two cogeneration units and a photovoltaic system on the hotel’s roof. There is an energy optimization system to control the power demand in the house. The pellets for the log cabin sauna are environmentally friendly and manufactured according to the latest technical standards using only local coniferous wood. And the fireplace is fired with the hotel’s own birch wood.



Every time the building was renovated or extended, great importance was attached to preserving the original architecture and materials. Upcycling is the keyword. Some architectural elements, for example many beams, still date back to the original building. They were supplemented by modern elements and adapted to the new design. Some details such as lamps and furnishings also have a long history. They have been restored with love and care, now shining in new splendor. "It is important to us not to simply replace old furnishings with new ones, as the furniture from former times is often more solid and valuable, having been carefully handcrafted,” says Katrin Holl. The natural materials used in the new buildings and for conversions also contribute to the feel-good atmosphere: from wool carpets and roof greening to local wood. In 2013, Hotel Lamm received an EMAS certification for its active environmental management, which goes far beyond the standard environmental measures.



Business philosophy: setting an example of sustainability


“Living in a mindful way – with nature, the family and oneself,” is how the owner of Hotel Lamm sums up her motto for everyday life with her husband and four children, as well as for the way she manages the family business. “We daily execute our commitment to sustainability. Of course, this also has an impact on our employees. Regular internal training on the subject of sustainability reinforces this kind of awareness. Our top priority is to protect and preserve our beautiful environment.” Katrin Holl is particularly pleased that the sense of tradition and the sustainable concept of her family business is also reflected in the employees' loyalty to the company: “There is one employee who has been with us for 32 years now, and we have a dozen employees who have already been with the company for more than 10 years.”

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