Inn at Laurel Point Hotel Gardens

What’s a Social Enterprise anyway?

A social enterprise is “defined as a business with specific social objectives.” Inn at Laurel Point has functioned as a social enterprise since its beginnings and, even after the passing of our founder, the Trust that remains in place is carrying on the legacy that Paul and Artie Arsens left behind.

Our social objectives focus around three pillars: our property, our people, and our surrounding community. Just like Paul and Artie did, we reinvest our profits with these three priorities at the forefront because we know it’s good for our bottom line, our team, and the environment, but most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.

Inn at Laurel Point is built on the understanding that business can, and should, be a force for good. Environmental stewardship and social equity are key to the success of our business, the wellness of our team, and the vibrancy of our community at large. Our “Decade of Action” plan is designed to ensure that we continue to challenge business as usual and work towards a more environmentally and socially responsible future. We are leaders in providing luxurious and relaxing stays for our guests, and we’re also leaders in providing that same level of care and attention to our property, our people, and the community we thrive in.

Our property and business

Inn at Laurel Point is paving the way for regenerative and responsible tourism. We focus on minimizing waste within our hotel and sourcing Vancouver Island products first. We also work to maintain our resource-efficient building systems, designed to do more with less, by taking advantage of heat recapture.

We’ve made significant renovations to the building, installing LED lights and motion detectors so that lights are on when you need them, not when you don’t. We have direct digital control (DDC) systems for temperature control so that you don’t have to worry about being too hot or too cold while you’re in a room that’s just right. And we’re going beyond the confines of the property as well, installing five new electric vehicle charging stations in addition to the one already onsite so that you can bring your EV with you for some cleaner, greener Island adventures.

When it comes to our suppliers, we prioritize sourcing food and other operational purchases from like-minded businesses that also believe in being responsible corporate citizens. We focus on the start, middle, and end of the product life cycle, ensuring that we have solid recycling possibilities in place for when it’s time to say goodbye.

Our geothermal upgrades and air handling unit improvements also do good, making energy consumption between 30-40% more efficient so that we can cut down on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy costs. Working with low carbon partners like local bike rental shops, and Wet Cleaners, we keep an eye on our business practices on and off the property to ensure we bring sustainability into everything we do.

Our 2030 property goals

Inn at Laurel Point kitchen garden with chives in the foreground at sunset over the harbour

Creating more energy from renewable sources like solar and wind

Downtown, Harris Green, Victoria BC

Purchasing more products and services from local & regional businesses and entrepreneurs

overhead view of recycling sorting bins for plastic, aluminum, paper and soft plastic

Increasing our zero waste work to reach an 80% diversion rate by 2025, and 90% diversion by 2030

woman seated on edge of bath tub in robe in Erickson Wing Studio

Reducing water usage by 40% per guest night (over the 2015 baseline)

hand catching water in bright sunlight

Capturing rainwater for reuse where possible

Inn at Laurel Point Terrace Patio and Erickson Wing at sunset

Reducing GHG emissions by 20% per guest night (over the 2009 baseline)

Focusing on SDGs [12] Responsible Consumption and Production and [13] Climate Action, we work to make the property as pristine as the point it sits on. In order to achieve these goals, we’ve got our team’s commitment from top to bottom and are allocating the resources necessary to get there. Our social and environmental initiatives are a part of our recruitment efforts to ensure the staff we work with care about the Inn’s values and performance measurements for senior leadership keeps us honest across the board. By establishing a dedicated SustaINN Team, we’ll educate more colleagues on best practices and provide learning opportunities to staff and guests by enhancing communication about our sustainable initiatives throughout the Inn.

Guests can also rest assured knowing that we make every stay with us one that they can feel great about. Besides thoroughly enjoying our scenic location in the heart of Victoria and our full-service amenities, grab a waste-free snack with our grab’n’go zero waste packaging, and know that any waste left behind after their stay will be sorted and diverted away from landfills whenever possible. A holiday that’s both rejuvenating and guilt-free? It doesn’t get much better than that!

Our Team

Inn at Laurel Point provides fulfilling careers, with colleagues flourishing during their time with us. Wages are in the top 25% of BC’s hotel industry and we aim to be leading examples in our sustainable efforts too. By providing flexible working hours and job sharing options, we ensure that employees can take care of their home life as well as they take care of their work responsibilities.

We also provide opportunities within the community, taking on co-op placements from local institutions like Royal Roads and, more often than not, turning them into colleagues (especially once our new bursary program is launched!). Union representation keeps worker rights top of mind and we like to have fun together too, with programs and contests keeping staff engaged and lunch and other meals provided so that we don’t forget to stop and enjoy a meal together.

Our 2030 people goals

Our colleagues are champions of Inn at Laurel Point’s values of excellence, curiosity, respect, and stewardship and we want to continue that mindset into the future. To do so, we are making responsible community and environmental stewardship an integrated part of training and a key part of the customer service we provide to our guests and partners. We also want to continue having women account for more than 50% of the Inn’s leadership team and we will keep supplementing educational opportunities for colleagues looking to gain or improve upon new skills. We’ll also provide educational training for colleagues, leadership, and guests so that we can all feel good about the great work we’re doing together. These efforts contribute to SDGs [3] Good Health and Well-Being, [5] Gender Equality, and [8] Decent Work and Economic Growth.

By establishing the SustaINN Team to engage members from each department, we’ll increase our internal and external communication around sustainable efforts. Our aim is to keep fostering an environment in which the people that make up the Inn’s welcoming atmosphere feel just as at home here as our guests do.

With a lifestyle culture that’s focused on health, wellness, and community engagement, it’s no wonder some of our staff have stuck around for decades. Our team building and bonding exercises see colleagues participating in at least one wellness activity every year, and dedicated wellness events hosted to make sure all of our staff are aware of wellness principles around mental health, nutrition, and more. And, of course, great performance deserves an extra reward, with a bonus program incentivizing colleagues to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Our Community

Inn at Laurel Point is active in social and environmental initiatives across Vancouver Island. We advocate for climate action and social equity best practices within the hospitality industry, taking on a leadership role to set a good example for responsible, regenerative tourism. Our engagement with local and regional suppliers means we know who we’re buying from and how that purchase contributes to our beautiful “backyard.” Our colleagues also have the opportunity to engage with the local community through volunteering activities that promote climate action, enhance social equity, and protect life below the waters we are lucky enough to be surrounded by.

Our 2030 community goals

As part of our commitment to SDGs [2] Zero Hunger and [14] Life Below Water, we work with local partners to provide 3,000 meals each year to those that need them. Our goal is to have 24,000 meals provided by 2030 through partners like Mealshare, Rainbow Kitchen, and our very own Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio.

Part of our Project 2030 vision is to have more of our colleagues learn about the history of the culturally important site that the property is part of at the mouth of the harbour. Pieces of the Arsens art collection feature a number of First Nations artists and carvers, helping our staff and guests learn about both history and culture through one of Paul and Artie’s favourite ways of expression, art. By 2030, our training program will have an ongoing connection to local nations and 100% of staff will participate in Indigenous cultural training and exercises to maintain and reinforce those ties of connection, understanding, and respect as we all work to be stewards of these lands that we share.

Inn at Laurel Point Hotel Gardens

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the Inn

Find out what these boring words mean and why they’re actually pretty great if businesses adopt them as part of their everyday operations.

Food, beverage, and events: eat well, be well

Learn how we’re changing things up in the kitchen to bring elevated dining experiences to guests using pure ingredients and less waste. The only impact our low carbon menus will have is on your tastebuds.

Wedding Reception Kitchen Garden Inn at Laurel Point
Tyneham conditioner, shampoo, lotion and body wash bottles with a vase of flowers in background

Partnerships, because sharing is caring

We’re pretty great, but there are a lot of other great businesses out there that we love to work with because of their like-minded approach to operating. See why we’re proud to call them our partners.

Earth Day Every Day Itinerary

Why should we limit the love we have for our planet to just one day a year? We say it should be earth day every day! Visit some sustainability-focused businesses, enjoy the great outdoors and just spend your day appreciating the earth in a variety of activities and places!

someone planting with shovel on dirt in front

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