Sustainability Policy

Throughout the centuries, Serra da Estrela mountains have shaped traditional ways of living and have also been shaped by a rural and pastoral human presence, in a harmony that has created the landscape and cultural richness that we must preserve and develop.

Located in the vicinity of the Natural Park of Serra da Estrela, on the foothills of the mountains, at the genuine village of Travancinha, Chão do Rio – Green Farm Stays benefits from this unique and privileged environment.

At Chão do Rio, we believe we have the responsibility to respect and contribute to the preservation, recovery and enhancement of the natural environment and culture of the region, perpetuating the memory of traditional ways of life, creating value and contributing to the economic and social development of the region, benefiting future generations.

Our Sustainability Policy guides our actions, which is why ...

We are recovering a hardwood grove in our farm, planting acorns of native oaks;

We created ecological corridors for the circulation of wild species, through local shrub species;

We created wetlands like our "Brejo das Libelinhas" and our Biological Pool;

We created shelter areas for wild animals like rabbits and hares;

We recovered the riverside in front of our property.

We encourage environmentally friendly experiences ...

Our guests receive various proposals of experiences through local partners such as massages, photography and healthy eating workshops, Mountain Hiking, Horseback Riding and Stand Up Paddle Board no local rivers and lagoons;

We offer free use bicycles to tour in the property or in the local village;

We have created a pedestrian path where our guests are invited to walk in the middle of the magic nature;

Children may pick up eggs from the chicken coop, vegetables from our organic vegetable garden, feed the "Flor" and "Estrela" sheep or have fun on wheelbarrows’ rides;

Dives between water lilies, dragonflyes and frogs in our biological pool are unforgettable;

Picnic areas, the wood oven and barbecues, transform meals into tasty playful moments of communion with nature;

We invite our guests to explore nature at all times, giving them a lantern for night walks.

We contribute to local development

Our breakfast basket includes a wide variety of endogenous products;

In our gift shop we sell local handicrafts;

We give tourist information about the region at the reception;

We actively participate in the dissemination of Travancinha through professional photographic reports dedicated to its points of tourist interest;

Our guests are invited to meet and consume at the local village and neighboring towns establishments;

We integrate a network of local partners that offers unique animation experiences, abdicating any intermediation commissions

At times of renovation of our equipment, we donated materials in good state of conservation to social institutions located in the vicinity of Chão do Rio.

We reduce environmental impacts ...

Chão do Rio houses are perfectly integrated in the natural landscape by the use of vegetal origin roofs, built using materials collected at the cleaning of the surrounding lands;

All constructions were made with sustainable materials, such as stone from local demolitions and wood;Water heating is produced via solar panels;

Our sewers are connected to the public sewage treatment plant;

Winter heating is carried through firewood stoves;

We recycle and encourage recycling in each of the houses, through the placement of eco-points;

Lighting is effected with Led lamps;

Outdoor lighting is minimized to avoid energy consumption and light pollution;

Our "garden" is a spontaneous meadow that does not need watering;

Our chicken coop is mobile, avoiding the desertification of the soil and contributing to the natural enrichment of the feeding of our chickens;

The maintenance of external spaces is carried out using manual and mechanical means; Pesticides are never used;

Our main pool is biological, its balance being assured through the recreation of a natural ecosystem;

Our amenities are handmade soaps produced in the region, using local raw materials;

Toilet paper and napkins are 100% recycled and of national origin;

Our customers have the option not to change towels daily, in order tp reduce water and detergents consumption;

We reduce as much as possible the paper impression of advertising materials, favoring other means of dissemination with less environmental impact;

A major factor in our procurement decisions is the number of kilometers traveled. Whenever possible, we buy locally.

Biosphere Responsible Tourism Certification

Sustainable development is development that satisfies the needs of the present without compromising the future generations to meet their own needs.

Bruntland Report ("Our Common Future"), 1987, adopted by the UN

The desire to contribute to sustainable development of our planet is intrinsic to the business and culture of Chão do Rio – Green Farm Stays, since this was one of the motivating axes of its creation. After a few years of existence, the certification of its sustainability practices has become essential, not only as an affirmation of such purpose, but also as a way of giving it consistency.

In spite of an abundance of sustainability references and labels in the global market of tourism, BIOSPHERE RESPONSIBLE TOURISM has naturally become the certification to be adopted, since being an internationally recognized system, it is also universally applicable, irrespective of the scale of the unit.

The Biosphere International Responsible Tourism benchmarks were the first to be recognized and accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Biosphere Responsible Tourism is promoted and developed by the Institute for Responsible Tourism, one of the organizations responsible for promoting the principles of the World Charter for Sustainable Tourism, having established a memorandum of understanding with UNWTO and UNESCO for this purpose.

Biosphere Responsible Tourism attributes and recognizes the work in favor of Sustainability of Destinations and companies in the tourism sector, certifying its good practices of sustainability in line with its diverse international references and always looking for a strong balance between the 3 pillars of sustainability:

I. Economic

Companies should take measures to increase their efficiency and profitability so that they can continue to operate, generate employment, and adequately remunerate the invested capital.

II. Social

Companies should respect human rights, promote equal opportunities, treat fairly and honestly not only their employees but all their stakeholders. It should be stressed that it is part of a sustainable social policy to include and participate in the communities in which the company operates, namely by launching and participating in local initiatives.

III. Environmental

Companies should focus their efforts on conserving and managing natural resources as well as protection of landscape and the surrounding environment. This means reducing its ecological footprint, reducing its emissions of polluting gases, betting on recycling, on the proper treatment of waste, reducing its energy and water consumption, among others.

Chão do Rio – Green Farm Stays  was the first Rural Tourism unit in Portugal to achieve the Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification (in 2018, Jun).)

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