Commitment and Policies
of sustainability

Between June 2015 and March 2016, we carried out an experimental period during which we received around 150 people, including family, friends, and international volunteers: our first “clients”.


In the meantime, we collected feedback from everyone who was here, which, among other things, allowed us to:

  • Validate the concept
  • Identify problems
  • Improve processes
  • Train the team


Thus, 2017 was our first complete year of activity. It was in that year that we drew up a 360º sustainability plan and started a systematic control of monitoring the impact of our activity. As a result, we achieved international sustainability certification by Green Growth 2050 with a score of 93.7% in over 400 criteria.

Sustainability Plan

Since 2015 we have achieved different sustainability certifications on a regional, national and international level. 

We are currently rethinking our approach to sustainability and how we (really) want to impact those who stay and visit us but especially the local community. Please bear with us! 

In the meantime, you can check some data on our energy and water consumption as well as on waste management. 

  • Environmental

Overall, the more than 2,250 people who visited Quinta do Bom Despacho* between 2017 and 2022 generated 10 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW). This represents, on average, more than 1.5 tons of MSW per year.

* data for guests and staff



Tons of MSW

Doing the math since 2017, for every 100Kg of MSW resulting from our activity:

  • 9 kg were recycled
  • 6 kg were reused
  • 5 Kg went to landfill


In other words, from the MSW generated between 2017 and 2022, less than 1/3 went to landfill. For perspective, when comparing these numbers with the latest MSW management figures for the Autonomous Region of the Azores (PEPGRA 20+, 2022):

  • +24% recycled
  • +8% reused
  • -14% for landfill


But for us, this is far from enough! That is why we are committed to achieving zero waste to landfill, formalised in our sustain.


About us


The reversal of the downward trend of MSW generated until 2020 has resulted from a combination of factors derived from the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Increased length of stay on the property
  • Increased use of masks and other disposable products
  • Increased use of take away and delivery services


The impact of these changes in consumption patterns is (even more) visible in the graph below where the MSW generated is adjusted for the number of people using the house (guests and staff).



Total MSW/person

In 2020, about ¼ of people produced almost 3 times more MSW per person compared to 2019, the year in which the MSW generated per person was the lowest ever.

Data referring to 2020 led us to improve the processes for monitoring the MSW generated and to reinforce the influence exerted on those who stay at Quinta do Bom Despacho.

In addition to monitoring the MSW generated, we monitor electricity and water consumption.


Tip: 9:30-11 | 5:30 to 8

Floods: 8 am to 9:30 am | 11 to 5:30 | 8 to 10

Empty: 10 to 8



Tip: 9-11:30 | 7:30 to 21

Floods: 8 to 9 | 11:30 to 7:30 | 9 to 10

Empty: 10 to 8


To reduce our electricity consumption and its impact we:

  • Prioritize manual processes over mechanical ones
  • Charge electric vehicles during off-peak periods
  • Carry out laundry services during off-peak periods
  • Purchase equipment with maximum energy efficiency
  • Use heat pumps to heat sanitary water
  • Use fireplaces to heat rooms
  • Have motion sensors for lighting common areas
  • Display consumption-awareness signs on every switch in the house
  • Use high-efficiency LED lamps


To increase our energy efficiency even further, we are about to install solar panels to generate electricity. Expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024, we expect this step to significantly reduce our consumption of the electricity supply network.

As can be seen in the graph below, there was also a substantial increase in electricity consumption per person in the period 2020-2022. Similar to the increase seen with MSW generated per person in the same interval, this increase in energy consumption was due to behavioural changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The low consumption of agricultural water at Quinta do Bom Despacho, despite the extensive gardens, is due to the collection of up to 14,000L of rainwater. The collected water is mostly reused for irrigation and for washing tools and is collected in:

● 4x 1000L vats

● 1x 10,000L tank

The increase in agricultural water consumption in 2020 was due to the natural pool maintenance which required a complete drainage. The consumption of agricultural water is close to the consumption of water for services due to the delay in identifying a leaking pipe in the gardens.

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