About Marholmen's sustainability work

We take responsibility for a future for coming generations by actively working for ecological, economic and social sustainability and that together we will achieve the UN's global goals. We do this not least by following the strict requirements set by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel to ensure that our operations have as little impact on the environment as possible.

Given our philanthropic history, social sustainability is particularly close to our hearts, but it is of course at least as important that our beautiful nature and archipelago environment is protected and nurtured for future generations to enjoy. Therefore, we do what we can to ensure that our operations leave as small a footprint as possible.

You can also read about some examples of what we do below.

Frequently asked questions & answers

Here we try to provide answers to everything you might be wondering about or need to know when you visit us - from directions to what equipment is in the cottage.

Questions & Answers

Social sustainability - a matter of course at Marholmen since before the turn of the century

Social sustainability is particularly close to our hearts. Our story began when Nils & Hanna Berg donated Marholmen to LO in the early 1900s to offer hard-working women and families a place to recover. Back then, in the early 1900s, families were invited to come to Marholmen to leave the hard work of everyday life and enjoy a week off a year, many years before we had statutory vacation in Sweden. In addition, a whole host of initiatives are taking place to reduce our footprint and protect our beautiful archipelago environment. Below you can read about initiatives we are taking to protect people and nature.

Family time at Marholmen

No child should live in poverty. But Save the Children's annual Child Poverty Report shows that about 196,000 children in Sweden live in a financial situation where the family has difficulty meeting its costs. Therefore, it feels natural for us to offer needy families "Family Time at Marholmen" with accommodation, activities and meals in collaboration with RoslagsBlomman in Norrtälje.

Launched in 2020, the project gives families who do not otherwise have the financial means to do so a chance to spend a few days off together. What is a matter of course for many families but can be an unattainable dream for others. Given our history, it is a matter of course for us to support vulnerable families and for us it feels meaningful to be able to contribute to more children getting away and changing environment together with their family.

About RoslagsBlomman
RoslagsBlomman is a non-profit organization that supports children and young people in financially vulnerable families in Norrtälje municipality. Based on the individual's needs, financial efforts are made to give the young people an active and meaningful leisure time. Read more about RoslagsBlomman

Repower Ukrainian paramedics 🇸🇪🫶🇺🇦

Since the outbreak of the war, medics and doctors working at the front in Ukraine have spent a week at a time with us at Marholmen for rest, recovery, security and rehabilitation.

This is a project close to our hearts and is done in collaboration with the Ukraine-based Repower Foundation, whose mission is to help active military doctors and medics get a break from their work in the combat zone at the Ukrainian front. They do this, among other things, by organizing rehabilitation trips to Sweden to give these brave men and women a chance to rest, recover and get psychological help to regain strength and motivation.

In addition to resting, sleeping, eating well, bathing and sauna, and participating in a range of activities, participants will also exchange knowledge with colleagues from Karolinska University Hospital, among others, and meet Swedish ministers and decision-making politicians. Pictured here is a group that visited us in January 2024 together with Minister of Defense Pål Jonson.

Locally grown cut flowers - all year round!

In collaboration with our local flower supplier Kärodlat, we will be planting "Beda's flower meadow" in spring 2024, our own flower garden here on Marholmen. The new flower meadow means that we will be self-sufficient in cut flowers all year round and can completely stop buying imported flowers. The cultivation is of course without pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

The new initiative also means that we can offer activities based on cultivation, such as courses in arranging flowers in vases and flower arranging, as well as self-picking.

- Through our local cultivation, we can completely opt out of the global flower industry's chemical use, high water consumption and long transportation. We can decorate the entire facility all year round with beautiful flowers that grow naturally here on Marholmen, while increasing biodiversity here on the island," says Marholmen's CEO Fredrik Utheim.

Flower decoration that follows the cycle of the year

When Sara at Kärodlat produces Marholmen's floral decorations, she works with fresh flowers from the orchards from June to October, the rest of the year with dried flowers, year-round greenery and what can be found in nature.

- There are so many beautiful flowers that can be grown locally here in Sweden, and I don't see the point in importing. The season starts with tulips, daffodils and wild raspberries, wild honeysuckle, moonberries, hazel and early perennials, and then it rolls on with ranunculus and anemones, the anuals such as larkspur, snapdragon, zinnia, summer mallow, asters, currant, amaranths, rosehips and eternelles, etc. In early August, the garden's prima donna, the dahlia, arrives. Something we are all looking forward to!" says Sara Lewell, Kärodlat Roslagen.

Photographer: Mia Lewell

Beehives that promote diversity

Since the summer of 2020, our beehives have been a popular feature here at Marholmen and every year we throw honey several times a year that you as a guest can buy and enjoy.

The great thing about our bees is that they spread the biodiversity here on the island, while providing us with fantastic local honey that tastes different depending on the flowers that are blooming at the moment.

Did you know that:

  • The average honeybee produces about one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey during its lifetime.
  • To create one kilogram of honey, bees need to visit six to eight million flowers.
  • Honey has an eternal shelf life - provided it is stored in an airtight jar.
  • The honey produced by the bees is thrown several times a year, bottled in glass jars and served in the restaurant or sold to our guests.

Want to learn more about bees and beekeeping? Click on the link below to the All About Beekeeping YouTube channel where you can select episodes that interest you.

10,000s of walleye fry released into the Baltic Sea

Here, 10,000 new zander fry swim out on an adventure in the Baltic Sea! Through a collaboration with, among others, the City of Stockholm and Fiskeguiderna, we release 10,000 pikeperch fry from our beaches here at Marholmen every year to help increase the stock of pikeperch in the archipelago.

The juveniles are released in several locations along the Baltic Sea coast to maintain the stock of predatory fish and balance the natural ecosystem. The juveniles are released into waters where they have direct access to protective reeds and jetties to increase the chances of not becoming bird food. In about two years, they are fully grown.

We are proud to be part of this great initiative and to contribute to a healthier environment in the Baltic Sea.

Cooperation with Generation Waste

To reduce our food waste in the restaurant, we have enlisted the help of the organization Generation Waste, who are experts in the field. The very first step in reducing food waste is to start measuring it. This is both to create greater awareness within the organization but also to map where the waste occurs and thus be able to take appropriate measures to achieve a reduction.

"The basis for reducing food waste is to start measuring. What is measured is also visible" - Swedish National Food Agency.

Together with Generation Waste, we are working in three different steps to achieve greater awareness and ultimately change.

  1. Through the measurement tool, we measure all food that is thrown away on a daily basis, raising awareness among both staff and guests.
  2. All our kitchen and restaurant staff undergo training on sustainable cooking and how to reduce food waste.
  3. With communication materials, we raise awareness and get all guests involved in the journey towards reducing food waste.

Home-grown apple must

Nils Äppellund is the name of the old orchard here on the island, named after wholesaler Nils Berg who donated the island to LO a hundred years ago. Even today, the apple trees growing in the grove produce more apples every fall than we have time to take care of. But those we take care of we make a very good and appreciated apple must that we sell in our hotel shop and restaurant. It is both home-grown and delicious for real!

More sustainable measures

For us, it is important to make sustainable decisions. Every single day. When it comes down to it, it's quite simple - we need to be able to look ourselves in the mirror. In addition to what we've already told you above, here are some more actions we're taking to contribute to greater sustainability and a better society for future generations.

  • Of course, we sort garbage and have environmental stations where our guests staying in our Archipelago houses, villas and pitches can sort their
  • We buy renewable electricity consisting of 95% hydropower and 5% wind power.
  • Our staff drive eco-friendly electric cars on the island and our guests have access to charging stations
  • We are KRAN-labelled
  • Vegetarian choices are a given on the menu
  • With us, you drink from washable glasses - no disposable plastic cups here!
  • We reuse and reupholster furniture and fittings wherever possible. For example, we chose to renovate all of our worn Grythyttan furniture instead of throwing it away and buying new.
  • In cases where we need to buy new furnishings, they are always made of natural, durable and long-lasting materials
  • We work with a Nordic Swan Ecolabeled laundry and have opted out of table linen in the restaurant to reduce the amount of laundry
  • We wash bathrobes/slippers from our spa and saunas and reuse them
  • We reuse our old bathrobes as bags for bed linen for guests in Skärgårdshusen
  • Of course, the few papers we print end up in the paper collection when they are thrown away
  • When we have to use paper, we choose Nordic Swan Ecolabeled paper and of course we cooperate with a Nordic Swan Ecolabeled printer

The list could be even longer! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email or phone.