Metalskolen Jørlunde (The Metal School): A place to test your team’s mettle
By Karen Gilmour Kristensen | Photos: Metalskolen Jørlunde
When Danish conference centre Metalskolen Jørlunde (‘The Metal School’) underwent a renovation five years ago, they joined the United Nations Global Compact to take steps to support UN goals – meaning that sustainability influences everything they do. Today, their modern facilities and ideal location make the centre a popular place for conferences and teambuilding.
When Metalskolen Jørlunde was built in 1968, it was intended for educational purposes within the union Dansk Metal (‘Danish Metal’), whose members include mechanics, IT supporters and industrial technicians. However, for the past ten years, Metalskolen Jørlunde has been a conference centre open to public institutions as well as private companies.
Surrounded by a park of some 57 acres, a protected forest and the bathing lake of Buresø, Metalskolen Jørlunde offers a stunning natural setting. “We have a lot of guests who come here for teambuilding,” says manager Morten Madsen. “We have some great outdoor facilities that are popular among guests.”
Indoor and outdoor learning
Due to its location amidst beautiful nature, Metalskolen Jørlunde has facilities for various outdoor activities, such as mountain biking in the woods and canoeing on the lake. “We have become aware of the fact that learning increases when you collaborate on something outdoors,” Morten Madsen explains. “For instance, during summer, many discussions that would normally happen inside now take place outside in the form of walk-and-talks.”
Right outside the centre is the ideal setting for walk-and-talks in the form of a two-kilometre trail system. Along the trails, there are 21 QR codes. You can link your own content such as discussion points and videos to the codes, enabling course participants to view that content on their phones as they walk around.
As Metalskolen Jørlunde is meant for education and learning, the learning environments – both indoors and outdoors – are incredibly important to the staff of the conference centre. Everything must be “transparent and flexible,” says Morten Madsen. “That’s why many rooms are separated by glass,” he explains. “Furthermore, screens, tables, chairs and so on have wheels so they can be moved about easily. This allows for quick changes from plenum to group work in smaller groups.” Metalskolen Jørlunde also has a VIP section with exclusive rooms and meeting rooms, intended for companies who wish to host private conferences and events.
Sustainability on the menu
One of the core values of Metalskolen Jørlunde is sustainability, and as part of their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, they have joined Green Key, an eco-label awarded in the tourism industry. “This means we have a responsibility to live up to certain conditions regarding our use of energy, choice of cleaning products and foods,” Morten Madsen explains.
But the most visible sign of Metalskolen Jørlunde’s sustainable agenda is the restaurant, with its focus on using local produce and reducing food waste. That’s why Morten Madsen and his team have made a deal with a local organic farm just around the corner, where they source seasonal greens.
“It’s not just about offering our guests sustainable and vegetarian options, we also want to tell our guests about the impact of the different foods,” Morten Madsen says. “We offer our guests an environmentally-conscious dinner with the carbon footprint of the different dishes written on the menu. We’ve seen that many of our guests are keen to learn more about the sustainable alternatives.”
The food isn’t the only thing in the restaurant that has a reduced carbon footprint. The latest step in Metalskolen Jørlunde’s sustainable agenda is creating a flowerbed with wildflowers that are used for table decorations in the restaurant – freshly plucked during summer or dried during winter. “The flowerbed is a collaboration between our gardeners and our kitchen staff,” Morten Madsen explains. “It’s a simple way of reducing our carbon footprint; instead of buying tulips and roses from other countries, we grow them ourselves.”
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