One of the plus sides about less travelling around this year has been the benefits we have seen in the environments around us. From cleaner air to birdsong, newly audible, as cars and planes went quiet, it was one of the heartening benefits to the global tragedy. However, as a return from lockdown quickly sees those benefits dissipate once again, it’s important for us to continue thinking about the cumulative ways we can help the environment in the choices we make every day. It’s something many in the hospitality industry (including spas and spa goers) have been thinking about and trying to do something about over recent years, including sustainable spa, The Waterfront Hotel Spa & Golf in Bedfordshire…
This contemporary hotel and spa have long been celebrated for their style as well as their general accessibility. The hotel is family friendly whilst also being stylish. Meanwhile, there are leisure facilities that suit all members of the family, but also offer adult-only indulgence in the dedicated Y Spa.
As a forward-thinking hotel, they are also mindful of the impact their services and daily operations have on the environment, and as a result take measures to neutralise the impact they have. In doing so they aim to deliver on their ambitious plan to reduce our carbon footprint by saving 21,000 kWh year on year.
While we all accept that we can always do more to improve our sustainability efforts, it’s the everyday things that can make a big difference. For example, The Waterfront Hotel Spa & Golf has done away with single use slippers in the spa, placing convenience second to the environment in a small but meaningful way. They estimate that one pair of slippers generates 10 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to keeping a 100-watt light bulb on constantly for two days, which puts the question of bringing your own flip flops into perspective!
This spa knows the impact that single-use plastics have in our oceans. And that’s why they now use paper straws and compostable coffee cups and are part of the ‘H20percentless’ scheme, driven to take small steps to make a big difference.
One of the things we love the most here, is their commitment to planting more trees. They have an active policy for planting trees in support of nature and nurture. They plant hundreds – from new saplings to semi mature trees. A number that’s growing every year. They also maintain a nature reserve which is supported by the Wildlife Trust. It means we can take care of our guests and those we share the land with, all at the same time.
As we said, these guys see the daily things that we do as being key to sustainable hospitality. So, while the attention given to the quality of their food is second to none, so is their attention to food waste. That’s why they’re always looking at ways to reduce food waste and deal with it in a way to benefit the environment.
The resort has gained official recognition for its extensive efforts to operate sustainably, receiving three gold awards from prestigious organisations. It secured Gold Status in the prestigious Green Tourism Awards, granted by the Green Tourism Business Scheme, which is a national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK and Ireland. For this it was assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of 145 criteria, covering a range of areas including energy and water efficiency, waste management, purchasing, travel, biodiversity and more.
The sustainable spa has received Gold Ecosmart status by Greengage, which is an industry standard accreditation, awarded to hotels and meeting venues that can demonstrate an eco-friendly service approach in five key areas, including energy and water conservation, waste management and recycling, and CSR.
The third accolade is Gold Status in the International Association of Conference Centres’s (IACC) Green Star certification programme, which requires businesses to adhere to a strict Code of Sustainability and is measured every two years.
Managing Director Steve Jones said: “Being more sustainable is very important to us and we have been working extremely hard to drive forward our ambitious sustainability policy. To achieve these high standards and to be recognised for our commitment and success with not one, but three gold awards from three highly regarded industry bodies is a superb testament to the great efforts of the team.”
In addition to its awards, the resort has partnered with The Energy Check, specialists in minimising energy usage costs and CO2.
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