A Sustainable Future – by Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort
The rapid rise of sustainability on the business agenda is remarkable. In just a few years it has quickly moved up from the lower down the agenda and Action List to close to the top, always under discussion and a high priority.
It’s a topic that now not only features prominently in most hotel, venue and event industry conferences, it’s also attracting many delegates to the sessions.
A venue like Wyboston Lakes Resort is now continually scrutinising a wider range of operational areas and delving to greater depths and detail to search for opportunities to be more sustainable.
In June 2019 Wyboston Lakes Resort achieved Silver Status in the Green Tourism Awards, the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK & Ireland. To accomplish this, the venue was assessed against a rigorous set of 145 criteria, covering a range of areas including energy and water efficiency, waste management, purchasing, travel, biodiversity and more.
Here’s what we are doing today…
- We are continuing with our ambitious plan to deliver reduce both energy and carbon footprint by saving a further 21000 KWH from the previous year.
- We are looking at alternative methods of energy creation, including solar, wind turbine, ground source heat, biomass and battery storage.
- We have started upgrading our lighting across the site to the latest energy-efficient LED styles.
- We have amended our purchasing policy to ensure energy ratings are considered as part of the purchasing decision for all new heavy equipment
- Working with our waste management partners we continue to be ‘Zero to Landfill’ for yet another year.
- In 2018 we recycled over 20,000kg of cardboard waste.
- We are looking at ways to reduce food waste and to ensure any food waste is dealt with to the benefit of the environment.
- We discourage single-use plastic and have already changed to paper straws, removed drinks stirrers and have introduced compostable coffee cups. We have removed plastic water bottles from The Woodlands Venue and replaced with water cartons.
- We have joined the MIA #20percentless scheme and have already achieved a 19% reduction already
- Working with our grounds team we have an active policy for planting trees in support of nature and nurture, these range from new saplings to semi-mature trees.
- We maintain a nature reserve on site which is supported by the Wildlife Trust.
- We are actively seeking to reduce our paper consumption in all areas across site and have already reduced our flip chart use by replacing with squiggle boards and digital flip charts in the conference rooms.
- In the Spa, we supply our guests with disposable, bio-degradable hair towels to reduce the need to launder and we have replaced plastic drinking water cups with paper.
It’s a list that is growing all the time.
The forces driving this increasing momentum come from several sides. We are primarily self- motivated, focused on environmentally friendly initiatives, because we want to benefit our employees, our community and ultimately our planet. At the same time, we also want to stay ahead of the expectations of guests and our clients who frequently include extensive lists of requirements around sustainability in business tender documents.
Overall, for Wyboston Lakes Resort, this increasing focus has created a further benefit. It’s providing the opportunity to bring our diverse efforts under one umbrella and create a culture of conscience in what we do and how we do it.
Sustainability is not just a buzz word, it’ s here to stay. We all now have to look at what more we can do over the coming months and years, both new ideas and further implementation of existing ideas. Here we will be launching our 2020 “Green Objectives” later this year to give a clear focus on what we want to achieve.
But it must be a team effort by everyone in the industry and we look forward to working closely with both our clients and suppliers to make better choices to benefit future generations.