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Environment

Environment

The Green House is the greenest hotel in the UK

Getting here has been quite a journey and we’re proud of what we have achieved: a beautiful boutique hotel that lives and breathes sustainability.

Everything about the hotel is green…
We’ve taken care of the usual things, of course, like using energy efficient lighting, and asking guests to reuse their towels. But you would expect that. And let’s be honest, these things alone won’t change the world. We know, as you do, that to make a real difference we need to make some big changes. So over the past four years we’ve done over 100 things to make sure everything about the hotel has been designed to spoil you without spoiling anything else.

…from the building itself…
We use the sun to help heat our water and we generate a lot of our electricity on site using a combined heat and power unit, which also keeps the building warm. Each of our 32 rooms is fitted with locally-made 100% wool carpets and a sumptuously comfortable bespoke eco bed made by a leading UK luxury bed manufacturer. The solid wood furniture has been made in the UK using trees felled by storms or tree surgeons. Where there’s wallpaper it is Forest Stewardship Council certified and made in the UK using vegetable inks. Where there isn’t, we’ve used local Farrow & Ball eco paint.

…to what comes in and what goes out…
Before bringing anything into the hotel, we think hard about where it comes from, and how we will get rid of it. Even our company car runs on the cooking oil we’ve used in the kitchen. If you eat at our brasserie, our menu offers local, fresh, where possible organic food sourced from producers with high animal welfare standards. We find locally-brewed beer and spirits for our bar, and our wine list has been carefully selected taking into account the carbon footprint of every bottle.

…to the way we do things in it.
Our commitment to being green goes beyond the materials we need or the products we use. It is who we are, what we do, and how we do it. All our staff are trained on sustainability, and all our suppliers will be assessed against recognised environmental standards. Above all, we are all committed to keep making the Green House even greener.

Even you.
If you like, we can even help you to be as green as possible during your stay. If not, don’t worry; you can relax in the knowledge that we won’t preach or force you to take part in any way. Just staying at the Green House will help you be more sustainable. We’re already doing the work for you.

Welcome to the Green House.

Principles

The Green House operates observing five core principles. The principles are designed to ensure the hotel minimises its impact on the environment, whilst acting in an ethical and responsible manner. The principles should be viewed as a collective policy rather than as individual commitments in their own right.

Source locally
We will source products for the hotel as locally as we can to reduce energy waste in transportation, and support local businesses.

Reduce, Re-use, Re-cycle
This will minimise energy consumption, waste and landfill. It should avoid unnecessary production and transportation of goods.

Consider what comes in and what goes out
We will look at the lifecycle of everything that comes into the hotel, consider where it will go afterwards and whether this will have an adverse impact on the environment.

Insist on high welfare standards
We will only deal with organisations that have high welfare standards.

Be transparent, open and honest
We will be open and honest to our staff and customers.

These principles are at the core of the decision making process. They are underlined by our commitment to achieving BREEAM accreditation (see www.bre.co.uk/sustainability) and operating under the ISO14001 environmental system.

We are also members of considerate hoteliers whose objective is to adopt sound and sustainable environmentally friendly and socially responsible policies and practices. Find out more about Considerate Hoteliers by clicking on the image above.

As part of our continuing effort to meet the highest environmental standards we are now members of the “Green Tourism Business Scheme”. We have been awarded GOLD level at our first attempt at the environmental status.
“A self styled ‘greenest hotel in the UK’ demonstrates great commitment and staff awareness to being green, and outstanding progress in energy and water management and aspects of purchasing”

Why green?

Below you’ll find more information about many of the things we have done to make us the UKs greenest hotel. If there’s something you’d like to know that’s not here, please let us know. And if you have any suggestions that you think could makes us greener still, please email us at evengreener@thegreenhousehotel.com.

Walls, floors, curtains and blinds

carpets
The carpet in our guest rooms was made especially for the hotel by Wilton Carpets in Salisbury. It is 100% sheeps wool and therefore is naturally fire retardant and requires no chemical treatment. The underlay is made from recycled felt.

timber floors
These are all made from FSC certified wood, assurance that they are from sustainably managed forests.

wallpaper and paint
The guest room wallpaper is produced in the UK by Graham and Brown. It was designed by art students at Royal College St Martins in London. It’s printed on FSC paper using vegetable inks and even comes wrapped in a natural starch wrapping rather than cellophane.

The wallpaper in all other areas is produced locally by Farrow and Ball, 15 miles from the hotel. We have used their eco paint range as it contains no petro-chemicals or VOCs.

All the paint used throughout the hotel is produced locally by Farrow and Ball, 15 miles from the hotel. Farrow & Ball produce some of the most environmentally friendly paints available anywhere in the world. Unlike many other manufacturers, they continue to use natural ingredients such as Linseed Oil and China Clay and do not use harmful ingredients such as ammonia and formaldehyde.

wall tiles
Our tiles were made by Johnson Tiles in Stoke on Trent. Produced using 35% recycled content, they underwent a single firing process (rather than the normal twice-fired process) which dramatically reduced the energy used in the manufacturing process (otherwise known as ‘embedded energy’).

roman blinds & curtains
These were made in Bolton by a small family business. The fabric is 100% wool, produced on the Isle of Bute off the coast of Scotland.

Guest rooms

wardrobes, desks & bedside tables
These were all handmade by a small firm of craftsmen in Hebden Bridge. They were made from Ash Trees which were felled by tree surgeons or storms. They are treated with ecologically friendly stain and varnish.

beds
Some two years in the making, our sumptuous beds are unique to The Green House. Made by Hypnos, one of the UKs leading bed manufacturers, they are made of entirely natural materials. The mattress covering is Bamboo, one of the fastest growing and most versatile of plants used in manufacturing today. The beds were all produced at the Hypnos factory just outside of Nottingham.

bedding
Our pillows and duvets are 100% organic feather and down, made in Europe from Hungarian geese. The sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases are organic fairtrade cotton. Our bedding is all hypo-allergenic. The runner is 100% wool made in the UK.

televisions
Our televisions are the lowest energy models on the market. Using around 60watts (less than most traditional light bulbs) they are LED backlit and have a host of eco settings. The picture output automatically adjusts according to the light levels in the room, reducing further the energy they use. Unlike most televisions, you can actually switch them off (using the button on the left hand side) and even when in standby they use minimal power.

desk lamps
The desk lamps in our guest rooms use LEDs which are ultra low energy.

toilets, showers and taps
The toilets in our bathrooms are dual flush and ultra-low water consumption. Our taps are aerated, as are the showers, giving the performance you would expect from a great shower but using a fraction of the water. The taps and showers were supplied to us by the same company that worked with Bedzed, the pioneering no carbon development in Surrey. Our shower trays and screen were all manufactured in the Wirral.

wash hand basins
These are made from natural stone. We had originally commissioned a stone mason in the UK to make these for us, but unfortunately he was unable to manage the size of the order and a suitable alternative had to be found at short notice. We worked with a company in Turkey that produced these for us and they were shipped over in one batch.

toiletries
The Green House is proud to offer the exclusive Temple Spa toiletries range. Made in the UK, without the use of Parabens or Phosphates, these luxurious products have a distinctive spa aroma and are kind to your skin and the environment.

tea and coffee tray
Our trays are made from 100% bamboo. The cups, teapot and milk jug were made by Dudson in Stoke on Trent. The jars have all been made using recycled glass. Our Eco Kettles allow precise measuring of the water required, to avoid wasting energy, boiling unnecessary amounts of water. The homemade biscuits in your room have been freshly made by our pastry chef and are in a recycled glass jar. Please let us know if you would like some more!

hairdryers
We selected the BaByliss Eco hairdryer because whilst it has exceptionally low energy consumption its high performance is not impaired.

lighting
The lighting in the guest rooms is, as you would expect, all low energy. The ceiling downlights use 7 watts each (a traditional halogen downlight would typically use 50 watts) and the bedside lamps use a fraction of that of a normal bulb. The ceiling lights can also be dimmed by rocking the on/off switch (to three lower levels, before reaching full brightness again) thus using even less energy. We are proud to say that we have reviewed our lighting policy in 2012 and have now installed LED lights in our bathrooms and most of our ground floor.

baths
All our baths are reclaimed original cast iron Victorian baths. They were restored to their former glory by Unique Enameling near Halifax.

room guide
Our room guides are made from recycled leather. The contents is printed on recycled paper.

Restaurant, bar and reception

food
Our food is fresh, seasonal, local and where available, organic. We only source food from producers with high animal welfare standards. Our Head Chef, works with many small local producers in and around Dorset and the New Forest.

drinks
All our draught beers are brewed in the UK. We have guest beers from local Dorset micro-breweries, premium largers and bitters all brewed by Shepherd Neame in Kent and a Suffolk cider. Our bar stocks probably the widest range of organic spirits and soft drinks available in the UK.

The wine list is organic and biodynamic and has been selected taking into account the carbon footprint of every bottle.

Reception desk and bar

These were made by a small company in West Sussex. The timber is reclaimed teak floor joists from an old school that was demolished in Sussex. The recycled glass tops and infill strips are LED backlit.

restaurant tables and chairs
In a former life, our tables and chairs resided in pubs and chain restaurants. We bought them, took them back to their natural state and altered and re-finished them to produce the fantastic furniture you’ll find in the restaurant now.

bar sofas and chairs
Some of our sofas are old pieces we’ve had re-upholstered, the others have been made by craftsmen in Durham using FSC timbers. They have all been covered in wool from the Isle of Bute.

crockery
Our crockery is made by Dudson in Stoke on Trent. Our wine glasses were selected because of their almost unbreakable quality, yet they do not compromise on style.

Energy

heat
We heat the building through a combination of the solar thermal panels on our roof (water heated by the sun) and the heat produced by the Combined Heat and Power unit, that produces much of our electricity. There is also a super condensing boiler to make up any shortfall.

All the pipework throughout the building is insulated and we have installed thermostatic valves on all radiators to allow them to be turned off when rooms are not in use.

power
We produce electricity on-site using our Combined Heat and Power unit. CHP is a highly efficient way to use fuels and can therefore make a significant contribution to the UK’s sustainable energy goals. Because CHP systems make extensive use of the heat produced during the electricity generation process, they can achieve overall efficiencies 80-90% at the point of use. We export any electricity we don’t need to the National Grid, and import any extra we need through our agreement with Ecotricity, the only green electricity company actually building new renewable energy sources. We selected Airforce hand dryers as they are the lowest energy available on the market.

light
Our intelligent lighting system is designed so lights only come on when required. Daylight sensors turn off public area lighting when sufficient daylight is present and motion detectors turn corridor lighting down when no-one is present at night.

The external lighting is controlled by a mix of presence detection, light level sensors and time clocks ensuring it is only on when it’s needed.

Low energy CFL and LED lighting has been used throughout the hotel. These also have a much longer life span than traditional lighting, resulting in less waste as well as considerable energy savings.

water
In addition to the low flow systems used in our guest rooms, we have used automatic sensor taps in the public washrooms to avoid taps being left on. There are waterless urinals in the men’s toilet and we have used magnetic water softening rather than a chemical system that is generally used. We harvest rainwater from our roofs which is used for irrigation.

Kitchens and laundry

In the kitchen we use induction cooking. Induction burners are super-efficient as they convert about 85% of their energy into heat, compared to about 40% for gas. And as the burner itself doesn’t create heat, it stays cool to the touch. This also means that they don’t give off ambient heat like gas or electric burners, so the kitchen stays much cooler. Also the burners turn off automatically when a pan is removed so there is no wastage. Similarly, our grill only comes on when there is something under it, again avoiding any waste heat.

Our fridges and freezers use hydrocarbon which is very efficient and contains no nasty gases and they are the best energy rated models available. The dishwashers and glass washers are hot-fill, using water that is heated more efficiently by our solar panels and CHP system than cold fill would be.

We have an on-site water filtration system with in house (re-usable) bottling to avoid transportation of bottled water and even the flooring in the kitchen has 25% recycled content!
All our laundry is washed in house, enabling us to keep control of the detergents used (naturally, we only use those that are phosphate and paraben free). Our machines are the most energy and water efficient available (Energy Star rated). We use an ozone system linked to the machines and this injects ozone gas into the wash cycle, allowing us to wash at temperatures as low as 15 degrees. Ozone allows for shorter wash cycles, resulting in significant energy and water savings. Enhanced cleansing, powerful disinfection and reduced wear-and-tear are some of the added benefits.

Improvements to thermal performance and natural light

We have inserted cavity wall insulation between the outer and inner skin of the external walls of the building. Additional thermal insulation (recycled newspaper) has been added between all floors and in the loft space. Where the local authority allowed, we have replaced old draughty windows with double glazed. Where we were not allowed to do this (because of the buildings Grade II listing) we have installed the Ventrolla Perimeter Sealing System. Most heat loss from windows is through draughts rather than through the glazing itself and this has eliminated this waste.
Our corridor doors are on opening systems allowing natural light into the enclosed corridors and we have inserted two roof lights on the second floor to bring more natural light into the building.
The development has been registered under the Building Research Establishments Environmental Assessment Method and we hope to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating.

Day to day running of the hotel

All our staff are trained in line with our sustainable ethos and environmental policy and are encouraged to suggest new ideas for improvement. We are undergoing ISO14001 (environmental) accreditation, underpinning our continued commitment to reducing our impact on the environment.

We use only environmentally friendly cleaning products and re-cycled toilet rolls and all our waste is separated and the vast majority recycled. Our food waste is all composted.

Our company car is the most fuel efficient available (achieving an average 79 miles per gallon) and is now running on bio-fuel made from waste cooking oil from the kitchen.

Even our IT infrastructure has been designed to minimise energy use by using ‘thin clients’ rather than traditional PCs.

Grounds and gardens

We undertook a full ecological survey before we started the development in order to assess current ecological value of the site, and identify improvements we could make. As a result, our planting scheme incorporates native plant species and provides a habitat for indigenous wildlife. We have installed bird and bat boxes around the grounds to create a safe environment for breeding. In addition, there is a nature garden to encourage fauna and flora and a log pile to create an invertebrate habitat, providing essential eco system services to plants and other animals. In 2012 we installed 2 bee hives on our roof which produced honey that we used in the kitchen.

We do not use any pesticides or chemical fertilisers in the grounds.

tapwater.org

The Green House is a member of Tapwater.org. This allows users to locate the closest refilling stations in their area so they can enjoy tapwater on the go, for free!

Simply visit us with your own drinking bottle and we will refill it for you without charge.

Community

What is the Green Goals Project?

The award-winning Green Goals project is a unique partnership linking football, education and business which aims to improve the local environment, raise environmental awareness and deliver benefits for the community as a whole. Funding up to a maximum of £5000 can be applied for individual projects which contribute towards improving opportunities for active travel (walking, cycling etc).

These projects will help remove barriers which prevent residents/visitors choosing alternatives to the car when travelling around the local area, helping people keep fit and to improve their local environment.

You can apply for funding online by completing the Green Goals Getting About Community Fund Application Form and returning either via email or post. Alternatively contact Linda Maguire on 01202 451165 for further information. Terms and conditions apply. Some projects that have been funded are:

The Nectar Sector & Wildlife Strip, Avonbourne School

  • Eco Group – The Nectar Sector: Purchasing 2 bee hives to address decline in bee population. Local expert will support young people. Use honey in canteen or sell to community
  • Princes Trust – The Wildlife Strip: To create a wildlife strip of annual and perennial wildflowers selected to attract butterflies and moths to aid conservation

Birch Drive Project, Townsend Community Association
Extension of project to incorporate more areas. Encouraging and supporting residents to maintain and improve their gardens, communal gardens in flats and to take on the clearance and maintenance of green spaces in the local area.

Secret Garden, Bethany School, St Clement’s Church & Urban Herbs
Food growing, teaching / learning area, environmental /wildlife area, pond. Equipment (solar kit, nature viewer bug jars, contribution towards educational cabin and more)

Slades Farm Community Garden, Transition Bournemouth
To further develop in creating a wildlife hedge to border the meadow at the west of the garden, and to establish peripheral planting around the new pond. Increase bio-diversity, attract more pollinators and increase fruit and vegetable yields.

We actively support local schools, setting Green projects and have been guest judges on end of year Eco school projects. Please get in touch if you think we can help you.

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