Help us go greener

We're always looking for ways to improve our sustainability. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

Why green?

We’re considered the UK’s greenest hotel because from the beginning we have tried to consider the environmental consequences of everything single decision we make at the hotel, from the furnishings and food suppliers to energy use and our place in the community. If that all sounds a bit worthy, it’s not the aim. In fact the opposite. We set out to prove that luxury and sustainability are friends, not enemies. And that you can have fun, relax in style and eat like royalty without spoiling the environment or breaking the bank.

To give you an idea of what we’re trying to do, take a look below. And feel free to contact us if you want to know more or think we can do better.

Walls, floors, curtains and blinds

The carpet in our guest rooms was made especially for the hotel by Wilton Carpets in Salisbury. It is 100% sheep’s 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 Martin’s 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 & Ball, 15 miles from the hotel. We have used its eco paint range as it contains no petro-chemicals or VOCs.All the paint used throughout the hotel is produced locally by Farrow & Ball, 15 miles from the hotel. Farrow & Ball produces some of the most environmentally-friendly paints available anywhere in the world. Unlike many other manufacturers, it continues to use natural ingredients such as Linseed Oil and China Clay, and does 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.

Some two years in the making, our sumptuous beds are unique to The Green House. Made by Hypnos, one of the UK’s 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.

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.

Our televisions are the lowest energy models on the market. Using around 60 Watts (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.

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!

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

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.

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

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

Restaurant, bar and reception

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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 building’s 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 Establishment 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 recycled 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 two 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.

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