Here at the Green House Hotel, Bournemouth’s most eco-friendly luxury boutique hotel, we’ve received many awards for sustainability.
The Green House Hotel was one of the first establishments in the UK to be labelled a Platinum Green Leader on Trip Advisor in 2014 for our commitment to green practices like recycling, sourcing mainly local and organic food, and offering electric car charging stations. We have also been dubbed the “greenest hotel in Britain” by at least one mass circulation newspaper.
Certainly, sustainability is in our DNA – it is at the heart of every decision we make as a business, and was built into the very fabric of our building during our major eco-refurbishment in 2010. And we are always looking for ways to improve.
So is Bournemouth’s Green House Hotel the greenest hotel in Britain? Quite possibly. How do we do it? In countless ways. Here’s a starter for ten.
We produce our own electricity using a Combined Heat and Power unit. Not to get too technical about it, CHP is a super-efficient way to use fuel – it uses heat produced during electricity generation to heat the building. We use super-energy efficient appliances and export any electricity we don’t need to the National Grid. We also have an electric car charging station, and our own company car runs on waste oil from the kitchens!
As well as the heat produced by the CHP unit, we have solar panels on our roof. There is also a super condensing boiler to make up any shortfall.
We use only low energy lighting throughout the hotel. Our intelligent lighting system is designed to achieve optimum lighting levels at all time while ensuring none is wated. Light and motion sensors turn off lighting in the public areas when there is sufficient daylight (our huge Victorian windows and bright south coast location help with that) and when no one is around.
4 Water efficiency
We have special systems in our guest rooms which conserve water by using high-pressure techniques to produce a strong flow using less water than traditional fixtures, and automatic sensor taps in the public washrooms so no water is wasted. We harvest rainwater from our roofs for irrigation in the gardens.
Our super-efficient induction burners convert about 85% of their energy into heat for cooking, compared to about 40% for gas. And as the burner itself doesn’t create heat, the kitchen stays cooler. Our dishwashers and glass washers are hot-fill, which uses heat more efficiently.
6 Drinking water
We have an on-site water filtration system with an in-house (re-usable) bottling system to avoid having to buy in pre-bottled water.
All our laundry is washed in house, so we can ensure it is done in the most eco-friendly way possible. We use only phosphate- and paraben-free detergents, and our machines are the most energy and water efficient available.
Our timber floors are all made from Forest Stewardship Council- certified wood, meaning they are from sustainably managed forests. Wallpaper is printed on FSC paper using vegetable inks and even comes in a natural starch wrapping rather than cellophane.
Wardrobes, desks & bedside tables were all handmade by a small firm of craftsmen from Ash trees felled by tree surgeons or storms. They are treated with ecologically-friendly stain and varnish. Our beds, unique to The Green House, are made by Hypnos, from entirely natural materials. The mattress covering, for example, is bamboo.
The planting scheme in our garden incorporates native plant species and provides a habitat for indigenous wildlife. We have installed bird and bat boxes around the grounds and a log pile for invertebrates. In 2012 we installed two bee hives on our roof which produce delicious honey for the kitchen.