It’s a real honour to be nominated for a Goldstar Award from Green Tourism but being Green is not an easy ride, especially for a small holiday cottage business. But there’s little point in doing the work unless you take it seriously and can back it up with actual results.
Since 2008 we have reduced our carbon emissions by 70% per bed night based on current occupancy levels. Annual emissions from onsite energy used by the business and customers were 115.5 tonnes per year in 2008 before we joined GTBS (Green Tourism Business Scheme), developed our barns and introduced an innovative mix of green technologies. As a result, (as of April 2014) this has been reduced to 27.4 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Over 80% of the energy we consume here at Cranmer is supplied by renewable sources; wind, GSHP, solar thermal & solar PV, Ecotricity for our electrical needs and a biomass boiler for heat. It’s been a massive undertaking and a large financial investment which we understand is a stumbling block for many small businesses. It hasn’t exactly been pain free but if we can do it, so can others. And we are always happy to share our experiences.
And we’re working with local suppliers to develop their businesses as well. Under the recent regulatory changes/updates to the RHI guidance woodfuel supplies must conform to 2013 standards. We suggested to our boiler supplier and our local recycled woodchip supplier Drurys Recycling Services that they obtain authorisation under the DECC RHI Biomass suppliers’ list. Drurys have been accepted onto the scheme as a producer/trader for chip-waste. Double whammy for us and for the environment by keeping wood waste out of landfill and securing a local supply for our boiler.