Malvern Hills District Council is recognizing the efforts of local tourism businesses in reducing their impact on the environment with a new Green Tourism Accreditation Scheme which offers a Green Mark accreditation to hospitality businesses in the area. And The Cottage in the Wood Malvern is the first to be awarded the Green Mark for our commitment to reducing the hotel’s impact on the natural environment.
At the Cottage in the Wood our vision is to make our hotel as carbon neutral and sustainable as possible, and we have worked hard throughout our refurbishment programme to make green choices wherever feasible. As part of this accreditation, we were lauded for our Green Business Plan, which is championed by our owner Nick, with buy-in from everyone who works at the hotel.
The hotel has gone through a complete refurbishment programme over the last five years, and as part of this the electrics were replaced with energy saving equipment and all lighting was changed to LED. We also replaced all four boilers with the most efficient, energy saving equipment available on the market, and our kitchen has recently seen a full refit with new energy saving cookers and fans.
The Coach House has 19 bedrooms constructed out of carbon neutral wood, and the insulation is recycled newspaper. The specialist design of the building enables much more efficient insulation, which means the building can cope with a heating system that is 50% smaller. This has a huge impact on reducing our carbon footprint.
We have also spent time developing our grounds with habitat areas, which will encourage natural wildlife to nest on the grounds and we have regular habitat inspections.
Our guests are also encouraged to get involved in our sustainable efforts. We encourage guests not to have towels replaced daily to reduce water usage, and we have removed all small, disposable plastic toiletry bottles in bedrooms, replacing these with re-fillable bottles instead from a local supplier with a similar ethos to our own. As part of our refurbishment, we removed baths from the majority of rooms, replacing these with efficient showers to save 30% water.
Behind the scenes we use only eco-friendly cleaning products, and we encourage recycling wherever we can. All cardboard and glass bottles are recycled through our waste management company, and we no longer buy in bottled water, having put in a water purifying system which creates still and sparkling water we can serve in reusable and recycled glass bottles. We have also made sure to remove all plastic straws.
We don’t rest on our laurels. We are looking at installing two electric car chargers for the use of guests and staff, and Air Rated showers in all rooms to further reduce water usage by 25%.
Although we try to reduce food waste as much as possible and have waste reducing measures in place, we are reviewing our processes further and want to introduce composting. We want to work more closely with our waste partners to find better, more ethical methods of disposal and recycling. Our Head Chef works closely with local suppliers to get the best possible produce for the kitchens. We source over 50% of our food and drink locally, and we want to increase this next year. Chef Rob is also keen to develop a Kitchen Garden to grow on-site vegetables and herbs for use in the kitchen, reducing the need for transporting supplies even further.