Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Going greener......

Since we started Richmond House back in February 2009, we’ve always tried to make ethical choices as to how we run our business, and this is reflected in the way we source our food, the products we use and supply for our guests’ use, and the way we manage our business environment.  However, there is always room for improvement, and to motivate us to go even further, we’ve applied for accreditation with the Green Tourism Business Scheme.  (add link)

The GTBS is the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. Originally developed in partnership with VisitScotland, it is now the only national scheme to be independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.

In a few months, we will be assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria covering a range of areas, like energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more. Businesses that meet the required standard receive a Bronze, Silver or Gold award based on their level of achievement.

We’re really excited about the challenge ahead.  Our usual approach is to hold back until we are confident of a gold star, but in this case we’re looking at the accreditation differently.  The GTBS have extensive criteria –by no means is it a case of switching to Ecover and making your own marmalade to pass their assessment.  We know that there are some areas where our existing practices are very sound, but there are also areas where we could do so much more.   The criteria are providing an excellent set of principles for us to works towards, and the process of reading through them has already prompted a number of changes.  We see the initial assessment as an objective check of where we are, with clear guidance as to how we can make further changes over time. 

Richmond House has always been a luxury Bed & Breakfast, and our guests’ comfort remains at the forefront of our ethos.  We don’t think that environmental friendliness equals scratchy toilet paper, so will be carrying out extensive research and trials to ensure that any changes we make provide the same or improved level of quality and comfort for our guests. 

We’ll be introducing a range of new initiatives over time, and we’re starting with some special offers for visitors making greener choices, including free early check in for visitors using public transport. Visit us online