Glenuig Inn has been busy Going Green, as those of you who have visited recently have been finding out.
We have been awarded Gold status from the Green Tourism Business Scheme, and we are the UK's first Inn to gain a Gold at first attempt!
A recent independent audit confirms that we have already reduced our Carbon Dioxide emissions by 84% which compares very favourably with the UK target for 2050 of 80%!
In November 2011 we won 'Best Micro Business' in the Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) and have just completed our Carbon Management Plan with the Carbon Trust, being one of the first private businesses to do so.
We set out to lead by example, and some of the actions we took are described below. For more detail, please come and visit . . .
The single biggest step towards being a green business has been to renovate the old Inn building, raising the standard of insulation well over that required to meet building regulations. This has been achieved with a combination of new build and external insulation of the original (pre 1746) 2 foot thick stone and lime mortar walls. The insulation actually goes all around the outside of building and over the roof too, making it really cosy inside!
In addition, we have converted the Inn building to 100% renewable energy, using a combination of Biomass, 100% Green Electricity and our large Solar Hot Water system, which regularly captures heat the equivalent of boiling 1/2 to 1 ton of water from cold, daily, and this is over and above what we use during the day!
Other technologies incorporated include Underfloor heating (so we can use 'low grade heat' to keep the building warm), Induction Hobs for cooking, re-use of waste heat from refrigeration and more besides. . .
In winter we are mostly reliant on the wood-burning stoves, but as soon as the sun shines, the solar system kicks in and we get a boost into the hot water storage tanks - the system works as we designed it to do, and it is cosy and warm all day and night!
Our LED lighting system is probably the most efficient, controllable, dimmable LED lighting system available for commercial and domestic properties in the UK today.
For 2 years we have been working closely with the manufacturers to develop a complete lighting solution for a mixed commercial and residential building, including public areas, external lighting and commercial kitchen areas.
We will also be replacing the old external sodium lamps on the En-suite building to continue not only the drive for energy efficiency, but also to reduce the light pollution.
Our waste policy is driven from the start point of reducing the amount of potential waste that we accumulate, principally by buying in bulk and removing everything in packets and sachets from our buying list! This has led us to some novel solutions which you will have to find out when you visit . . .
We do, of course, recycle everything practical (glass, plastic, tins, cardboard etc) and we also compost all our green waste for use to improve the site.
We are currently keeping about 75% of our (and your!) waste out of land fill.
The Direction of Travel
This web page gives you a glimpse into our 'Direction of Travel' and there is a lot more we do behind the scenes than the headlines on this page.
We hope this gives you an overview of how we take our responsibility in this area seriously, and gives you some idea of the things we have been doing to become Scotland's Exemplar Green Inn.
We know we have more to do, and we fully intend to continue in our Direction of Travel analysing every decision and, where practical, taking the greener, healthier, more natural or organic choice.
Join us on the journey!
Being a 'Green Guest'
Of course what we do in isolation is not enough, so we ask that you join in with us as a 'green guest'.
Please consider how you get here (there are plenty of links and ideas on 'Getting Here' as you may find it more economical (£ and CO2) to leave your car behind and use an alternative.
There are so many activities that you can do once here that either do not need a car, or if they do, then minimal use - after all, who wants to spend their holiday in a car?
All the photos on the website are taken on day trips from the Inn, and none requires more than a 30 minute car journey, whilst many can be made direct from the Inn. You will need either boots, a bike or a boat / kayak to visit them all, but they are achievable with some planning and ingenuity.
There are many photos that are taken just a few minutes walk away as well, and we have a steady flow of guests who arrive by train or bus and thoroughly enjoy escaping the 21st century (and, probably, most of the 20th too!)
We will also ask you to do your bit for our Green status when you are here, just small, practical things that are common sense and help us deliver the best we can for you, for us and for our collective consciences and futures.