THREE hotels in Northern Ireland have received Silver Awards in Green Tourism.
The Grand Central Hotel, Europa Hotel and the Stormont Hotel, which are all part of the Hastings Hotels group, have each received awards for their sustainability efforts.
The Europa Hotel has also been awarded Silver accreditation for Green Meetings.
The Silver Awards are in recognition of the work and extensive sustainability initiatives and policies Hastings Hotels has implemented across their locations.
These include the the replacement of plastic water bottles in guest bedrooms with sustainable water containers; the use of environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals, replacing internal and external lighting with LEDs and diverting 100 per cent of food waste from landfill anto an anaerobic plant helping to create a net carbon saving estimated at 80 tonnes of CO2.
According to the Green Tourism report, Hastings Hotels “displayed an excellent understanding of sustainability and awareness of opportunities and challenges associated with running a responsible business".
The group scored well across the board but excelled in the "Awareness, Food & Drink, Communications, Health & Wellbeing and Destination goals" the report confirms, "showing a commitment to continual improvement, a willingness to implement change where required and dedication in the pursuit of sustainable business practices”.
Raymond Duncan, Compliance, Operations and Procurement Manager of Hastings Hotels, said of their awards: “As part of our journey to becoming a more sustainable hotel group, we are delighted to have secured Silver Green Tourism accreditation for our three Belfast properties and a second Silver award for the Europa Hotel for Green Meetings.”
He added: “We have developed the Hastings Hotels ‘Go Green’ Policy and as a group, we are committed to ensuring that we measure and evaluate our current practices, adopting the most effective policies to minimise our carbon footprint and adhere to sustainable practices wherever possible.
“This is very much part of a long-term sustainability strategy for Hastings Hotels and we are now working towards securing Green Tourism accreditation for the Culloden Estate & Spa, Ballygally Castle and Everglades Hotel.”
The hotel brand takes its role in sustainability “very seriously” it claims, adding “with over 1,000 employees we know the difference we can help make”.
“As part of this, we have developed a bespoke sustainability programme for our staff to help them better understand and tackle the issues surrounding sustainability,” Mr Duncan explains.
“This will enable them to become champions for best environmental practice, not only across our six properties but in their day-to-day life.”
Hastings Hotels set itself a raft of green goals as part of a city-wide sustainable Green Tourism partnership funded by Belfast City Council and delivered by Visit Belfast.
The organisation’s Sustainability and Impact Manager, Jac Callan congratulated Hastings Hotels on its efforts in achieving its targets and accreditations.
“We are delighted that the three Belfast properties of the Hastings Hotel Group have achieved Silver accreditation,” he said.
“Sustainability is increasingly shaping the future of the visitor marketplace and the business events space we operate in, so it’s crucial we meet these expectations if we want to attract new and repeat business to Belfast.
“Tourism is playing a crucial role in supporting the city-vision of transitioning to an inclusive, zero-emissions, and climate resilient economy within a generation.
“We’re delighted to be helping our tourism partners with the support of Belfast City Council in leading the way to a more sustainable and regenerative tourism model; one that meet the needs of visitors, the industry and the local community, now and in the future.”