Tortworth Court ‘Green Team’ Earn Silver AwardThe eight-strong ‘Green Team’ at the Tortworth Court Four Pillars Hotel have been instrumental in capturing a prestigious Silver rating under the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS). The spectacular Grade II listed Victorian mansion was awarded this grading in April, following a rigorous sixty-point inspection in February.
The Green Team included staff from all departments, and implemented a variety of eco-friendly measures. The hotel boasts 30 acres of peaceful parkland including an arboretum of over 300 rare and protected trees, and this foundation was built upon by the garden staff through the introduction of bird boxes and other efforts to protect local wildlife. Tortworth Court also aims to educate it’s guests on the importance of conserving important species, through various weekend breaks and activities for delegates. One of the most unique is the ‘Mushroom Foray’, led by one of the British Mycology Society’s senior lecturers and focusing on identification and protection. It also raises awareness of how climate change affects the life cycles of British wildlife, for example Winter temperatures have been warm enough to allow mushrooms and fungi to survive well into Spring rather than naturally retreating in January. In addition, businesses holding large conferences at Tortworth Court are invited to plant a tree of their own in the arboretum to offset their carbon emissions.
Maintenance and utilities staff installed energy-saving lightbulbs throughout the hotel as well as introducing simple water saving measures such as aerators affixed to taps to reduce water flow, and economic toilet flushes devices. The hotel has drastically reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by recycling glass, plastics, paper, cans and toner cartridges, and purchasing a cardboard compactor. Head chef Nigel Jones continued the initiatives into the kitchen, recycling cooking oil and other waste as well as sourcing ingredients for the Orangery restaurant from the Tortworth Estate farm shop, meaning that meals prepared have very low food miles.
Stephen Cotton commented; “The Green Team was set up in November 2007 and all members of staff have been keen to contribute to its initiatives. Our Silver Award is all the more rewarding given the difficulties posed by the building itself in creating a ‘green’ hotel. As it is listed, we have had to work around certain regulations so we are doubly proud that we have been able to maintain the historic integrity of the building while bringing it into the more environmentally-aware 21st century”.
The GTBS is the largest sustainable tourism certification programme in the UK, with over 1,400 members. The grading process assesses a business against up to sixty criteria including energy and waste efficiency, waste management and biodiversity amongst others. Businesses must demonstrate compliance with relevant environmental legislation and commitment to ongoing improvement while reducing risks to the environment and public. Tortworth Court’s sister hotel, the Witney Four Pillars Hotel, is currently awaiting GTBS grading.
For further details on the GTBS click here