We’ve been shortlisted at the Somerset Business Awards in the Environmental Achievement award category, in 2021 we pledged to put sustainability at the heart of what we do.
In January we made the business decision to radically overhaul our whole waste management system. Historically we had always recycled glass and cardboard but the lockdowns providing us the time and space to make significant changes to our waste infrastructure, we decided to introduce mixed recycling across the resort and our venues. This required the redesign of all our bin areas resulting in the removal as well as relocation of many to ensure that all guests had access to all recycling bins as well as purchase of 70 recycled bins to allow for waste separation. Our ‘Waste areas’ became ‘Recycling Areas’ and were designed with ease of use in mind, ensuring they were accessible with clear signposting and signage to keep recycling as straightforward as possible.
We concentrated on the user experience, incorporating behavioural change psychology to make sure that each step of their recycling experience was hassle free. Caravan owners were provided with reusable recycling bags and our guests provided with clear bags on arrival to enable waste separation. We created information videos for all our visitors and team members to explain what they could recycle and how. Finally, we altered how are bins were located within our departments to optimise the amount we could recycle without making additional work and worked with our teams to ensure everyone knew our goals.
After a lot of hard work and the support from our owners, guests, and team we have had some amazing results. Since we introduced Mixed Recycling, we have recycled an astounding 106 tonnes of plastic, card, tin, and glass - this is the weight of a Blue Whale and is over 30% of our total waste production. Additionally, we introduced food recycling to our venues at the beginning of the holidays and have since recycled 4.6 tonnes. We have also introduced paperless record-keeping across our departments and condensed our welcome pack saving 50,000 sheets of paper a year and this is just the start! Our goal is to have a recycling rate of at least 50% as well as becoming zero to landfill by the end of 2022.
We have been working with our teams on reducing their departments energy use, providing them with weekly analytics on where they could save more or where usage has crept up. This has allowed us to sustain and improve on our 7% savings we made in early 2020. We are currently concentrating on how we can minimise our overnight electricity use, ensuring that everything possible is turned off when our teams leave for the night as well as monitoring how energy is used across the resort to enable further savings. We are also very proud to have been awarded a Pool and Spa Gold Standard award for Energy Efficiency and EcoPool project of the year UK Pool Spa Award.
Our 5-year plan to plant 27,000 trees and 8000 Hawthorne whips to create wildlife corridors across the resort is now well underway. In Spring after a lot of work with the Environment Agency we were given permission to release native Crusion Carp into lakes which has been a great success. We also now have a thriving water vole population and four breeding pairs of moorhens. We have continued our release work with local wildlife rescue charities and have worked closely with the Berrow Conservation Group and Somerset Wildlife Trust to ensure we are providing the ideal habitat for local species. We also retained our David Bellamy Gold award as well as a BBCUK Bee friendly Resort Award.
Being shortlisted at the Somerset Business Awards is fabulous recognition for everyone’s efforts and proves with some dedication we really all can make a difference.