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Crown Spa Hotel, Scarborough wins Sustainable Tourism Award 2010

Posted by Richard Hammond at 06:08 on Saturday 24 April 2010

Green accommodation in Yorkshire: The Crown Spa Hotel, ScarboroughGreen accommodation in Yorkshire: The Crown Spa Hotel, Scarborough

The Crown Spa Hotel, Scarborough has won the Sustainable Tourism Award in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010.

At the awards ceremony for England's holiday "Oscars" held last night in Brighton, the hotel was given the gold award in the sustainable tourism category for its commitment to greening up its operations. Over the last five years, the 116-room hotel has made a 25% reduction in the amount of carbon it emits for electricity and heating water (from just over a million kg in 2004 down to 761,035 kg in 2009).

I went up to Scarborough by train earlier this month and met with David Frank, Administration Director of the Crown Spa Hotel, who explained how they have tried to turn this large hotel into a model for greening up accommodation businesses in Yorkshire. According to Frank, the hotel’s “Switch if off” policy among its staff has been one of its most effective campaigns. All senior staff were given electricity monitors to use at home in order to understand the impact of day-to-day living on carbon emissions. They were then encouraged to switch off lights in the hotel – a simple measure that has had a huge effect on the hotel’s energy consumption. 

“There has to be manager buy-in,” explained Frank, “you have to bring in the habit from the home, otherwise staff just nod at you and little actually gets done”.

In the following year, all the rooms were rewired with master key switches, so that when guests left the room their power is automatically switched off. Frank says guests often leave the lights and television on in the their room as a security measure, to make it look like they’re still in, so installing the master switches saves a huge amount of wasted energy. These two factors contributed to an 11% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005-2007.

The hotel has since installed low energy lights (LED, SMD or low energy CFL) throughout the hotel (though Frank laments the fact that when he buys new fittings for lights, the manufacturers often include old-style incandescent/high energy light bulbs in the packaging), as well as 30 solar panels on the hotel’s roof, an 100KW biomass boiler and rainwater harvesting system. Each room provides guests with a leaflet on energy saving ideas as well as details on the hotel’s green policy.

Bedroom at Crown Spa Hotel, ScarboroughBedroom at Crown Spa Hotel, ScarboroughThe Crown Spa Hotel is the only 4-star hotel on the Yorkshire coast – an award that Frank says staff have worked hard to achieve – yet he doesn’t think that providing a higher standard of service should compromise the hotel’s green credentials. He has set out a convincing case for going green by ensuring that everything has a payback within two years. So he has installed electricity monitoring systems to measure how things are improving – the aim is for a 50% reduction in its carbon emissions by 2015. The hotel has fitted 6,000 litre hot water solar accumulator tanks, non-toxic chemicals are used in the hotel’s spa pool, which hold in warmth overnight and eliminate the need for the pool to be heated overnight. The hotel also has a community programme, opening up its spa to locals (rather than just hotel guests) so that staff can be employed all year round, not just in the peak holiday season.

As for waste, the hotel does have recycle waste from its kitchens and staff quarters, but Frank say the hotel doesn’t actually focus on recycling. “There shouldn’t be a need for recycling”, he explained. “Either you’re not being economical enough or you’re not getting aggressive enough with your suppliers”.

More info: www.crownspahotel.com.

Also commended in the Sustainable Tourism category of VisitEngland’s Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010 were Hunting Hall Farm, a small, traditional family farm with two self-catering cottages on 278 acres near Holy Island, Berwick upon Tweed and Bordeaux Quay restaurant, deli and cookery school in Bristol, which has a gold rating in the Soil Association’s sustainable catering scheme (the only UK restaurant to have this), and was placed 37 of the top 100 restaurants in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards in 2009.

For the full list of winners, see: Winners of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010.

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