Ben Cruachan Inn has achieved a Silver Award from Green Tourism, the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world.
‘From our earliest days at the Inn, we have worked hard to build a business with a clean, green environmentally friendly mission at its heart’, says local owner Ian Irvine ‘It feels really good that our efforts have been recognised on our first assessment with Green Tourism’.
The Inn, which reopened in Lochawe in 2017, is committed to reducing its environmental impact and using sustainable measures to operate efficiently. Their green efforts include the use of air source heat pumps to create a sustainable heat source to heat radiators and hot water throughout the building. In 2018 the business banned plastic straws in the Inn and are working towards becoming completely plastic free in the lochside bar/ restaurant. Business and Operations Manager Cameron Hill said, ‘As well as recycling in guest rooms and the bar, we use low energy light bulbs and appliances where possible and are passionate about using local ingredients to cut carbon emissions from transportation’.
The Inn is based in a rural location and works hard to support the local community hosting charity bake sales, fundraising for a community defibrillator and recently partnering with local brewery Fyne Ales to donate a percentage of their IPA sales towards maintenance of the iconic St Conan’s Kirk which is situated in the village. Cameron added, ‘If we can do something in a more environmentally friendly way, we will – and we’re happy to take suggestions from our customers. It was a customer suggestion that we get rid of plastic straws last year and that was the catalyst to work towards becoming completely plastic free’.
A Green Tourism Award means that a business works responsibly, ethically and sustainably, contributes to their community, is reducing their impact on the environment and aims to be accessible and inclusive to all visitors and staff. The Inn scored highly for their attention to wheel chair accessibility throughout the bar/ restaurant and accommodation and their warm welcome to assistance dogs and their owners. Businesses that meet the required standard receive a Bronze, Silver or Gold award based on their level of achievement.
To achieve Silver accreditation, the Inn was graded on-site by a qualified Assessor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas such as energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and social involvement and communication. With a strong track record in sustainable practises and an intrinsic belief in the need for green measures beyond the legal requirements, Ben Cruachan Inn was scored particularly well by the Assessor and is now a proud Silver Award holder with plans in place to work towards attaining the Gold status with Green Tourism.
Green Tourism Assessor Stuart Park said, ‘Ben Cruachan Inn has a number of excellent green initiatives in place and a big effort has been made in lowering environmental impact with an air source heat pump, LED lighting and modern appliances. There are also some great procurement choices, offering many locally sourced food and drink options to guests, giving a real taste of the area. Green Tourism is delighted to award this silver level to the Inn and congratulates staff on their achievements to date’.