Clare Wright & Michael Wright collecting the award from John Firrell
Another gong to add to the seemingly endless flow for the much-awarded hotel
Lancaster London has been named the Green Tourism for Business Scheme’s "Best Hotel 2012" and honoured with a Gold Star. This achievement is the latest in a long list of environmental awards given to the hotel, such as the AA Eco Hotel of the Year 2012.
The award follows a long succession of eco-initiatives from Lancaster London, whose motto is "to walk softly on the planet." In 2009, the hotel became the first in London to install half a million honey bees on its roof as a response to the decline in the numbers of British honey bees.
Thanks to the dedicated bee-keeping team, the hives are now home to a million honey bees, and a special bee-friendly roof garden has just been planted to encourage productivity. In 2011, the hotel organised the first "London Honey Show" and due to the phenomenal success of the first event,
Lancaster London will be hosting the second annual London Honey Show on 8 October 2012.
Other initiatives that impressed the judges included the hotel achieving zero percent landfill waste by a reformed purchasing policy and intensive recycling programme. This involves every aspect of the hotel, from the suppliers the hotel works with, to the maids’ daily routine, to the way the kitchens use their produce. Lancaster London is currently focusing on "nose-to-tail" dining in both its restaurants and banqueting spaces in order to keep its wastage to a minimum.
The hotel’s recent £11.5 million refurbishment of the banqueting spaces encompassed state-of-the-art equipment in the kitchens, with a specific focus on becoming as green as possible. For example, dishwashers with integral heat exchanger pumps, which reheat the water coming into the machines thereby saving energy.
Lancaster London actively encourages guests to engage in eco-friendly practices, from reminders to turn off taps, to providing jogging maps of Hyde Park. The hotel has also been heavily involved with local charities including raising £2,443 for the homeless campaign SleepSmart, £1,447.62 for Hospitality Action, and £3,280 for Let’s Go Let’s Grow, in the past 12 months. Over the summer the hotel will also be hosting a sponsored abseil down its 18 storeys to raise money for the Springboard Charity.
The Gold Star Award is the result of a team effort. The "Corporate Social Responsibility Team" first established in 2005, hold monthly meetings to constantly track and improve the hotel’s progress. Staff members from each department are involved in this process to ensure a consistent effort throughout the hotel. Annual "Green Days" are held to keep staff motivated and engaged, and all new staff members receive specific training on the hotel’s green policies.
General Manager Stephen Kyjak-Lane said: "Our team works hard to achieve the highest levels of environmentally friendly practices, and there is an increasing commitment from our guests. We are incredibly proud that our passion and commitment to environmental practices has been recognised and are determined to continue making progress with future eco projects."
The Lancaster was the setting for this spring's Sustainable Tourism masterclass:
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