Rufflets Environmental Policy
Over the last 60 years, Rufflets has, in a drive to establish best practice in managing eco-tourism matters, sought to adopt some of the best measures to reduce the impact that we have on the environment.
We are continually developing mechanisms to conserve energy, re-cycle waste and to encourage the wild life, flora and fauna within its grounds.
The following are examples of the current practices adopted:
- Radiator Thermostats have been installed in all bedrooms, public areas and offices so that individual room temperatures can be controlled separately.
- Insulation – all curtains are interlined to provide better insulation. This has been further improved by the installation of roller blinds in public rooms.
- Newer bedrooms benefit from double glazing to improve heat retention.
- Energy saving lamps have replaced traditional lamps in the vast majority of the building. Dimmer switches are also in operation in public areas, and as policy we are changing many public area lights from halogen to LED units.
- All external lights have timers or movement sensors.
- Smaller capacity kettles were introduced in guest bedrooms to reduce the amount of water being heated by guests.
- Towels -The hotel promotes an option for guests to reduce the frequency of having their towels changed on a daily basis, by employing tent cards in guest bedrooms.
- Equipment purchasing practice includes the identification of low energy appliances when replacing existing equipment.
- Housekeeping staff are trained to switch off lights and appliances, including televisions left on standby mode.
- Timers have been installed for lighting and heating systems to prevent energy being used unnecessarily.
- Flow regulators have been fitted to taps throughout the building.
- Low Flow replacement showers are being introduced to reduce the volume of water used.
- Water from the burn is pumped and used to irrigate the vegetable garden.
- When bedrooms are refurbished, smaller dual flush cisterns are installed in all new bathrooms to reduce the flow of water in toilets.
- Water Hippos are fitted to many of the older cisterns.
- Rainwater Harvesting System is in operation in our Garden Suite.
- Where possible, the business seeks to purchase from local suppliers, therefore reducing the transport costs of the raw materials.
- When the option exists, the business aims to select suppliers who have good environmental practices in place.
- Old sheets, towels and soaps are given to local charities for use.
- Older equipment such as televisions are given to local housing charities.
- Re-cycling of glass, paper and cardboard is in operation. Currently, there is no arrangement in place for the collection of metal and plastic waste but a contractor is being sought for this.
Grounds and Gardens:
Rufflets is fortunate in having extensive formal gardens, as well as a vegetable garden, wild garden and woodland, providing cover for a variety of birdlife.
The hotel employs one full time and one part-time gardener, who are tasked with providing produce for use in the kitchen (to a certain extent organic), as well as fresh flowers for the hotel.
There is an established wildlife area, with woodland and streams, in which many different types of wildlife exist in a natural environment. Planting of native plants is used throughout, with a regular rotation of plant types. Nesting boxes are not used, as the woodland and hedgerows already provide natural nesting sites.
In 2007, the hotel completed its largest development project in over 50 years – a state-of-the-art banqueting suite, named The Garden Suite, which opened to the public in December 2007.
During the planning process, it was clear that the new building would significantly increase the amount of electricity and gas and water used within the business.
It was decided that there was a need for additional measures required to assist in the monitoring of energy usage, and equally important, the amount of CO2 emissions that were being created during the full operational activity, over the year.
In 2007, the hotel undertook a full audit of its energy usage, not simply in terms of electricity and gas, but also the additional consumption, including business mileage (by car, train or airplane) and also fuels used in the up-keep of the grounds and gardens.
The result of this audit showed that the business generated 273 tonnes of carbon emissions annually (based on figures January 2006 to January 2007), and the offset cost, amounting to over £3000.00, would be invested into 3 projects, linked with Scotland and tourism. Rufflets officially announced carbon neutral status in June 2007, becoming one of the first carbon neutral hotels in the UK and the first in Scotland to do so.
The owners of Rufflets are committed to continue to audit the emissions annually, with the main emphasis on reducing the current levels, but also to offset the amount of CO2 produced into new projects each year.
Carbon Reduction Objectives:
It is accepted that the business will always use gas and electricity, and therefore produce CO2 emissions, but the initial aim is to reduce the overall usage, and the cost of the offset.
As the offset cost decreases year-on-year, the owners plan to use the monetary difference saved to re-invest in eco-business programmes. The aim is to be recognised as showing ‘best practice’ within the industry.