Energy-saving hostelry gains Silver Award

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The Ben Cruachan Inn has achieved a Silver Award from Green Tourism, the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world, at the first time of asking.

The inn, which reopened in Lochawe in 2017, is committed to reducing its environmental impact and using sustainable measures to operate efficiently.

‘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,’ said owner Ian Irvine.

‘It feels really good that our efforts have been recognised on our first assessment with Green Tourism.’

Their green efforts include the use of air source heat pumps to create a sustainable heat source for radiators and hot water throughout the building.

In 2018, the business banned plastic straws and is working towards becoming completely plastic free in the lochside bar and 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 works hard to support the community, hosting charity bake sales, fundraising for a community defibrillator and recently partnering with Fyne Ales to donate a percentage of its IPA sales towards maintenance of St Conan’s Kirk 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 its community, is reducing its impact on the environment and aims to be accessible and inclusive to visitors and staff.

The inn scored highly for its attention to wheelchair accessibility throughout the bar, restaurant and accommodation and its 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 an assessor.

The Ben Cruachan Inn was scored particularly well and is now working towards attaining the Gold status.