The green credentials of a luxury Mid Wales country house hotel were celebrated at an award ceremony last Friday night.
Llangoed Hall, located in the scenic Wye valley at Llyswen, near Builth Wells, received the Excellence in Environmental Management Award, sponsored by Griffiths Civil Engineering and Construction, at the annual Powys Business Awards held at The Hafren, Newtown.
The hotel has implemented a policy that aims to “preserve, protect and nurture the unspoilt environment for future generations.” A Green Team, comprising staff, considers and implements ways to make the hotel more sustainable and environmental.
It is the 47th award won by Llangoed Hall in the last five years and managing director Calum Milne attributed it to his team.
“It is our fourth award for environmental practices within the last three years and I am delighted for the team,” he said. “We just need a Catey – awarded by The Caterer – to complete the set of green awards.
“I am delighted particularly for our head gardener Mandy Hobbs who is the key driving force and works closely with head chef Nick Brodie to plan what vegetables, herbs and fruit he needs at different times of the year.”
The hotel’s L.E.T.S Go Green policy has seen its carbon footprint significantly reduced through a range of initiatives that have included turning cooking oil into balls for bird feeders or sold back to the supplier, waterless urinals and a sustainable approach to food, among others.
Since 2012, the hotel has reduced the amount of energy consumed by 31 per cent per customer, equating to nearly 138 tonnes of CO2 a year and water consumption has reduced by 54,000 litres a year through a range of measures.
The garden has been expanded to supply chefs with 95 per cent of the vegetables, herbs and fruit used on the hotel’s summer menus. The winter total drops to around 45 per cent of garden produce, but the mission is to get vegetables, herbs and fruit from the garden to the plate in two minutes to preserve flavour and freshness.
The hotel also has its own chickens, quails and ducks to provide guests with a choice of fresh eggs for breakfast and also produces its own honey thanks to beehives in specially created flower meadows. Beef and lamb is sourced within five miles of the hotel.
Inside the hotel, energy-saving light bulbs and timers on light fittings have been introduced, cooking oil is recycled for bio-fuels and toilets use 50 per cent less water than the average lavatory. Rooms have energy-saving hairdryers and motion sensor taps and even the paint used in the hotel is environmentally sensitive, being water soluble or from vegetable based oil.
Rainwater is harvested to water plants and fill the duck pool and the hotel sold 4,000 plants from garden cuttings last year. Waste has been reduced and the hotel has a policy of reusing and recycling wherever possible.
“Our customers appreciate green policies and like to feel good about enjoying themselves,” added Mr Milne.
Powys Business Awards judges praised the hotel, its management and staff on the work it has and continues to undertake.
“Their commitment was clear and exceptionally well balanced against the need to retain the luxury expected of the hotel,” they said. “They are almost self-sustainable with meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits and herbs grown on site and the remainder sourced within a five-mile radius, with the exception of fish sourced from Cornwall, but transported in their own reusable cool boxes.”
The other category finalists were: Camp Cynrig Glamping Village, Brecon and Gregynog Hall, Tregynon.