Highland Hotel Reaches World ‘Green’ Final

A highland hotel that built a pioneering Energy Centre will take its place amongst global names after being short-listed in the first World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards.

The family-run Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness developed Scotland’s first ever Water Source Energy solution centre in 2021, in a historic conservation area, saving 250 tonnes of carbon per year.

It initiated its own Climate Action Plan and has introduced programmes to promote inclusion and positive mental health, with its 146 employees each having an individual Green job title.

Now its climate action and people initiatives have been rewarded with listings in three categories for the worldwide award; the only business in Scotland to be named, and one of only two in Britain.

Selected from hundreds of entries, the Glen Mhor will now go up against international chains, resorts and famous names in the global vote, which is now open to everyone.

Voting will close on 2nd August and the winners in each category will be announced in the inaugural ceremony in Belize on 27th September.

The Glen Mhor Hotel, which also uses its £8m Energy Centre to produce malt whisky and craft beer at its on-site Uile-bheist Distillery and Brewery, scored high with judges on three aspects.

Its nominations are for World Leading Sustainable Energy Efficiency Initiative, World leading Sustainable Water and Waste Innovation and the World’s Leading Sustainable Employer.

The Award categories were chosen to reflect the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and will be contested by brands such as Accor, Radisson and Mandarin Oriental.

“When we evaluated our business with a desire to future-proof with renewable technology and practices, we knew we had to take bold steps in order to achieve our net zero goals,” recalls Victoria Erasmus, Sustainability Director.

“Our Energy Centre and sustainable technology had never been used before and we had the challenge of building during lockdown in a historic conservation area and during the Covid pandemic. Despite the challenges and the risks, we were driven by the urgency to address a global climate crisis.

“As a smaller player among these fellow nominees, I am incredibly proud of our team’s efforts and honoured to have been shortlisted. This recognition is a testament to the fact that everyone in the hospitality industry, not just the large chains and resorts, can make a significant impact on sustainability and climate change. The journey has been challenging, but this acknowledgement is the ultimate reward for our hard work and dedication.”

As well as transforming operational practices, the 126-room hotel by the River Ness has won praise for its staff initiatives, with 20 trained mental health first aiders, sensory recruitment practices and measures to promote inclusion in hospitality.

“Sustainability is at the heart for our staff and training,” explained Victoria. “In our business, every role is a green role, designed with environmental responsibility in mind. This approach is essential for transforming both attitudes and operational practices