A pub on Dartmoor has become the first in Devon to win a gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
The Pack Horse, which dates back to the 14th century and is owned by Admiral Taverns, previously won a silver award in 2009.
To win gold, licensees Linda and Ken Austin had to oversee a raft of innovative changes at the business, including the installation of infrared auto flush gadgets in the toilets and maximum water outputs on the showers, plus using low-energy lighting and upgrading building insulation.
In addition to doing its bit for the planet, the green push has also made good business sense, with the Pack Horse saving money on its utilities bills - around £1,000 a year on water rates alone.
"It's been a great team effort by everyone," Linda Austin said. "We are very passionate when it comes to recycling and protecting the environment. I believe we can all make a difference."
Stuart Park, an assessor from the Green Tourism Business Scheme who inspected the Dartmoor inn, which has four letting bedrooms, said: "The Pack Horse Inn has made many improvements since its last assessment.
"In addition the owners are extremely active in the community, using the inn as a venue for community meetings as well as a staging point for local environmental improvement projects such as litter picks and tree planting.
"Giving back to the community is something we think is extremely important in trying to establish a sustainable business. These efforts help to bring people together and create a ‘sense of place' which is vital for any tourism destination. The Pack Horse is a good example of a green business going from strength to strength"
Martyn Pincombe, business development manager for Admiral Taverns, said: "It's a fantastic achievement for Linda and Ken and great to see all the hard work and investment that they have put into their business being recognised."
By Neil Gerrard
E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs