The Goodwood hotel wins Sustainable Business Award, sponsored by 4c Associates
The Goodwood hotel's impressive 10-year sustainability strategy has seen it snap up this year's Sustainable Business Award Catey.
It was the hotel's ambitions to go above and beyond mere legal compliance, making it a shining example of how to work towards becoming a green business in a world where the word "sustainability" is on everyone's lips.
Its objectives fall across six priorities: natural capital, carbon, water, business, social, and resources and waste. Its strategy is supported by a series of detailed delivery plans, part of the hotel's business planning cycle.
Goodwood focused on dramatically decreasing carbon emissions, pledging to become a carbon-neutral estate by 2030, which impressed the Catey judges, who described the entry as "bold". The judges also praised the hotel's investment in solutions to reduce carbon emissions from the central parts of the business, notably its health and leisure club, restaurants, the dairy at Goodwood Home Farm and the main offices at Goodwood House, with emissions from fuels, gas and electricity consumption from these areas in 2019 amounting to 5,033 tonnes.
The hotel decided to invest £6m in a new biomass waste-to-energy facility to provide both hot water and electricity – a significant business decision that not only helps it reach its own sustainability goals, but will hopefully help it counter the ever-spiralling cost of energy crisis impacting the industry. The biomass facility went live in November 2021 and is projected to generate £897,000 in Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs in the first year and £116,000 in exported electricity income. The system will also save the estate £471,000 in power and oil costs each year, with the payback on the initial £6m investment taking just over four years.
The new 3.5mw biomass system was installed on the estate in 2020-2021 during a global pandemic and went online in November 2021, delivering combined heat and power to the Goodwood hotel and its associate businesses. It is fuelled by 3,500 tonnes of straw from the Festival of Speed, and 2,600 tonnes of woodchip and 1,000 tonnes of waste wood from Goodwood's own Forestry team.
The carbon saving for the estate will be 5,100 tonnes of CO2, rendering the majority of the hotel and its associated businesses carbon-neutral. And it has not stopped there: as well as the biomass project, it planted 78,000 trees in 2021 and future plans include solar panels, electric vehicle rapid-charging points, a new 400m foraging area with agroforestry principles, and many, many more green initiatives.
What the judges said
"This year was an extremely tough competition. Never have we had so many submissions – let alone so many with such detailed commitment, such clear plans integrated across the business, and such meaningful action. In any other year, all on the shortlist could have been the winner!" – Juliane Caillouette-Noble
"A truly inspiring submission. A company that is quietly going about decarbonising their business in a very thorough and fulsome way." – Sue Williams
- Heckfield Place Hampshire
- Levy UK & Ireland
- The Goodwood hotel, Chichester
- The University of Sheffield
- Juliane Caillouette-Noble, development director, SRA
- Rebecca Hawkins, managing director, Responsible Hospitality Partnership
- Scott Maclean, chief executive, GreenTourism
- Sue Williams, general manager, Whatley Manor
Image: Mike Caldwell