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It's rare for a business to win two Cateys in the same category, but such has been the continued drive to deliver on its sustainability mission that the judges found it impossible to look past Battlesteads' compelling case for further credit.
The 22-bedroom pub, hotel and restaurant opened as an eco-friendly operation in 2005, and picked up this award in 2011 in recognition of its development of a two-acre kitchen garden, the gradual replacement of low energy light bulbs with LED lights, and the installation of a system to extract heat from the biomass boiler room and transport it to the polytunnels in the garden.
Five years on and the business continues to lead the way as a sustainable tourism destination, and is once again in the limelight for putting environmental considerations at the heart of its business plan.
In keeping with the business's eco principles, the lodges were built using FSC certified wood, triple insulation and water attenuation to create a wildlife pond. The Battlesteads team is also restoring balance to the environment by planting the right type of flowers and shrubs and avoiding using chemical pesticides, while the garden and new-build areas are designed to provide a safe environment for birds, bats, red squirrels, badgers and other local wildlife.
Meanwhile, the business has won a Green Tourism Business Scheme gold award for demonstrating positive action relating to 60 criteria including energy, waste, water, local purchasing and encouraging wildlife - something every member of staff was involved with. On electricity alone, Battlesteads has made significant savings. Having moved to a 100% green electricity supplier it has drastically reduced its carbon footprint. And having installed a solar tracker, it has further reduced the amount of electricity it takes from the grid. In fact Battlesteads leads the way against almost every metric when it comes to environmental performance in the hospitality industry. And having made further strides in the past year the judges had no hesitation in awarding the business a second Hotel Catey in recognition of its significant efforts.
What the judges said
"The hotel has had some great achievements in the last 12 months, backed up by measurable reductions and a clear plan. Battlesteads' constant and continuous innovative approach to turning good environmental performance into competitive advantage is an example to us all."
Dominic Burbridge, associate director - business advice, the Carbon Trust
"This was the most comprehensive nomination. I have asked my property director to visit the hotel and to share their initiatives. This hotel could be owned by Greenpeace."
Alex Pritchard, chief executive, Kew Green Hotels
"Innovative, groundbreaking and inspirational. A true leader in sustainability."
John Firrell, chairman, Considerate Hoteliers
Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa Appleby, Cumbria
Battlesteads Wark on Tyne, Northumberland
The Oakley Court Windsor, Berkshire The Ritz London
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