The boutique Green House Hotel in Bournemouth set themselves the challenge of becoming the ‘greenest hotel in the UK’ and on the journey to achieving a truly green hotel, made over 100 changes. To underpin this green tourism goal, the hotel established five core principles which put sustainability, social responsibility and the guest at the centre of the hotel’s decision making and operations. This case study examines how, as part of their sustainable tourism framework, the hotel applied technology and supplier selection criteria to linens, to green a key area of any hotel, and how this linen changeover helped to contribute to the Green House’s goal of becoming the greenest hotel in the UK. Changes to the management of linens not only achieved sustainable standards in water and energy consumption but also ensured the linens changeover enhanced their guests’ stay; as evidenced in the Guest Book comments:
“This is a hotel that takes pride in all it does. Cutting edge design and technology with an environmental conscience.”
Guest May 2011.
Supplier Selection Criteria
Using suppliers that match your principles is a key part of green tourism. All The Green House Hotel suppliers are assessed on recognised environmental standards to deliver on the hotel’s ongoing commitment to ‘keep making the Green House even greener.’
The linens’ partner selected, www.foufurnishings.com, is an approved Considerate Hoteliers supplier, certified by the UK Soil Association to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). This globally trusted standard gives assurance on social and environmental responsibility, cotton quality and performance, plus an absence of any irritating toxic chemical residues which can be found in conventional cottons. When the Soil Association organic standard is given, it means that organic standards have been met and checked at every stage to the final hotel product. The linens chosen are in a luxurious 300 thread count organic cotton percale. Organic bedding is also hypo-allergenic and combined with the hotel’s bespoke eco beds made in the UK, the Green House offers its guests an ecologically fresh bedroom.
Ozone Laundry Operation
All Green House laundry is washed in house, enabling the hotel to keep control of the detergents used (naturally, they only use those that are phosphate and paraben free). The hotel investied in an ozone laundry operation linked to the machines and this injects ozone gas into the wash cycle, allowing laundry to be washed at temperatures as low as 15 degrees. The machines are the most energy and water efficient available (Energy Star rated). Ozone aslo allows for shorter wash cycles, resulting in significant energy and water savings. Enhanced cleansing, powerful disinfection and reduced wear-and-tear are some of the added benefits. The hotel uses solar power for electricity generation, further reducing energy consumption.
The key benefits to The Green House Hotel’s greening of linens, through installing an ozone laundry and sourcing environmentally-sustainable luxury linens, range from contributing to a greener and cleaner environment to gaining a competitive advantage in a cost conscious way and securing customer loyalty.
In closing, the Green House Hotel best sums up:
“Getting there has been quite a journey and we’re proud of what we have achieved: a beautiful boutique hotel that lives and breathes sustainability.”
Director, The Green House Hotel.