Sustainability At Cabra Castle

Sustainability

At Cabra Castle Hotel, we are passionate about sustainability and are committed to making a positive impact on the environment by implementing effective green practices and procedures throughout our hotel. We currently hold the award for ‘Best Sustainable Practices Ulster’ with the Irish Restaurant Association and are actively working toward our Eco award with Green Hospitality Ireland with the aim of consistently improving our efforts and achieving silver, gold and platinum awards in the future.

We actively began our ‘Green’ journey in 2019 and our fantastic staff are key to our success in delivering a more sustainable and environmentally friendly service. Their invaluable input, insight and engagement is at the core of our achievements to date. Many initiatives have already been introduced and new ideas are emerging and evolving daily. We recognise that sustainability is a never-ending journey and are excited for the road ahead.


CARBON FOOTPRINT
We follow the process of metering, measuring, monitoring, evaluating and managing our waste, energy, water and carbon in order to reduce:
  • We have retained our “real keys” rather than resorting to the use of plastic key cards.
  • Jacuzzi covers are in place (in bridal accommodation) to retain heat.
  • The vast majority of our light bulbs have been changed to LED lighting with plans to replace the remaining few in the very near future.
  • Food waste monitored on a continual basis in order to minimise wastage. 
  • Our food waste management partners remove this waste and convert to Bio fuel. 
  • We use green energy only where possible.
  • We have our Green Procurement policy in place and are actively working with suppliers to have them reduce reuse and recycle packaging.
  • Most of our food products are produced within Cavan and the surrounding area where possible.
  • ‘Meat free Mondays’ for staff meals every week.
  • Encourage guests and staff to walk or use public transport.
  • Electric Car Chargers located in our car park.
  • Have signed up with the cycle to work scheme partnering with Travelhub/Biketowork and actively encourage our staff avail of this wonderful scheme.

CO-OPERATION
  • Adopting new ideas / adapting practices / embracing change.
  • Suggestion box in place for our staff to become actively involved /make suggestions on how we can further improve.
  • Waste Management programme in place with waste separation available in guest rooms, staff areas and public areas.
  • All our staff follow our ‘Think Before You Print’ policy.
  • We encourage guests to follow our 7 steps to a greener stay with literature available in guest bedrooms and also on pre arrival confirmation email.

COMMITMENT
  • To be fully engaged in the reduction of our energy consumption and waste production through dedication, education, reducing & reusing. We aim to continue to reduce our landfill waste.
  • We follow a strict waste separation policy with all waste segregated into general, recycling and compost.
  • Oil Filtration System in use which reuses oil, consuming less and saving in oil used. This results in less deliveries, less pickups and reduction in carbon footprint.
  • Green Meetings Program in place with no plastic glasses or water drums used. Stationary station rather than stationary per person, resulting in less paper & pen usage.
  • We aim to dramatically reduce the use of single use, non-compostable plastics.
  • Fully biodegradable cups and eco-friendly packaging is used for take-away breakfast items.
  • We use environmentally friendly soap & shampoo in our bedrooms with very limited single use toiletries available.
  • We have significantly reduced our single use plastics throughout our F&B operations.

COMMUNITY
  • Working together with a common understanding.
  • Promotion of our ‘green’ message through our social media channels.
  • Tree Planting on the hotel grounds.
  • Regular clean ups of our local surroundings.
  • Donating old/unwanted goods to charity.
  • Responsible Recycling of Batteries /old ink cartridges with ERP – the proceed of which help fund Barretstown kids which is a specially-designed camp in County Kildare, Ireland, that provides therapeutic recreation programmes for children with serious and often life-threatening illnesses

BIODIVERSITY
Cabra castle is set on 100 acres of rolling parkland surrounded by mature stands of native broadleaf woodland, comprising of Sessile and pedunculate Oak, Beech, Birch, Ash, evergreens such as Holly, Yew, and rhododendron. 

Up until 4 years ago, our 2018/19 season, Cabra Castle played host to many golf enthusiasts with an onsite 9-hole golf course, however, as part of a major redevelopment, the decision to close the course was made, & we have returned our grounds to nature allowing us to focus instead on our beautiful surroundings. 

Since then, 40% of the grassland was returned to native meadow, which is sensitively managed. No chemical fertilizers or pesticides are applied and meadows are only cut once per year. Native wildflowers including the Marsh Orchid have returned & this species rich Meadowlands is attracting, many pollinators, moths and butterfly such as the meadow brown, painted Lady, and marsh fritillary.

A 1 km wooded walkway has been introduced to allow our guests to fully immerse themselves in Nature, while also providing a wonderful home for these many pollinators present on site.

Copse planting along the boundaries comprising of 5000 native transplants were planted in the 2019 -20 season. Native species such as oak, Alder Birch, Beech and pine were planted. Pollinator friendly species such as Rowan, Blackthorn, whitethorn, Holly, Willow, Guilder rose ,beach rose and dog woods were planted as understood planting .

Extensive planting of trees has continued over the past 24 months with over 400 native species bedded with plans in place for further planting. 
The recently constructed Granary at Cabra Castle, - is surrounded by many pollinator-friendly species - to ensure our Biodiversity efforts are continued. Emphasis will continue on Carbon offsetting.

Mapping of our grounds flora and Fauna is currently underway.




OUR FUTURE PLANS
We are well on the way to achieving the Eco Award with Green Hospitality Ireland with a long-term plan to become carbon neutral and even carbon positive.

OUR TARGETS
  • We aim to reduce waste product sent to landfill by 30% over the next 12 months.
    • We will do this through staff education on correct waste segregation, and monitoring of same, further installation of recycling bins throughout the grounds for ease of recycling for guests and staff alike, in-bedroom recycling bins, further limiting of single use plastics where at all possible.
    • We are actively working with our supply partners so that they too can become involved in our mission to reduce waste, and assist us by limiting packaging on the products we purchase.
  • We aim to increase the use of renewable energy onsite with planning permission submitted already to house of very own Solar farm. 
  • We plan on reducing reliance on fossil fuels by switching from Natural gas to biofuel CHP systems in the coming 12-18 months.

WHAT CAN OUR GUEST DO TO HELP US ACHIEVE OUR AIM?

MAKE A GREEN CHOICE
  1. Please turn off lights & TVs when they are not in use
  2. Why not Walk or use public transport? 
  3. Use the recycling bins provided in your bedroom.
  4. Choose not to have a straw with your drink.
  5. Try order only what you think you will eat at breakfast or throughout your stay.
  6. Why not have your receipt for your stay emailed to you?

HOSTING A MEETING WITH US?

TIPS FOR A GREEN MEETING
  • Communicate the meetings green agenda in advance so the attendees are prepared.
  • Notepads and pens are provided but please think before you use. We provide a stationary corner in each meeting room. 
  • Use a projector instead of printed handouts. 
  • Where possible email the meeting material in advance so attendees can access on their laptop. 
  • Type your notes throughout the meeting and email them to yourself. 
  • As a hotel policy we have reduced our single use plastic throughout the hotel. Glass wear and crockery is provided for Beverages.
  • Filtered bottled water is provided in all meeting rooms. 


 

 

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