Who sets up a climate action plan before they even set up their business?
Why? Because it’s just the right thing to do. Every individual and business needs to do their bit in the fight against climate change.
The environment is something that we take personally, and since the early days of concept development, we were determined to create a genuinely environmentally sustainable business.
Here are 11 ways we’ll be doing our bit for the planet.
1. One Stay = Ten Trees Planted
Through partnering with Ecologi, we’re vowing to plant 10 trees for every single booking at Jacks Alt-Stays! That’s right, ten.
These trees are planted in low-cost, high-impact areas around the world, because it’s “Save the Planet“, right?
Ecologi also runs environmental projects closer to home, such as this reforestation project in Dalry, North Ayrshire. We’ll be getting involved with local community initiatives too, as you’ll see further down this blog.
2. Proudly Powered by 100% Renewable Electricity.
Our Alternative Eco-Cabins will be powered by 100% solar, hydro, and wind-generated electricity.
(That felt good to type.)
We will be supplied by Octopus Business Energy – a 100% Green energy provider.
3. Ambitious Eco Goals
For a wee tourism business on a Scottish island, we have set ourselves some pretty big eco-goals.
By the end of 2021, we aim to:
🌲 Plant 2,000 trees.
💨 Absorb 100 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.
🌍 Achieve ‘Carbon Negative’ Status
Becoming a Carbon Negative business just means that we will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than we add to it. It means the same thing as ‘Climate Positive’.
If you didn’t know already…
We’re bringing our ‘Alternative Eco-Cabin‘ concept to Scotland’s west coast by late 2021. It’ll look like this:
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4. Sustainably Built Eco-Cabins
We’ve been keen to get things right from the very start. Our cabins will be built locally, and by local builders.
Fewer logistics = less CO2 emitted.
They will be built from locally and sustainably sourced materials where possible, such as the Scottish larch cladding.
We’ve worked with North Ayrshire-based Stewart Architects to bring the Eco-Cabin concept to its final design stage. We’ll now be working with North Ayrshire-based builders, RDK Construction, who have a real focus on sustainable building processes.
We’ve opted for market-leading EcoTherm® insulation, resulting in a highly efficient thermal performance.
We have also carefully selected the eco-cabins’ fittings, lighting, appliances, and contents of the cabins, based on efficient energy performance. The chosen Herschel infra-red panel-heaters are market-leading, use 30% less energy than standard electric heaters, are thermostat controlled, and can be controlled remotely. Low-energy internal and external LED lighting has been specified. Again, all electrical features are powered by green energy. We don’t do fossil fuels.
The bathroom flooring and wall supplier, Multipanel UK strive to be at the forefront of new environmental manufacturing technologies, material developments and recycling possibilities in every product they design and produce. The fiber within the selected Dacron Aerelle Blue duvet and pillows is made from SocialPlastic® – a recycled ocean-bound plastic. These are just a few examples of our eco-conscious decisions.
5. An Eco Commute
Sometimes it’s the wee things that matter. We’ll be cycling in every day.
Saying that, it’s not like cycling every day is a chore for us. We live just across the water, love a good cycle, and the route to site is nothing short of stunningly scenic.
6. Offsetting our Unavoidable Carbon Footprint
Being located on an island, there will, unfortunately, be some areas of our business where we are just not able to avoid a carbon footprint. The reality for us is that ferry travel will be simply unavoidable.
Although it’s only an 8-minute trip over, the ferry is no eco angel. We’ll also need supplies, so will occasionally need to take the car over for that.
As part of our partnership with Ecologi – and on top of our “buy one, plant one” (…or ten) model – we also donate a set amount each month to more-than-offset our unavoidable carbon footprint.
Here’s our impact so far:
8.33 tonnes of CO2e is equivalent to one of the following:
Lastly, 3 of our 5 cabins come equipped a Skargards hot tub. We chose to endorse wood-fired hot tubs as they’re natural, smell amazing and require no harmful chemicals to run. We do however, recognise that when wood combusts (or rots) CO2 is released.
If mis-managed, wood fuel can be detrimental to the environment. The key is to ensure our wood-burning practices are sustainable, responsible, and their footprint is more-than offset.
We wrote a full blog on this. Check out:
7. Partner Eco Credentials
We’ll also be making sure that anyone we work with has their eco-credentials in place.
For example, the linen hire supplier,’ PLS Laundry’, has recently significantly invested in improving their environmental performance. Our guest consumables suppliers, ‘Hotel Supplies Ltd’ and ‘Kingdom Coffee’ offer sustainably sourced products in recyclable packaging. ‘ECOLAB’ provide their most environmentally friendly cleaning product range in fully recyclable packaging.
8. The Environment – It’s in our Values.
One of our core founding values is to ‘Respect Our Backyard’ – Leave nothing but footsteps. Always respect your surrounding environment and leave it a little better than you found it.
By this, we mean both our immediate ‘back yard’, i.e. our site, surrounding, area, and our neighbours, but also the wider global environment.
We return to our values every time we make a business decision – because what’s the point in even having them if you don’t?
Check out Jack’s Alt-Stays Founding Values.
9 Looking After our Environment at a Community Level
Both Adam and I are passionate about the environment and see our environmental duty extend beyond our own site’s boundary.
We get involved with beach clean initiatives, such as the FSC’s recent Kames Bay clean, with a view to champion these in the near future.
View this post on Instagram
In the near future, we’ll be getting involved with local tree-planting initiatives. We’ll also plan to campaign for the recycling facilities and the local water refill campaign against single-use plastic bottles, once up and running.
10. We Will Declare a Climate Emergency!
Tourism Declares supports tourism businesses, organisations, and individuals in declaring a climate emergency and taking action to reduce their carbon emissions. They acknowledge the science stating we have to act now to address the crisis over the next decade.
Alongside fellow tourism organisations such as Visit Scotland, here are our five commitments in declaring a climate emergency;
- Develop this ‘Climate Action Plan’
- Share our commitment and progress publicly
- Cut carbon emissions
- Encourage our suppliers and partners to make the same declaration
- Advocate for change in tourism
11. Responsible Waste Management
We’ll be doing everything we can to eradicate the use of single-use plastics in our Eco-Cabins. We’ll also make sure that our day-to-day waste and recycling processes are up to scratch!
So in a nutshell, that’s how we’ll make an ‘Alt-stay’ an ‘Eco-stay’.
As individuals, we have become much more environmentally aware over the last few years. Greta would be proud!
Why a Climate Action Plan? We have a Climate Action Plan in place from day 1. It’s our way of holding ourselves accountable and committing to the cause.
We see our business as an extension of ourselves. – we do share the Jack name after all. That’s why from the get-go, we’ve set out to create a genuinely environmentally sustainable business.
Check out The Alternative Eco-Cabin Concept