Three Hastings Hotels properties have received silver awards in green tourism for their environmentally friendly practices.
Green Tourism is a sustainability certificate programme promoting greener ways for businesses and organisations to operate.
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It recognises the commitment of tourism businesses that are actively working to become more sustainable.
According to the Green Tourism report, Hastings Hotels "scored well across the board but excelled in the awareness, food & drink, communications, health & wellbeing and destination goals - showing a commitment to continual improvement, a willingness to implement change where required and dedication in the pursuit of sustainable business practices".
Hastings Hotels has implemented extensive sustainability initiatives and policies including the replacement of plastic water bottles in guest bedrooms with sustainable water containers and the use of environmentally friendly cleaning chemicals.
Internal and external lighting has been replaced with LED where possible and 100% of food waste is transported to an anaerobic plant helping to create a net carbon saving estimated at 80 tonnes of CO2.
"As part of our journey to becoming a more sustainable hotel group, we are delighted to have secured Silver Green Tourism accreditation for our three Belfast properties and a second silver award for the Europa Hotel for Green Meetings," said Raymond Duncan, compliance, operations and procurement manager of Hastings Hotels.
Duncan continued, "We have developed the Hastings Hotels 'Go Green' Policy and as a group, we are committed to ensuring that we measure and evaluate our current practices, adopting the most effective policies to minimise our carbon footprint and adhere to sustainable practices wherever possible.
"This is very much part of a long-term sustainability strategy for Hastings Hotels and we are now working towards securing Green Tourism accreditation for the Culloden Estate & Spa, Ballygally Castle and Everglades Hotel.
"We take the role we play in sustainability as an employer very seriously and have developed a bespoke sustainability programme for our 1,000 staff to help them better understand and tackle the issues surrounding sustainability.
"This will enable them to become champions for best environmental practice, not only across our six properties, but in their day-to-day lives."
"We are delighted that the three Belfast properties of the Hastings Hotel Group have achieved silver accreditation," said Jac Callan, sustainability and impact manager at Visit Belfast.
Callan continued, "Sustainability is increasingly shaping the future of the visitor marketplace and the business events space we operate in, so it’s crucial we meet these expectations if we want to attract new and repeat business to Belfast.
"By demonstrating the city has a growing portfolio of tourism businesses committed to environmentally friendly and ethical practices helps the city remain attractive in a highly competitive marketplace.
"Tourism is playing a crucial role in supporting the city-vision of transitioning to an inclusive, zero-emissions, and climate resilient economy within a generation.
"We're delighted to be helping our tourism partners, with the support of Belfast City Council, in leading the way to a more sustainable and regenerative tourism model - one that meets the needs of visitors, the industry and the local community, now and in the future."