Our commitment to operating in a sustainable and ethical way has never been more important. As we reach a critical impasse with climate change, we must take decisive steps to protect our planet and secure a future for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.
This strong sense of responsibility towards the environment is embedded in the roots of our business, and this is the next step on a journey that began more than a decade ago. In 2010, we set ourselves the target of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. We achieved that target two years ahead of schedule, and we are now striving to reduce emissions by a further 30% by 2030, meaning we will almost halve our carbon emissions over a 20-year period.
Our approach to everything we do is driven by a simple philosophy – if we can make a difference, then we should. The urgency that is driving the need for ambitious targets, global conversations and international summits is not going away, and the time for action is right now.
Our sustainability strategy has a carbon-focused approach because that is where we can make the biggest difference. But we are not taking a siloed approach to tackling climate change – our goal is to reduce our carbon emissions by 30% using a net carbon approach. We must look at the whole picture when making decisions to ensure we are not inadvertently increasing resource consumption in other areas - this is, perhaps, our biggest challenge.
Our sustainability track record is impressive. We use an anaerobic digestion plant to power large areas of our village in Sherwood Forest, generating local power with the energy travelling just over a mile to reach the village. Our Head Office building benefits from electricity generated by solar panels. We’ve changed our company car policy to only allow hybrid or electric vehicles to be selected. And we listened to our guests, and took action, when they told us we could be better at reducing single-use plastics.
We have big plans for the future – we want to invest in innovative technologies, look at ways we can reuse the resources we do have and make the changes that will contribute towards global targets, and help achieve our goal of being the leading sustainable short break destination in the UK and Ireland.
Climate change affects every part of our lives, and the conversation is now louder than ever. It is time for us all to do the right thing, right now.
Our forests are the lifeblood of our business and are home to many species of local and national significance. We have a responsibility to protect and enhance these woodlands, creating habitats for wildlife and encouraging increased biodiversity. We are proud to have held The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark for the past 15 years in recognition of our efforts.
We have a range of policies and procedures in place to ensure we are meeting our legal obligations in terms of our impact on the environment. Our extensive integrated environmental management system (EMS) is annually certified by external auditors to ISO14001 standard – the last audit took place in 2020 and we conformed with all requirements.
We encourage all of our employees to understand our environmental policies, including conducting an annual review with senior managers, hosting regular EMS meetings on each of our villages, and operating a ’spot check’ system.