We believe we should not only minimise the impact we have on the environment, but also make a positive impact on the world around us and its people.
Since we began the journey to create the Watergate Bay Hotel we know today, we sought to take the broadest view on making a positive impact. In the beginning, we focused on how we could generate and source sustainable energy, as well as keep waste to a minimum.
Now, every day, we take this approach across our entire business, from creating circular waste streams to building a home for the Watergate Bay Surf Life Saving Club.
Becoming a B Corp
We want to use our business as a force for good, both environmentally and socially. That’s why we’re currently going through a rigorous assessment to become B Corp certified.
B Corps balance profit with people and planet – reaching the highest environmental and social standards. Far from a tick-box exercise, becoming a B Corp will fundamentally change the way we do business – and we’ll be legally required to report on our impact every year.
The Beach Hut Sustainability Promise
Our Sustainability Promise shapes everything we do at The Beach Hut – from the food on our menus to how we recruit our teams and run the restaurant. Take a look at the key areas we are focusing on to make a positive impact on people and planet.
Our activity focuses around three key themes; circular, conservation, and community.
Our approach to the resources we use, and the waste we create, is to minimise the consumption of virgin materials and reuse items wherever possible. The ultimate aim is to create a circular system whereby resources can be infinitely reused in some way – either by us or our partners. We also recycle as much waste as possible.
A circular approach at Watergate Bay
- We’re working towards 80% of our waste being recycled and are getting close. All waste is separated onsite and our food waste is processed at a local anaerobic digestion facility and converted into renewable energy.
- Our general waste goes to the state-of-the-art Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre; the waste is used as fuel to generate sustainable energy in the form of electricity - enough for 21,000 Cornish homes.
- We have dramatically reduced single-use plastic. You’ll find reusable carafes of filtered water in our rooms instead of bottles, and no plastic straws, picks or stirrers. The land&water bath and body care bottles in rooms are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, are refilled after use, and are fully recyclable
- In our kitchens, food is delivered in reusable crates or recyclable cardboard. We ensure we reduce food waste, for example by using all cuts of meat across our three restaurants. The cooking oil we use is also collected for use in biodiesel.
- At Watchful Mary, reclaimed teak was used to create the outdoor furniture and our newly designed rooms in the hotel include upcycled pieces, restyled for a new lease of life.
- Our textiles and old uniforms are donated to the Salvation Army and we have collaborated with Surf Action to donate our wetsuits to veterans, their family and friends.
- Abandoned bodyboards discarded on the beach at Watergate Bay don’t end up in landfill. In partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, the polystyrene material used for the boards has been used to insulate beehives at Quince Honey Farm in Devon, as well as a craft workshop near Callington in Cornwall.
Conserving the earth’s natural resources is vital for a sustainable future. We source energy from renewable sources for our hotels and find innovative ways to reduce our energy demand. We also take pride in sustainably sourcing the local, seasonal produce for our kitchens and use biodegradable cleaning products.
Conservation at Watergate Bay
- We only buy 100% renewable electricity, supplied by Brook Green Energy.
- We also self-generate our base load (60kw) using two onsite combined heat and power plants (CHP).
- Our CHP system not only generates our base load for electricity but also provides for the majority of our hot water and heating requirements. The system is 65% more efficient than conventional power generation and prevents 207 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere each year.
- Solar thermal panels pre-heat our hot water, reducing our natural gas use, particularly during the peak demand periods in the summer.
- Across the hotel, LED lighting is used almost exclusively to ensure less energy is wasted. To create more efficient kitchens, we increasingly use induction hobs – which also create a more pleasant working environment for our kitchen team.
- Guests can charge their electric cars at one of the 10 universal type 2 charging points in the hotel and The Village car parks.
- The ultraviolet water quality system in our swimming pool minimises the chlorine needed, and we filter the pool’s using OC1 - an ultra-efficient filtration media reducing overall water usage.
- In our kitchens, we source as much as we can from local suppliers supporting good local farming practice and reducing food miles. This includes heritage tomatoes, herbs, biodynamically grown summer fruits and a host of fresh vegetables.
- Almost 100% of the meat we serve is supplied by local farmers and butchers.
- Our fish and seafood are sourced from the south west, where they’re sustainably landed from waters managed by quotas to support fish populations.
We believe that business should bring benefits for its local community. From creating quality, long-term employment opportunities to building assets that will benefit local people for years to come, people are at the heart of our decision-making.
Community at Watergate Bay
We recently provided a new home for the Watergate Bay Surf Life Saving Club and continue to work closely with the RNLI to provide life-guarding services at Watergate Bay. Together with our regular beach cleans, these are major parts of our commitment to ensure everyone can enjoy, and benefit from, the natural environment on our doorstep.
- We work with the Marine Conservation Society to help protect the beach, and sponsor Surfers Against Sewage in their fight to keep the oceans healthy and clean.
- We actively support organisations providing important services, including Cornwall Air Ambulance and through the Cornwall Community Foundation.
- In 2006 we founded the Jamie Oliver-inspired restaurant, Fifteen Cornwall. This social enterprise closed in 2019 having trained over 200 young people, the majority of whom are still working in Cornwall’s food industry. Another important legacy of Fifteen is that the charity delivered cooking programmes in the wider community which still continue.