UK: Whatley Manor has become the first climate positive hotel in the UK.
This means the hotel removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits, each year.
To get to this point, in February 2019 the hotel implemented a strong sustainability and decarbonisation strategy under the stewardship of then general manager, Sue Williams.
Williams set the target to reduce Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 95 per cent by 2028 and 90 per cent for its supply chain by 2035 (compared with 2019).
The strategy combined efforts to address climate change with energy efficiency, waste reduction, community engagement and funding climate action.
The 23-room hotel has spent five years maximising the reduction of its Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions and achieved EarthCheck Silver Certified in September 2022. It has also achieved its climate positive target through purchasing carbon credits, certified by Gold Standard, to offset more than its residual 1778 tonnes of CO2 emitted in 2022.
Hotel owner, Christian Landolt said of the achievement: “At Whatley Manor Hotel, we believe that luxury should not come at the expense of the environment. Becoming the first climate positive hotel in the UK is a testament to the team’s dedication to create a positive impact on the planet while delivering an exceptional guest experience.
Despite our significant achievements so far, there is still much to do, our actions do not stop here and we cannot / will not rest on our laurels. We are committed to achieving climate positive each year to ensure we carry on being responsible for more than our current emissions, respecting nature, people and planet.”
Whatley Manor has partnered with ItMustBeNow and EarthCheck to keep its sustainability programme accountable and transparent. This means it will use a science-based approach to measure and benchmark, audit and certify; to build capacity and report its sustainability actions to inform and engage the support of its stakeholders; and to avoid accusations of greenwash.
The hotel has also joined the NOW Climate Positive Programme to access support and a selection of climate action projects, including investing in a Cookstove Project in Kenya.
General manager Michele Mella said in the hotel’s latest sustainability report: “We acknowledge that achieving our goals and objectives will require many changes to be made over time. However, we strongly believe that our sustainability efforts serve the interests of both the current and future generations and constitute the foundation for long lasting success and business.”
Last week we reported on Urban Villages and Aparium Hotel Group opening two carbon positive hotels in the US.
There are some different ways of using certain climate phrases – we will be addressing this with a piece on climate literacy coming soon.