Increasingly, the travel industry is flying the flag for ethical practice. As it hoists the flag ever higher, more hospitality providers are implementing efforts to support local communities and preserve the environment. At Red Carnation Hotels, sustainability is at the heart of all our endeavours. Each of our beautiful properties combines macro sustainability practices with hotel-specific initiatives to reduce our environmental footprint. Here, we profile just five of the ways in which we prioritise ethical travel.
No more single-use plastics
Every day, approximately eight million pieces of plastic enter the world’s oceans, wreaking untold havoc on marine environments. It’s estimated that over 50 per cent of whales, 40 per cent of seabirds and nearly 100 per cent of turtles suffer from marine plastic pollution. Yet, still, many of the world’s industries make no active effort to cut down on usage. At Red Carnation Hotels, we have made a solemn pledge to eliminate all unnecessary single-use plastics by 2022.
Already, we have eliminated plastic straws and takeaway coffee cups, single-use butter trays and cocktail stirrers at our restaurants and bars. In our guest rooms, we’ve swapped plastic grooming kits for bamboo variants. By mid-2020, all our properties will have further eliminated wasteful miniature toiletries, replacing them with luxury refillable decanters.
Ethical travel amenities
At Red Carnation Hotels, we actively seek to reuse what we cannot recycle. This includes our guest amenities. At our London properties, for example, we have partnered with the UK-based charity CleanConscience to re-distribute our unused toiletries to those in need. Collected toiletries have benefitted those at homeless and women’s shelters across the world, while almost 2,000 kilograms of soap have been donated to the Kori Development Project for women in Sierra Leone to sell. So far, over 17,000 bars have been created, helping these women to support themselves and their families.
Impactful energy conservation
Energy conservation has long been a priority of ours. We’ve implemented a linen programme that enables guests to opt out of having their sheets washed daily. Additionally, all our showers have been installed with flow restrictors to save water and our lightbulbs converted to LED variants. We donate the financial savings from these initiatives to one of our chosen local charities, such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital or the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
We are constantly looking to promote conservation and reduce our environmental footprint. In South Africa, we support the country’s vibrant wildlife through charities such as Rhinos Without Borders and the Cape Leopard Trust. Already, we have helped to track four cape leopards for potentially species-saving research. In London, The Rubens at the Palace’s Living Wall has not only helped in energy conservation and pollution prevention. It has also opened a new world of 10,000 plants for London’s birds, bugs and bees.
Additionally, at Ashford Castle, The Chesterfield Mayfair and The Montague on the Gardens, we’ve installed apiaries to shelter even more honeybees—over half a million to be exact. And at all our beachfront properties, our staff regularly engages in coastal clean-ups. The Chesterfield Palm Beach has further supported the cause by adopting and nursing to health an injured loggerhead turtle as part of our partnership with the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
Every hotel in our collection strives to work with as many local partners as possible, with our kitchens consistently sourcing local ingredients and serving seasonal menus. Our partners include local-level charities and high-impact non-profits alike, allowing us to make both a meaningful local impression and a significant global impact. All our hotels sell ME to WE chocolates to create economic empowerment in traditionally exploited areas, while our preferred water supplier in the UK is BELU, a non-profit that prioritises clean water for all. At the heart of all our partnerships is the TreadRight Foundation, a non-profit that uses travel as a means to improve local communities, planetary health and global wildlife conservation efforts.