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Sark’s Dixcart Bay hotel gets highest Sustainable Restaurant Association rating of 2012

By Emma Eversham+ , 31-Jul-2012
Last updated on 31-Jul-2012 at 16:44 GMT

Dixcart Bay hotel on the island of Sark has become the most highly rated business by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) so far this year after scoring highly in areas such as waste management and sourcing. 

The 19-bedroom hotel, one of four within the Sark Island Hotels Group, received an average score of 88 per cent from the SRA who rated it across 14 main areas of sustainability. It follows ODE in Devon, which scored the same last year and was voted most sustainable restaurant in the SRA's inaugural awards.

Scores of 100 per cent were awarded to the hotel in four areas – healthy eating, responsible marketing, supply chain and waste management – after its initiative such as growing its own organic fruit and vegetables, producing its own wine and ensuring suppliers act sustainably ticked the SRA’s boxes. 

SRA managing director Mark Linehan, said: “From their very close attention to sourcing the best local, seasonal and organic produce, through to their establishment of a very effective waste management system, the team at Dixcart deserve enormous praise for their efforts in achieving the highest rating of 2012 – so far. They have set a target for others to aim at.”

Sustainable initiatives 

Dixcart Bay, which re-opened in May on the car-less island of Sark following closure for refurbishment, had only been a member of the SRA for two months before the rating was undertaken. News of the high rating also follows an award of Gold from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) after it received a score of 87 per cent through its rating scheme. 

Responding to the news, the hotel's green ambassador Hendrik Lessing said: “We are extremely proud of the results we’ve achieved. The Dixcart scored 88 per cent from the SRA and 87 per cent from the GTBS and shows just how far we’ve come in less than a year. 

“We are fully aware of the current environmental issues that are affecting the world at this point in time and are fully committed to reducing our carbon footprint by protecting and sustaining local, national and global environments in whatever way we can.”

Sustainable initiatives in place at the hotel include:

  • Introducing 14 nucleus colonies of bees onto the island to increase biodiversity and create a local supply of honey called ‘Naturally Sark Honey'
  • Planting own vineyards and orchards to supply 92, 000 bottles of Sark wine each year
  • Refusing to serve any fish on the Marine Conservation Society’s 'Fish to Avoid' list
  • Replacing bins with recycling stations to encourage correct recycling in all hotel dining areas, offices and staff accommodation 
  • Recycling waste vegetable oils into biodiesel to run tractors and recycling green waste into compost 

Sister hotels, Aval du Creux, La Moinerie Hotel and Hotel Petit Champ have also received a three gold star accreditation from the SRA and all the hotels, a pub and a dedicated tourism office within the Sark Island Hotels Group, owned by the Barclay brother's company Sark Estate Management, have received recognition from the GTBS this year.The group's Aval du Creux and La Moinerie Hotel both join Dixcart with Gold badges from the GTBS, while Hotel Petit Champ and the Bel Air Inn pub hold silver. 

Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ at Park Farm was praised for receiving the highest score of 87 per cent in August last year, but was soon overtaken by ODE with 88 per cent. The SRA asks businesses 70 questions before deciding its rating for each of the 14 categories.

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