Bush Hotel - County Leitrim
The question of ecological damage caused by tourism has been taxing many a mind of late, and we are no exceptions. When requesting factual data from recommended establishments over the last few years, we’ve asked about environmental accreditation and any initiatives being undertaken by individual properties.
Until recently the response has been minimal, but there’s now been a noticeable change, with many establishments taking active measures to reduce environmental damage, some achieving national recognition with the Green Hospitality Awards scheme, and some receiving official EU recognition of standards being met.
By way of further encouragement, we have decided to give an annual GCGuides Green Ireland Hospitality Award, which is open to all categories in The Guide.
It is interesting that one of Ireland’s oldest hotels, The Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon, should be the first hotel in Ireland to receive the EU Eco-label ‘Flower’ award in recognition of its commitment to sustainable tourism and protection of the local environment: The Bush may be best known for its old-fashioned hospitality and exceptionally pleasant and helpful staff, but it’s clear that there’s nothing backward-looking about the management.
The ‘Flower’ comprises 84 very specific and technical criteria in energy, water and waste management - with much emphasis on environmental awareness & innovation. Initiatives undertaken include installing over 1300 Class A Low Energy bulbs which provide 97% of lighting in the hotel, contracting Airtricity as its electricity provider, and emphasising locally sourced products.
The hotel also does not accept pallets, shrink wrap, bubble wraps or polystyrene, all deliveries now come in returnable and reusable plastic crates and all excess packaging is removed by suppliers.
The Greenbox eco-tourism area is close by, taking in parts of Donegal, parts of Sligo, West Cavan, Fermanagh and Leitrim, but – along with Enniskillen - Carrick-on-Shannon is excluded from the project due to its size of population; however, interest in eco-tourism in the general area may drive well-earned extra business to the hotel.
MD Joseph Dolan commented that, “From a business perspective, our environmental management approach has delivered significant cost reductions which we have been able to pass on to our loyal customers.”
It’s good to know that what’s good for the environment is also good for our pockets – well done to all at The Bush.