Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet – Lancet report

Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet – Lancet report

 

A major report on healthy diets and food systems commissioned by the Lancet Medical Journal has called for a comprehensive shift in how the world eats.

The EAT-Lancet Commission involved a 3-year collaboration between 37 scientific experts from 16 countries. It concluded that our food systems are faulty and a major contributor to climate change, leaving civilisation in crisis.

The Commission’s report calls for a dramatic reduction in the consumption of meat and dairy and a sharp increase in plant-based foods.

It warned that we can no longer feed our population a healthy diet while balancing planetary resources.

Almost one billion people are hungry, almost two billion are eating the wrong food, and unhealthy diets account for up to 11 million avoidable deaths per year.

The dominant diets of the past 50 years are a major contributor to climate change and are no longer nutritionally optimal.

The scientists set out what they call a new universal healthy reference diet. It largely consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and unsaturated oils, with very moderate amounts of seafood and poultry.

However, it allows no or only very low quantities of red meat, processed meat, added sugars, refined grains and starchy vegetables.

The recommendations would imply a 90% reduction in red meat and milk consumption in Ireland, a 70% reduction in chicken, as well as substantial reduction in the consumption of potatoes and some other vegetables.

The report suggests policies to eliminate and restrict food choice, including new taxes and charges, as well as withdrawing products from sale and in some cases rationing.

The commission says food is the single strongest lever to optimise human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.

Professor Tim Lang, one of the authors from City, University of London, said: “The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet. We are currently getting this seriously wrong … we are in a catastrophic situation.

“We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before in ways appropriate to each country’s circumstances.

“While this is uncharted policy territory and these problems are not easily fixed, this goal is within reach and there are opportunities to adapt international, local and business policies. The scientific targets we have devised for a healthy, sustainable diet are an important foundation which will underpin and drive this change.”

Professor Johan Rockstrom, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who co-led the commission, said a sustainable system that could deliver healthy diets for a growing and wealthier world population required “nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution”.

He added: “Our definition of sustainable food production requires that we use no additional land, safeguard existing biodiversity, reduce consumptive water use and manage water responsibly, substantially reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, produce zero carbon dioxide emissions, and cause no further increase in methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

“There is no silver bullet for combating harmful food production practices, but by defining and quantifying a safe operating space for food systems, diets can be identified that will nurture human health and support environmental sustainability.”

US colleague and co-lead commissioner Dr Walter Willett, from Harvard University, said: “The world’s diets must change dramatically. More than 800 million people have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease.”

Here, the Green Party Leader has called on the Government to change Irish agriculture and Irish food policy following the publication of the report.

Eamon Ryan accused Fine Gael of having an obsession with big business and expanding the beef, meat and dairy markets internationally, rather than focusing on the future of the Irish family farm.

He called on the Government to change FoodWise 2025, which is a ten year plan for the agri-food sector to expand.

The Tánaiste said the Green Party Leader was not giving “a fair reflection” of the food policy in FoodWise 2025.

Simon Coveney said the Government was planning sustainable and controlled expansion of the dairy and beef sectors.

Food outlets save money by reducing food waste

Savour Food sees companies save money and enhance environment

 

East Cork food and retail businesses are making huge cost savings and having positive impacts on the environment and staff morale thanks to Savour Food, a new food waste reduction programme.

Supported by the Clean Technology Centre (CIT), SECAD, and Taste Cork, the 11 participating businesses were given Savour Food awards recently. For the past year, they have been given free consultancy, food waste prevention training and advice on legal obligations in relation to food waste management.

Savour Food is currently inviting food businesses from the Clonakilty and Ballyhoura regions to join year two of the programme. The initial trial was a success. The companies in the pilot were delighted to save €3 per kg, or €3,000 per tonne, on reduced waste costs. As business owners will know, €3,000 of bottom-line costs equates to three or four times that in revenue.

Programme participant, Aherne’s Townhouse and Seafood Restaurant in Youghal has reduced their waste collection costs by €160/month or €2,000 per annum at ‘zero cost’ to the business. This saving equates to the business increasing its turnover by €10,000 per annum.

“It was easy enough really, just a case of them advising me on better recycling,” said David Fitzgibbon, proprietor of Aherne’s Restaurant. “It has reduced the waste we were sending to landfill and it has saved me money.

“All the staff were happy about it and were very quickly on board. They were all segregating waste at home in any case, so they’re just doing the same kind of thing now in work also. It’s good for the environment and good for business. Naturally, everybody is happy to work with this programme.”

Other East Cork members of Savour Food include Ballyseedy Home & Garden, three Bite Size cafés (including one in Ballincollig), Day’s Eurospar, Ferrit & Lee, Fitzgerald’s Bakery, Fota Island Resort, Hurley’s SuperValu Midleton, La Trattoria, The Malt House Restaurant @ The Jameson Experience Midleton Distillery, The Pepperstack and The Red Store.

Better planning, food waste segregation, waste auditing and waste cost analysis are key elements of the Savour Food programme, which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, and provided free of charge to food businesses.

Savour Food programme lead, James Hogan of the Clean Technology Centre, said: “In Ireland we generate over one million tonnes of waste food each year, 75% of which is generated in food production, service and retail.

“Wasted food is wasted money, as well as having implications for the environment and climate change.”

The Savour Food programme advises businesses on how to monitor and prevent food waste, which results in reduced food waste and cost savings. Phase two of the programme will begin within a matter of weeks.

“When we started in East Cork, some businesses would already have had a brown bin, but we were surprised by the number of companies who didn’t,” added Hogan. “Now there is a greater awareness of the impacts of waste.

“It all starts with measuring waste. Measuring the waste helps us advise companies on their opportunities to save. Hotels are where most food waste occurs. Factory canteens create far less waste.

“Typically, hotels create around 400g of waste per cover. The average hotel creates around 50 tonnes of waste each year, which equates to a cost of around €150,000.”

CIT’s Clean Technology Centre has been engaging with businesses for the past 25 years, across all sectors. The Savour Food initiative is specifically focused on food service providers.

The programme’s partners applaud companies like Tesco, who sell ‘ugly’ fruit and veg at a discount rather than dumping it. While the Savour Food pilot trials have very focused goals within specific communities, they may also feed into the bigger picture national efforts to promote the sustainability of Irish agri-food and tourism.

“Around a third of all food produced globally is wasted,” said James Hogan. It would feed around 600 million people, or almost twice the population of the USA. That waste also releases huge volumes of greenhouse gases. If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest polluter in the world after the USA and China.

“We’d like to develop the programme in other communities and in other counties,” he added. “We see it as part of the bigger ‘green agenda’ along with Bord Bia’s Origin Green and other initiatives to reduce or redistribute food waste. The savings are good both in economic terms and for the environment.”

Following the success of the East Cork pilot, Savour Food’s partners are very upbeat about the up-coming programmes in Clonakilty and Ballyhoura.

Programme partner, SECAD CEO Ryan Howard, said: “The Savour Food programme is a win-win for the food sector. Not only is it an ideal way for businesses to save money on food waste, meet best practice guidelines for the food sector, it also ensures that we are respecting our environment for a more sustainable future.”

 

Plastic Ban planned for public sector

GHP Comment: Whilst eliminating single use plastics is an important issue (and one too many hospitality businesses are paying lip service to, or engaging in green washing exercises by publicising plastic straw removal) this move by the government is a major smoke screen to try and position Ireland as a progressive environmentally responsible country.  It could not be further from the truth.  Our abject failure to engage meaningfully in addressing Climate Change is an international disgrace.

We have also noted recently the removal of funding from the GreenBusiness.ie and Smile Exchange programmes.  These exemplar programmes promoted the circular economy and energy efficiencies mainly to the private business sector.  Taking away their funding which results in them shutting shop is an immensely retrograde step and provides no comfort that our government is taking the challenges facing us seriously.

Note:  This ban was put in place in early January 

The Government has promised to lead a “war on single-use plastics” in Ireland by banning them from use by the public sector. The move is to cover Government departments, State agencies, hospitals and schools

Harry McGee, Irish Times

Minister for Climate Change Richard Bruton will outline plans early in the new year to impose a total ban on unnecessary single-use plastics across the entirety of the public sector in the coming year.

The ban will extend to all Government departments, State agencies, hospitals and schools.  Details of the proposed ban were disclosed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in a round-robin interview with the media at Christmas. He was also asked about his promise to bring the use of single-use plastics to an end in his own department.  Mr Varadkar said he was not sure if his department had been fully effective in removing them, but was going to “get there”.  “And the plan is to do that across Government departments and then different agencies as well,” he said. “We also plan to legislate in this area as well.”

Mr Varadkar argued that Ireland has done very well on the environment front and possibly does not get enough credit for it.  “We are a leader when it comes to recycling and we are a leader when it comes to renewable energy. Obviously, climate emissions and greenhouse gas are areas where we are a laggard and falling way behind.  “But I think there is a whole environmental agenda that is about climate change, but [it] is about more than climate change. And plastics is a big part of that.

‘Microbeads’
“So we will have the legislation on microbeads enacted next year and there is a European law on single-use plastics as well and we are very much behind that.”Mr Bruton will also, over the course of 2019, be setting out new and more ambitious actions for recycling of plastics, according to a Government spokesman.

“He will also be looking at new ways to work with retailers and producers to reduce plastics use in packaging voluntarily,” he said.

A Bill to ban plastic microbeads, which present a huge risk to sea life and aquatic ecosystems, is expected to complete its passage through the Dáil and Seanad and into law during 2019.

SWISSOTEL – Sustainability Update 2015-2017

PARIS

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, a leading brand within the AccorHotels Group, announces the release of its 2018 Sustainability Report Update, “Made with Sustainability in Mind”.

This report covers the brand’s strategies and actions to continuously improve its sustainability performance throughout the years of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Previous Sustainability Reports were issued in 2012 and 2015.

The 2018 Sustainability Update provides insight as to how Swissôtel tackles areas which are most important to its internal and external stakeholders based on materiality assessments conducted by the brand’s sustainability management team and third-party experts. The report includes updated performance data, recent case studies and an overview of key initiatives to provide a clear picture of what sustainability at Swissôtel means.

Energy Audit Scheme – Legal Requirement

GHP Note:  Many hospitality businesses fall within the criteria – employs more than 250 people as it includes all employees – full-time and part-time.  Companies with multiple units or linked enterprises – Hotel groups, restaurant chains, pub groups, etc. – will easily surpass the 250 number.

GHP recommends that your initial step is to engage with us to undertake a General Scoping Exercise to establish your position and broad opportunities and we can also recommend a number of Energy Auditors who can undertake the formal audit for your business.  Contact us at info@greenhospitality.ie 

 

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) mandates large organisations to complete energy audits every four years. This requirement was transposed into Irish legislation in SI 426 of 2014.

If your organisation is a legal entity that meets either or both of the following criteria, your organisation is required to take an energy audit in accordance with Statutory Instrument (SI) 426 of 2014.

  • An Enterprise that employs 250 people or more
  • An Enterprise with an annual turnover in excess of €50m and an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43m

How to comply:

There are two broad options to undertake an energy audit:

  1. You can undertake a standalone energy audit(s), on the basis of the minimum criteria set out in Annex VI of the EED, every four years.  Each audit must be completed by a Registered Energy Auditor OR
  2. If your organisation has a valid, certified energy or environmental management system (ISO 50001, ISO 14001 or equivalent) and it can demonstrate to SEAI that the management system includes an energy audit that meets the minimum criteria set out in Annex VI of the EED, then your organisation can engage a Registered Energy Auditor to confirm in writing that the management system fulfils the requirement for an audit.

This must be repeated every four years. The full requirements for compliance are set out in (SI) 426 of 2014.

 

 

EU Legislation (Energy Efficiency Directive) mandates that large enterprises must have an energy audit of their operations by 5th December 2015.

If your organisation has 250 or more employees (on payroll)

or

Ff you have less than 250 employees but an annual turnover in excess of €50m and an annual balance sheet total in excess of €43m, then this requirement applies to you.

How sustainable is Ireland’s food industry?

The ‘Irish Times’ war on waste food survey finds food businesses are making progress – but fast food and ready meals are black spots

Link to article here

 

 

Masterchefs boosts NUIG eco-drive

masterchefs1218

Pictured are  Masterchefs Managing Director, Pat O’Sullivan, NUI Galway’s Director of Commercial Services, Ann Duggan and Lorraine Rushe, Environmental Health & Safety Manager at NUI Galway, in the self-sufficient herb garden established by Masterchefs at Moffetts Restaurant, NUI Galway
Masterchefs Hospitality have, over  the last twelve months , served 25,000 hot beverages in reusable cups at NUI Galway having incentivised their customers to make the transition from single use take away cups – further reinforcing the University’s ambition of become one of the greenest, smartest, healthiest and community-focused campuses in the world.
As well as having a huge environmental impact by significantly reducing the amount of single use cups ending up in the bin, the scheme has also saved the staff and students at NUI Galway as much as €5,000 in discounts.
Pat O’Sullivan, Managing Director of Masterchefs Hospitality said, “While we have led the way in sustainability for many years, this is the first time we have measured the impact of our reusable cup campaign over a whole year, the results are impressive”.
Ann Duggan, Director of Commercial Services at NUI Galway said, “The University is committed to preventing and reducing waste and managing it in a sustainable way that improves resource efficiency, reduces costs and protects people’s health and the environment. We engage with the entire campus community to reduce waste generated and promote recycling. Masterchefs’ promotion of single-use cups is an excellent example of the significant steps being taken on campus to reduce waste. NUI Galway’s current recycling rate is 53% and our target recycling rate is set at 60% by 2020. This is set to increase to 70% by 2025 ahead of the EU Commission’s objective to reach the same target by 2030.”
This is the latest in a number of  schemes that Masterchefs have implemented across their nationwide business in recent years.
Since 2016, Masterchefs have exclusively been using compostable packaging in all public food outlets at Thomond Park Stadium, where 26,000 customers access the facilities on match days. All Masterchefs sites across the country use only compostable packaging.
Masterchefs has also been working closely with its suppliers for many years to reduce the amount of packaging coming into their business. All of their suppliers have partnered with them to ensure that only minimum packaging is used. For items such as fruit, vegetables, fish and meats, they immediately transfer them into their own storage containers – their suppliers take away and recycle their delivery boxes.
Another example of the company’s commitment to sustainability is evident at Moffetts Restaurant, located in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway. The restaurant has become more self-sufficient and dramatically reduced its carbon footprint by establishing its own herb garden directly outside the restaurant. The space, which is used to grow the likes of thyme, rosemary, mint, chives, dill, chamomile, sage and nasturtiums, is cultivated daily during the summer months by Chef Paul Gannon and used in the restaurant’s dishes.
Irish, Organic, Seasonal & Sustainable Produce
Masterchefs are passionate about supporting local farmers and using as much Irish produce in their food as possible. The latest example of this approach is Copia Green – the company’s new health-driven eatery, which opened in Castletroy, Limerick in October 2018. To make it onto the menu, each ingredient needs to be organic, seasonal or sustainable. Copia Green aim to use 75% organic and Irish produce throughout the year. They source their  meats from organic Irish farmers, only use organic Irish eggs and dairy and their fish is sustainably sourced.
Their stated aim is for Masterchefs to be a zero waste business. Waste is divided into three categories: compost, recycle, and waste, with a target to throw away less than one bag of waste per day. They are able to achieve this following several years of useful engagement with their suppliers and partners in eliminating unnecessary packaging. This has significantly reduced their waste costs as it has done with other measures like water conservation and electricity reduction.
Masterchefs aims to use as much of a product as possible including its so called by-products. For example, they make their our own labneh (cultured yoghurt) and the leftover whey is used as a brine in their fermented foods. They use the pulp from juicing veggies and fruits in their gluten-free crackers and the almond pulp from making their own nut milks they use in their broccoli and almond soup. Naturally, they compost all of their food scraps.
At Copia Green, non-chemical eco-friendly cleaning products are used to wash the dishes, dining space and bathrooms and their  j-cloths, teabags, hand towels and toilet rolls are all biodegradable. Even the pens used to take down customers’ orders are compostable. This is something which Masterchefs will be implementing across the rest of their business in 2019.
Source: hospitalityenews

2019 Sustainability Forecast: Six priorities for your company

Where is sustainability headed for the hotel industry? Xenia ze Hohenlohe, managing partner and founder of UK based Considerate Hoteliers, a hospitality consultancy, offers six trends that will come to the forefront in the coming year.

Reporting and climate goal compliance: Science-based targets for big hotel groups

Pressure is growing for global companies to develop ambitious emission reduction targets in line with the 2°C goals set by the United Nation’s Paris Agreement on climate.

One way of responding to that is to set science-based carbon reduction targets (SBTs). SBTs provide companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Since Hilton Hotels has declared it will measure its performance according to SBTs, others in the industry, such as Meliá Hotels International and NH Hotel Group have followed suit in committing to this pathway, too. This is great news for the sector overall, as it will allow for industry baselines to be established and smaller groups to follow best-practice examples. This will include data not only on direct emissions at the hotel, but also on supply chains, waste produced and transport.

(Find out more about this reporting system at this website.)

Reporting on CO2 emissions for mid-sized groups and sustainable development goals)

For hotel groups with fewer properties in their portfolio, no in-house CSR department or indeed less corporate structure to commit to the above-mentioned targets, there are still ways to participate in the race to reduce our global temperatures – by simply measuring their own CO2 emissions through a monitoring tool and adhering to energy efficiency certifications such as an ISO50001, energy-proofing their buildings, through a LEED certification, or through something similar.

In addition to this, the UN’s World Tourism Organization as well as its UN Environment Programme are encouraging hotel and tourism businesses to integrate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and report progress on those, for further transparency purposes. Find out more here.)

Reduce waste

Since China has slammed the door on the world’s waste, the U.S. and the EU are now struggling to deal with a major waste crisis.

We have heard a lot in the past year on plastic waste in our oceans and waters, not only because of the wide reach of the BBC’s “Blue Planet” and David Attenborough’s urgent call to action. But it is also the sad picture of our beaches, one of the tourism industry’s key selling points, that are now flooded with waste and putting our key offering at risks, which has put the topic at the forefront of our minds.

It is therefore going to be paramount for hotels to reduce waste, in particular those hotesl with no access to recycling schemes to reduce single-use items coming into their properties. This covers not only moving away from plastic bottles in all sizes and packaging, but general wrapping, delivery crates and more. Again, the UN has set up a scheme to help hotels adopt more sustainable consumption and production practices. More details can be found here.

There are also more and more tools available to hotels to help them measure and reduce waste including food waste and other streams. Plus, it is imperative to put pressure on the waste companies to allow a more comprehensive and detailed billing system in order to know exact pick-up loads. Many so far only work on weekly averages, which makes it hard to reduce.

Address water scarcity

The past summer has delivered to the northern hemisphere one of the hottest and driest summers ever recorded, which means that even in northern America and all over Europe, there has been an increase not just in in wildfires but also water restrictions.

This gives hotels the opportunity to start monitoring their water usage, make sure there are no leaks or inefficiencies and retrain staff on the use of water, as the price and availability of this commodity will no longer remain the same. So best to prepare yourself rather than be caught unaware!

Be attractive employers

All of the above are facts and messages the generation now hitting the job market have grown up with and are acutely aware of. They are choosing their careers and employers carefully, and much market research has shown that this generation wants to work for “meaningful” companies – i.e., for organizations that care about their social and environmental impact.

For any global hotel company, the employment of future talent is key to the success of their brands and offering. It is therefore also key for them to adopt responsible business practices in order to attract this new generation of workers, as they will rather continue looking for their ideal employer than take any job for the sake of it.

Engage in fun green story-telling

Guests and travelers are of course also increasingly aware of the change in our world’s climate and environment and are looking for “guilt-free” holidays, during which they will not worry too much about contributing negatively to the existing issues.

Therefore, it is always great to use positive story-telling to communicate all of your hotel’s engagement to the guest, be it through infographics, great images for your Instagram account, Facebook stories or in fun messages around the hotel.

Don’t be shy about telling your stories, showing your staff’s engagement and offering guest the option to participate in some initiatives, should they wish to do so.

Source:  hotelsmag.com 

How hotels, plastics and wellness are critically connected

WORLDWIDE WEB OF WELLNESS BY ANNA BJURSTAM

Anna Bjurstam, Six Senses Spas, vice president of spas, Bangkok

How hotels, plastics and wellness are critically connected

(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)

This blog has been bubbling up within me for quite some time. I have been greatly inspired by Jeff Smith, our Six Senses vice president of sustainability, an expert in the field. I must credit a lot of the info in this blog to him. So here it goes!

If whole countries can do something about plastic, why don’t we as an industry do more?

  • Bangladesh was the first country to ban plastic bags in 2002.
  • Puerto Rico banned plastic bags in 2017.
  • Kenya banned importing, producing or even using plastic bags, with jail time or fines up to US$38,000 for offenders.
  • Rwanda banned plastic bags in 2008 and searches luggage at the airport.

Below you can see which countries or states have some kind of ban, tax, charge or partial charge (coloured areas).

Moreover, when it comes to disposable plastic such as cups, straws, cutlery,  food containers, etc.:

  • New Delhi banned all disposable plastic in the capital region in 2017.
  • Taiwan will ban all plastic straws in all chain restaurants from 2019, and from 2020 all businesses will be fined if they offer plastic straws.
  • France will ban all single-use plastic plates, cutlery and disposable cups by 2020.
  • Costa Rica aims to be the first country to ban disposable plastic by 2021.

We have seen a lot of movement lately with hotel chains working towards completely eliminating plastic straws, which is a great start, but far from enough. Six Senses is free of plastic straws and bottles, and of disposable F&B containers, as well.

Why is this important?

So, why is this important, and is it not enough just to recycle?

First of all, much of the pollution occurs during production, extraction, use and disposal. When we recycle, half the damage is already done. And we don’t recycle everything and have a 250,000-ton plastic island floating at sea, for example. We just need to stop the production.

Apart from what we all know about the impact on our wildlife, oceans and earth as a whole, not everyone knows how plastic affects our health. Plastic does not decompose. It only gets smaller. This is called microplastic.  One plastic bottle breaks into 10,000 small pieces of plastic. Eighty-three percent of the water tested globally reveals microplastic, which is now equally in our food chain. These chemicals and microplastics affect our health in a big way:

  • Development of the brain
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Early onset of puberty in females
  • Diabetes, obesity and liver dysfunction
  • Genital, prostatic, endometrial, ovarian and breast diseases
  • Cardiovascular, liver, urologic, genital and endocrine (hormonal) effects
  • Developmental and reproductive toxic effects

The above information is just starting to emerge, and my guess is that guests will soon know how bad plastic is for their health, the quantity of microplastics they already have in their blood, organs and various systems and the impact this will have. Drinking water from plastic bottles may be much more damaging than you think. The water does not go bad that quickly, but the plastic decomposes the longer it sits and the level of the surrounding temperature resulting in the drinking water becoming a chemical cocktail of microplastics that then enter your system.

At Six Senses, our aim is to be completely plastic-free by 2022, and we are about 90% there now, and down to the finer details, such as how to we get our suppliers to deliver food plastic container-free or how we convince local authorities to agree to alternatives to plastic wrap.

If countries can become free of plastic bags and disposable plastics, we as an industry should strive for that, too. Be aware that once consumers really understand the huge health hazard of plastic, not only for our planet but for our own health, they will soon start to demand plastic-free environments.

I would love for more hotels and hotel chains to be plastic-free within the coming years. And if they don’t, I suspect their guests will be staying elsewhere.

11/6/2018

SEAI Energy Awards 2018

SEAI Energy Awards

 

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) last week announced the winners of the 2018 Sustainable Energy Awards at a gala event which saw Mike Pearson of Gurteen College in Tipperary, take away the top prize for Energy Manager of the Year.

The SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards reward excellence in energy management in businesses, communities and public sector organisations.

Pearson impressed judges with his spearheading of an ambitious renewable energy programme at Gurteen College. This includes a wind turbine, solar electricity system and a biomass boiler, all of which are included in the college’s education module for students. The biomass boiler is fuelled from willow grown on site and provides 80% of the colleges heating each year.

Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment said: “I’d like to congratulate all those who took part in this year’s competition and of course, a particular mention for Mike Pearson for his very impressive submission.

“I am very heartened by all the projects put forward for this competition. It is great to see such passion and creativity being directed at what is the most crucial issue of our time – responding to climate change and ensuring that we are turning towards more sustainable energy sources. The innovative approaches taken by the finalists demonstrate the expertise Ireland has in this area and will inspire others to follow suit.”

Jim Gannon, Chief Executive of SEAI, said: “The SEAI Energy Awards celebrate the absolute best of Ireland’s sustainable energy achievements. They are a vivid demonstration of how Irish business, communities and public organisations are pushing the boundaries in energy efficiency and the switch to clean energy.

“The 80 plus entrants in this year’s Awards have made energy savings of €38 million and they are responsible for €30m in energy generated from renewables, which is equivalent to powering 166,000 homes.

“As the realities of climate change becoming clearer to us all, it is particularly important to highlight what work is being done by energy leaders across the country. The commitment and dedication of the finalists should be a huge inspiration to us all. With an exceptionally high standard, this year’s finalists deserve our collective congratulations.”

To view the full list of winners – Click Here

 

Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet – Lancet report   A major report on healthy diets and food systems commissioned by the Lancet Medical Journal has called for a comprehensive shift in how the world eats. The EAT-Lancet Commission involved a 3-year collaboration between 37 scientific experts from 16 countries. It concluded that our […]

Read More


Savour Food sees companies save money and enhance environment   East Cork food and retail businesses are making huge cost savings and having positive impacts on the environment and staff morale thanks to Savour Food, a new food waste reduction programme. Supported by the Clean Technology Centre (CIT), SECAD, and Taste Cork, the 11 participating […]

Read More


GHP Comment: Whilst eliminating single use plastics is an important issue (and one too many hospitality businesses are paying lip service to, or engaging in green washing exercises by publicising plastic straw removal) this move by the government is a major smoke screen to try and position Ireland as a progressive environmentally responsible country.  It […]

Read More


PARIS Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, a leading brand within the AccorHotels Group, announces the release of its 2018 Sustainability Report Update, “Made with Sustainability in Mind”. This report covers the brand’s strategies and actions to continuously improve its sustainability performance throughout the years of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Previous Sustainability Reports were issued in 2012 […]

Read More


GHP Note:  Many hospitality businesses fall within the criteria – employs more than 250 people as it includes all employees – full-time and part-time.  Companies with multiple units or linked enterprises – Hotel groups, restaurant chains, pub groups, etc. – will easily surpass the 250 number. GHP recommends that your initial step is to engage […]

Read More


The ‘Irish Times’ war on waste food survey finds food businesses are making progress – but fast food and ready meals are black spots Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 06:00 Kevin O’Sullivan Environment & Science Editor, Marie Claire Digby Link to article here    

Read More


Pictured are  Masterchefs Managing Director, Pat O’Sullivan, NUI Galway’s Director of Commercial Services, Ann Duggan and Lorraine Rushe, Environmental Health & Safety Manager at NUI Galway, in the self-sufficient herb garden established by Masterchefs at Moffetts Restaurant, NUI Galway Masterchefs Hospitality have, over  the last twelve months , served 25,000 hot beverages in reusable cups […]

Read More


Where is sustainability headed for the hotel industry? Xenia ze Hohenlohe, managing partner and founder of UK based Considerate Hoteliers, a hospitality consultancy, offers six trends that will come to the forefront in the coming year. Reporting and climate goal compliance: Science-based targets for big hotel groups Pressure is growing for global companies to develop ambitious emission reduction […]

Read More


WORLDWIDE WEB OF WELLNESS BY ANNA BJURSTAM Anna Bjurstam, Six Senses Spas, vice president of spas, Bangkok How hotels, plastics and wellness are critically connected (The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.) This blog has been bubbling up within me for quite some time. I have been greatly inspired by […]

Read More


SEAI Energy Awards   The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) last week announced the winners of the 2018 Sustainable Energy Awards at a gala event which saw Mike Pearson of Gurteen College in Tipperary, take away the top prize for Energy Manager of the Year. The SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards reward excellence in energy […]

Read More




Login
Booking.com