Leafy Chelsea may be changing to Autumn colours, but The Draycott is really taking it to heart turning their green initiatives into gold.
The five star luxury hotel in the heart of Chelsea recently won the gold award for 'Good Practice Throughout' at the Green Tourism for London Scheme.
Tirelessly working to ensure that they are promoting environmental sustainability within the hotel, The Draycott  is targeting the future to ensure that waste and emissions are reduced as much as possible.
The Green Tourism for London Scheme is the first independently audited green accreditation scheme for tourism in London. It has over 150 measures of good sustainable practice related to running a successful tourism related operation. Businesses are rated according to the number of measures that have been put into practice.
The Draycott’s parent company Mantis , based in South Africa, has a strong commitment to conserving the environment. Their underlying philosophy is one of responsible and ecologically sensitive development, supporting the local environment through community projects and conservation of resources.
Draycott Company Accountant Vahan Hovhannisyan who is leading the initiatives said, “We would like to follow Mantis in making a difference to the environment. We recognise the impact our business has on the environment and are committed to operating in a sustainable manner. The concept of a green 5-star hotel is a bit of a paradox. The luxury world of excess and abundance associated with the 5-star world and trying to reduce, reuse etc. are at either ends of the spectrum but we have worked extremely hard over the past few years in this pioneering field. We’re a passionate team who love what we do and we relish the opportunity of shaping our business in the future. Simple changes to the way we operate have helped us reduce the amount of harmful chemicals we use, cut our energy and water consumption and see us recycle more.”
Initiatives the hotel has implemented include:
- Using low energy light and LED bulbs in public areas.
- Monitoring their consumption of gas, electricity and water.
- Using electronic mail where possible to reduce the use of paper.
- Turning off unnecessary lights and taps.
- Buying in bulk.
- Encouraging staff to support the charity ‘Ayoma Vision’ founded by Head Chef Erasmus Yao Amedume. The hotel encourages staff to help with the collection of unwanted clothes and books to be sent to the Ghanaian village of Ayoma.
Partnering with The Carbon Trust in 2011 helped the hotel to monitor their CO2 emissions and find ways of reducing them. Employing careful measures and vigilant monitoring of energy consumption, effective controls were put in place which meant in 2012 the hotel reduced its electricity usage by 6% and gas usage by 15%.
CO2 reduction was also at the heart of their kitchen renewal project last year, choosing appliances and equipment for their efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally the hotel has been:
- Maintaining bedroom temperature at 20°C.
- Encouraging guests to turn off lights when not in use.
- Turning down fires at night.
- Servicing the boiler regularly and keeping it at 60°C.
- Switch-Off policy employed by office staff to ensure computers and lights are not left on unnecessarily.
- Turning off non-essential equipment when not in use.
- Reducing their use of harmful cleaning chemicals and using more eco-friendly products where possible.
- Adopting sustainable business practices and environmentally friendly behaviours as part of staff inductions.
They are currently in the process of replacing all lights throughout the hotel with LEDs.
Water reduction has been achieved by using a Hippo Water Saver in every toilet, reducing each flush by three litres. A more efficient dishwasher uses only 2.5 litres of water with each cycle, and the decision to provide ice in rooms only on request instead of prior to check in has saved an estimated 12,775 buckets of ice.
The Draycott recycles all it can including paper, plastic, glass, metal, bulbs, cartridges and electricals. Clothes, books, CDs and unwanted items of lost property are sent to the Volta region of Ghana in the care of the Ayoma Vision Charity. Unused shampoo, conditioner and moisturisers are sent to the West London Churches Homeless Concern - who provide accommodation, help, advice and support to those in need. Cooking oil is recycled into Bio Diesel. The hotel provides in-room recycling bins for guests to recycle paper, bottles and cans. They invite guests to donate any unwanted books which are sold on zapper.co.uk. All proceeds go to the Equal People charity.
Using a new printer infrastructure has allowed the hotel to monitor its printers' consumption and save 30.8% paper during 2012. They also switched to 100% recycled paper. Additionally they leased the machines partly because the provider’s engineers travel by public transport helping to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Ayoma Vision project aims to assist the villagers of Ayoma and the surrounding area in Ghana. In 2012 they:
- Provided five examination beds to four health clinics in Ayoma, Baglo, Kute and Old Ayoma.
- Installed two computer centres in Ayoma and Banglo.
- Provided textbooks to schools in Dzolu, Old Ayoma, Baglo, Odumase and Lakanti.
- Presented clothing and toys to a nursery in Ayoma donated by Horsted Infant Junior School
Guests are encouraged to see more of the city via the hotel’s Keen to be Green initiative which provides walking maps, cycling routes and ideas for Green days out. Guests are also prompted to consider their own impact on the environment by adhering to the towel usage policy and using the in-room recycling.
Looking ahead the Draycott is committed to improving their sustainability practices by using more organic produce, seasonal vegetables and local produce; using recycled paper for their brochures and getting involved in local community projects.
All proving that luxury can also be green – and gold!