This month we’re shining our sustainability spotlight on Bayards Cove Inn. Here they tell us what they are doing to ensure their business operates as sustainably as possible.
About Bayards Cove Inn
Bayards Cove Inn is one of Dartmouth’s most iconic buildings, just a few feet away from Bayards Cove where the Mayflower set sail for the New World. Back then in 1620, from the top floor, you’d have caught a glimpse of the comings and goings on the busy harbour front as the Pilgrim Fathers readied themselves for their epic voyage across the Atlantic.
Formerly called Agincourt House, Bayards Cove Inn is the second oldest building in Dartmouth and was built and named by a merchant in the 14th century. It’s incredible to think it has stood the test of time and has borne witness to so many events that have shaped modern history.
What have you done to make your business more environmentally friendly?
Its historical importance gained its grade II listed status in 1949, but this means there are many constraints when it comes to operating sustainably. We can’t make any structural changes to the building to lessen our footprint, nor would we want to. However, we can hugely reduce our impact in many other ways.
We recycle all glass, cans, cardboard, food waste, ink cartridges, batteries and coffee grinds.
We aim to source all our products locally supporting the local economy and providing sustainable local employment.
100 per cent of our staff live locally and within a 10-mile radius of Bayards Cove Inn. We have also purchased a building opposite Bayards Cove Inn for staff accommodation.
We use eco combi boilers to heat our bedrooms.
We are completely plastic-free – our takeaway glasses are made from vegetable starch, and coffee cups, lids and picnic boxes are 100% biodegradable.
We encourage email as the primary method of written communication to save paper.
We use electronic methods of communication such as e-newsletters and Social Media to keep in touch with our customers.
We have invested in a number of initiatives to reduce our energy consumption and impact on the environment. All lighting has been replaced to ensure we can use LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs.
All commercial equipment has been renewed since 2012 allowing us to upgrade to more energy efficiency.
We use thick, lined curtains in all our rooms, and all windows are draft-free. The careful use of fixtures, fittings and furnishings create a warm ambience, which has allowed us to turn down the thermostat by a degree which we hope will reduce our energy consumption by 10%.
We’ve adopted a holistic approach to our energy consumption, and are in the process of devising a ‘whole building’ energy-efficient approach so that we can identify where we can improve our energy efficiency. For example, controlling our energy-using systems properly, and turning all energy-using equipment off or down when not needed.
We carry out all repairs immediately, and every inch of the building is carefully monitored to ensure nothing is missed.
What would you like to change in the future to improve your sustainability credentials further?
We are constrained by our building and are mindful of not harming the heritage value and significance of Bayards Cove Inn. By adopting a holistic approach we’re able to look at the building as a whole and work out what is needed to ensure it remains well ventilated but warm and comfortable for our guests.
We are also looking at our hot water supply, heating, lighting and other energy-using equipment like computers and appliances and selecting those that run on as little energy as possible.
We will continue to look at the thermal efficiency of the building and carry out all repairs promptly.
By developing our holistic approach to the whole building, we’ll be able to identify those areas that require more ventilation and find a balance to save energy, sustain heritage significance, and maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment. We’ll also be able to take into account the wider issue of energy supply.
What tips do you have for other businesses that would like to become more sustainable?
With older buildings, it is impossible to take a ‘mean, lean, green’ approach, and the building’s condition will have a major influence on energy use but we’d recommend looking at the whole building holistically, and working out where saving can be made and what you can do to improve efficiency.
For example, dealing with defects such as poorly fitting doors and windows, leaking gutters, rainwater pipes, defective drainage and dampness are important energy-saving measures.
We’d also recommend buying local, supporting local businesses, going plastic-free, and taking regular checks, to ensure you’re as energy-efficient as possible.