Welsh business cluster

27th November 2014

WRAP worked with nine small and medium size (SME) businesses in the Swansea and the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to identify ways of saving money by improving their environmental performance. The work highlighted how, by working together, small businesses can deliver substantial savings.

Welsh businesses work together to deliver savings
Fairyhills hotel
The Dragon hotel
Pennard Stores and Three Cliffs Coffee Shop
The St Madoc Centre

Fairyhill Hotel

The Dragon Hotel

The St Madoc Centre

Pennard Stores and Three Cliffs Coffee Shop

Introduction

WRAP worked with nine small and medium size (SME) businesses in the Swansea and the Gower Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to identify ways of saving money by improving their environmental performance.

The participants, representing a range of tourism and hospitality businesses, benefitted from a review of the waste generated on site and then support in putting in place zero or low cost changes to deliver quick wins. The work highlighted how, by working together, small businesses can deliver substantial savings.

Key achievements were:

  • menus redesigned across different areas of service (e.g. restaurant vs banqueting) to allow sharing of ingredients leading to perishable food purchasing costs down by ~25% at The Dragon Hotel;
  • recycling rate increased from 28% to 72% by segregating and recycling food waste at the Fairyhill hotel and restaurant; 
  • businesses working together:
    • Working with local suppliers to use reusable delivery boxes thereby reducing packaging waste, and 
    • influence waste management service providers to extend segregated food waste collection services.
  • an overall landfill diversion potential of 115 tonnes per year across the businesses.   

Fairyhill hotel

Fairyhill hotel and restaurant is a small, privately owned, country house hotel with eight bedrooms and a fine dining restaurant. Before the pilot, the hotel had already undertaken some actions to minimise its environmental impact.  This included: sustainable sourcing, with some herbs and vegetables grown on site and other fresh produce sourced from within a 10 mile radius; using reusable delivery boxes to reduce packaging waste;  glass, cans and rigid plastic packaging waste was segregated and recycled.  

With WRAP’s support the hotel reviewed the waste being generated and found that 76% of the ‘black bag’ waste was associated with the restaurant and kitchen. It was identified that recycling practices could be further improved increasing the rate from 28% to 72% by segregating and recycling food waste. This was achieved by the introduction of a food waste collection service.

“Until we saw the results of the waste review and waste compositional analysis we were unaware of the high proportion of food waste that the business is generating.  Once presented with the information it made sense to reduce, segregate and recycle these waste streams.”

Paul Davies, Owner

The Dragon Hotel

The 4 star, 106 bedroom hotel in the centre of Swansea was looking for ways to reduce waste and increase recycling as part of their corporate sustainability commitment.  After undertaking a waste management review on site the hotel staff introduced a range of zero or low cost measures, including:

  • enhanced menu designs and improved customer choice to prevent food wastage;
  • food waste recycling, eliminating the use of a food waste macerator; 
  • providing a ‘chef’s choice’ menu for functions at a lower price than the standard function menu to use up surplus stock; 
  • extended recycling of customer room waste, kitchen and office dry recyclables; and 
  • Furniture donation to help people in the community furnish their homes. 
Overall the hotel has achieved ~25% reduction in the purchase of perishable food and reduced costs across all departments, saving about £15,000 per year. It has also improved its recycling rate from under 40% to around 75%. 
 
“It’s been brilliant how we’ve been able to look at waste differently and find ways of not only making savings for the hotel and improving our environmental performance, but being able to give something back to our local community. It’s another of those things that makes you feel good about what we do in work.”
Ceri Williams, Food and Drink Supervisor

Further details can be found in the full case study available here.

Pennard Stores and Three Cliffs Coffee Shop

The combined general store and coffee shop serves the local community and a large number of visitors to Three Cliffs Bay in Gower.  The coffee shop seats 44, with an additional 50 seats outside, serving cooked breakfasts, lunches and evening meals as well as sandwiches and snacks throughout the day.  

The company already sources food sustainably, for example buying  fresh produce locally and ordering in small quantities at a time to prevent spoilage.  Goods with less packaging are also purchased where possible where there is no impact on the product. This helps to reduce packaging in the shop and that generated by customers.  

Through recycling of food, cardboard, glass and cans, a recycling rate of 75% had already been achieved. A waste review was undertaken as part of the project and this identified the potential to also segregate and recycle paper and dense plastics, resulting in their recycling rate increasing to 94%.

“I have always been aware of the potential environmental impacts of our business and worked to reduce them. That has been through careful selection of the products that we sell, minimisation of the packaging and food waste that we produce, and our impressive recycling rate.  The waste review has provided the impetus for us to focus on recycling the remaining components of the residual waste.”

Jamie Francis, Owner

The St Madoc Centre 

The St Madoc Centre is a charity run youth camp situated near Llanmodoc. The Centre has 81 beds in en-suite dormitory style accommodation. Groups can either cater for themselves or catering is provided by in house staff.

The kitchen facilities cater for up to one hundred and twenty people. There is also a small self-catering dining area and kitchenette available for smaller groups, which take an additional 40 people. 

A waste review identified that there was the potential to increase recycling rates through diversion of food waste, which makes up a large proportion of the general waste stream. The centre is now exploring options to recycle food waste.  

“The results of the waste review have shown the potential to improve the segregation and recycling of wastes generated.  The initial objective is to increase recycling through segregation and collection of food waste.  Further measures will be considered once that system is in place.”

Alison Holland, Centre Manager