Perched on the seafront six miles east of Newquay is Watergate Bay Hotel: a unique destination that describes itself as a ski resort on a beach.

With delicious food, beautiful rooms and its very own surf academy, the hotel also has a hidden draw – its sustainability credentials. Green thinking has been at the heart of the hotel for a long time. The business believes in a triple bottom line – where good finances, environmental sustainability and community involvement have equal importance and are reflected in everything they do.

Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall, with the beach in the background.

Will Ashworth, CEO at Watergate Bay, comments: “I believe we have a responsibility to tread lightly on the planet and not leave too many footprints.”

The business believes in a triple bottom line: good finances, environmental sustainability and community involvement

The expansive hotel, which has 71 rooms and three restaurants, looked to clean technologies to help them to drive down energy use; and invested in a thermal solar array and two Combined Heat and Power units. These technologies work together to heat the water used throughout the hotel, reducing electricity demand by 45%.

Teams from the hotel also spend time cleaning the nearby beach every day; as well as organising monthly staff and quarterly public beach cleans to engage the wider community.

Working with Good Energy

A desire to reduce their carbon footprint was what first led Watergate Bay Hotel to Good Energy in 2013. The business has since been powered by 100% renewable electricity; and when they expanded their business to the Lake District in 2014, they took us with them there too.

Working together is very much been a partnership and not simply a bill that comes through the post once a month.

“We have regular meetings where we talk about the new technologies that are available to help us manage our usage; Good Energy also helps us understand the innovations in the world of energy conservation that we should consider in the future” adds Will

“Working with Good Energy is good for us, because it’s a major supplier that reflects our values”.

Engaging staff with sustainability

Embracing sustainability brings more benefits than cutting carbon; it can lead to a more engaged work culture too.

Will describes the ‘step change’ he has seen in colleagues’ thinking about sustainability. “Nowadays, we find our staff come to us with the things that we should be doing to be a more sustainable business. Everybody carries a level of sustainability knowledge and motivation that they didn’t have a few years ago.”

“I think people are more motivated to work for a business whose beliefs they can see and buy into as well.”