03 May Sustainable Dundas
As climate change and sustainability becomes a greater concern for businesses around the world, the Dundas team is constantly striving to ensure we are as environmentally friendly and energy efficient as possible. We regularly evaluate our current systems to analyse if they can be updated to reduce our impact. We began this journey a few years ago and already have a number of alternatives in place throughout the Castle and Estate. Our team are always learning new ways to make Dundas as eco-friendly as possible and believe we still have room to improve. Here are a few of the things we are doing to contribute to a healthier planet.
The Dundas team is passionate about living greener with each staff member having a conscious mindset outside and inside of work. Small changes such as documents automatically being printed double sided in order to save paper, recycling our ink cartridges and trying to only print when really necessary add up to reduce our office impact. Car sharing is common between employees and procedures are in place to ensure all of our glass, cardboard and plastic are being recycled along with all food waste and cooking oil.
We have recently updated the Housekeeping equipment to adopt ‘smart technology’. This includes washing machines with ‘eco-programs’ that weigh the wash load and only add the necessary amount of cleaning liquid to reduce waste and environmental impact. Our tumble driers do not have a timer system but instead, the machine weighs the load, measures the dampness and dries the washing to 30% moisture. This helps the team with the ironing process but also prevents wasted energy by only drying the sheets for the necessary time.
In the last few years we have changed all of the lights throughout the Castle to be LED, helping us to reduce our energy use. We invested in 200PV solar panels in 2012 that cover 325 square meters and produce 50kWp supplementing the Castle’s energy. In addition to this, we installed a state of the art Biomass system in 2015 to provide hot water and heating for our resident guests without having a detrimental effect. This is fuelled by recycled wood chips which are locally sourced.
It goes beyond Dundas:
We work with a variety of suppliers who are equally as passionate about contributing to a more sustainable planet as we are.
Sodexo, our catering partner, take on board food provenance as a priority: chefs source 70% of the food they serve from local producers, in season where possible. In 2019 plastic straws were replaced with paper ones. Following on from this, we are now investigating other ways in which we can reduce plastic use here at Dundas Castle.
Community and charity work:
The owner of Dundas Castle, Sir Jack Stewart-Clark, has embedded charitable values throughout the business. Each year, we support several charities such as; RNLI, Comic Relief and the Princess Trust, through prize donations and allowing a number of organisations to use the Castle for events at a reduced fee.
Sir Jack founded a new charity in 2018, ‘Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland’ (SOHTIS), who work in partnership with others to encourage, enable and empower those rescued from human trafficking to rebuild their lives and integrate into society. Dundas Castle also hosts events for the charity to help them raise awareness of the cause and create the funding they need to continue their vital work.
Wildlife on the Dundas Estate is an important part of our sustainability. Our grounds are home to various protected animals such as; swans, foxes, deer, hares and many different wild birds. We are committed to ensuring these animals are not disturbed and are able to roam freely with no threat. So much so, that the woodland area we have is monitored to ensure there is very little pollution and some areas in the estate have even been developed to home some of these species. In particular, the Lothian Amphibian Group have created several small ponds to encourage breeding of the Great Crested Newt.
If you are looking for inspiration to have an environmentally friendly wedding, take a look at this blog post. It is full of brilliant ideas which may help you make some little changes to your big day which will have a positive impact on the planet.
If you have any questions about our sustainability, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].