Since 2009 it has been supported by the Cumbria Business Environment Network (CBEN), with ENWORKS funding, to reduce its operational costs and environmental footprint by using key resources more efficiently.
So far, 12 straight-forward resource efficiency projects have been identified. The focus was initially on reducing energy consumption to help tackle rising utility bills, but help is now being provided in a range of additional areas, including water efficiency, renewable energy generation and waste management.
Heat loss has been reduced by fitting lagging around pipes and a hot water tank in the laundry room and more than 30 radiators have had control valves fitted, reducing annual energy costs by more than £600 and saving four tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year.
Minibus drivers have attended free, fuel efficient driving courses, which has brought about a 12 per cent reduction in annual diesel consumption and savings of over £1,000 and two tonnes a year of CO2e.
Other, smaller-scale projects have included replacing hand towels with low-energy electric dryers to save on paper, and replacing individually packaged juice cartons with jugs of freshly made squash for visitors. Further savings have been made by installing low-flow fixtures on taps in the bathrooms, to reduce mains water consumption.
A business-wide energy management policy has also been introduced and energy consumption data is now displayed in public areas throughout the centre.
Most of these initiatives have been implemented at nominal cost, but CBEN also supported the centre in accessing an interest-free loan from the Carbon Trust to buy a more energy-efficient hot water boiler, which will help to save up to £1,600 and 13 tonnes of CO2e per year.
Meanwhile, more than 250 native trees have been planted on site, a kitchen garden has been created to provide home-grown produce, and composting and wildlife habitat creation projects are also underway, to boost biodiversity and reduce supply chain emissions from food transportation.
CBEN’s support is still ongoing and the Beaments are now looking into options for biomass heating and solar panels on site, to generate renewable energy, as well as investigating the potential to draw on local hydro-electric power, to recycle more and to reduce plastic waste by sourcing products with more eco-friendly packaging.
Rewards and recognition
Altogether, ENWORKS funding has helped Newlands Adventure Centre to identify annual cost savings of £14,000 and CO2e savings of over 25 tonnes per year.
Its environmental practices have already attracted several accolades, including a Gold Award at the CBEN Awards in March, and the Gold standard of the Green Business Tourism Scheme.
Case study published on 5 September 2012