Sustainability Matters to Smart Local Firms

Urr Valley Hotel
Urr Valley Hotel

What do a secluded Kirkcudbright care home, a landmark Castle Douglas hotel and a bustling Gatehouse jam business have in common? They are among a contingent of local firms benefitting from the Crichton Carbon Centre’s free ‘resource efficiency’ programme. Senwick House, the Urr Valley House Hotel and Galloway Lodge have all signed up to the ‘Sustainable Process Improvement’ programme which is delivered in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council and helps with energy, transport and water use, and waste minimisation. But it is the individual way each of these businesses has interpreted the programme which has made it a real smart move for them.

Senwick House have adopted a strategic approach to implementing their recommended measures using a biomass heating system. The residential care home, who came out scoring either highest or second highest in all categories in their recent Care Inspectorate report have just invested in the district heating system to furnish the whole of their premises. This not only slashes their carbon foot print to almost zero but provides them a handy funding stream via the Renewable Heat Incentive which, although modest, will fund the likes of insulation and secondary double glazing.

The Urr Valley Hotel are taking a leaf out of Senwick House’s book and are considering installing their own biomass boiler. Since taking over in 2013 savvy new owners Philip and Angela Gregory have turned the business around offering murder mystery nights and great accommodation deals on the likes of Wowcher. They also acknowledge sustainability as being part of the hotel’s longer term future. They are concentrating on staff awareness and behaviour change in the meantime to help with those cuts.

And cosy Galloway Lodge, who also boast a haute Scots cuisine café and luxury gift shop are turning their whole working practice sustainable. Though tackling the mainstay of their carbon foot print with big fixes such as LED lighting and eco-friendly dishwashers it is the smaller measures which are making Galloway Lodge truly green. Their recent cuts in energy consumption will be augmented with the likes of motion sensors on lighting and repositioning fridges and freezers away from cooking appliances. Already hot on waste minimisation and recycling the business re-use the majority of the card which comes into their factory in deliveries out. They have also just finished reprinting their new menus on recycled paper which not only contributes to their sustainability but adds a stylish touch. And though the new dishwashers have made a dent in their water consumption the business are scoping out what else they can do in this area and fund raise for Water Aid in their café and shop.

Co-Owner Ruaridh Hesketh told us “Sustainability for us is not only about saving money and future proofing the business from that respect. It is about establishing a way of living and working which is moral in the 21st century in our world of ever diminishing resources. That sounds like it would take away from customer and staff comfort but it actually enhances it and demonstrates how pleasant low carbon living can be “

To find out more about the businesses highlighted in the article please visit their websites. All three businesses can be followed on Facebook and Urr Valley House Hotel and Galloway Lodge on Twitter.

To find out more about the Sustainable Process Improvement programme:



Call 01387 702347/ 07711 372817.