Sandymount Hotel’s green award

By Paul Carton

It’s not easy being green, but the green army of women John Loughran has working with him at the Sandymount Hotel seem to be making light work of it.

“You don’t say no to these women, they are very much in control of their own jobs within the hotel,” said John Loughran, owner and director of Sandymount Hotel who had to pinch himself when he was told his Sandymount Hotel had won the prestigious award of being ‘Europe’s Leading Green Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards last June.

The hotel was given the accolade ahead of some tough competition which included worldwide recognised hotels such as the ICE hotel in Sweden, the Metropole in Monaco and one of the Marriotts in London. Although John gladly accepts the award, he credits much of it to the women working with him at the Sandymount hotel.

One of these women who took the green agenda by ‘her teeth’ is Ruth Cooper. John said that Ruth had her own waste police around the Hotel and he himself was reported up on for not segregating his waste properly, “I was delighted to get picked up on it because that meant the system was working”.

After working for the Sandymount Hotel for seven years, Ruth unfortunately had to take time out for health reasons, and Ann McCabe filled Ruth’s role. With a combination of online marketing from Ciara Kelly, Ann’s dedication to following in the green living model Ruth had set up and with the hotel’s gardener Jackie Cushen taking care of the grounds, the hotel was at high standards when the World Travel Award Inspectors came to visit.

NewsFour asked John to give us an idea of how they were regarded as having the best green policy in all of Europe. “We have segregated waste units in every corridor in the hotel, anywhere you go in the hotel, down in the kitchens in the mornings, we do about 50 breakfasts every morning. When the staff come in after having collected the plates from the table, the food waste goes in one direction, the paper waste in another and so they are actually segregating the waste as they go. As soon as the crowds are gone, if you walk past here the next morning, the place would be spotless. But also we are in a residential area, we are not like up in Bewleys or Jurys  where it’s all commercial offices… my parents started here 62 years ago, so we are very conscious of fitting in with a residential area and not overdoing it – we don’t do 21st birthday parties or weddings.”

A main concern of waste policy nowadays is the lifespan of packaging material and NewsFour asked John how he ensures his suppliers are towing the green amy’s line. “Mostly they will respond, we ultimately decide who we are buying from. And if we are not happy with what is happening from that front, well, we just won’t buy from them. Ann who is now looking after our green policy, her main function is purchasing and if she is not happy she’s going to make the decisions.”

John passes on these energy savings to his customers by giving them the option of a free €5 voucher to spend at the bar in place of having their towels changed or room cleaned for each night they stay at the hotel. John chuckled “even for someone that’s not particularly green they won’t say no to a free pint.”