Little Gwendreath Declares Climate Emergency
Little Gwendreath is proud to announce that it has declared a climate emergency and is a signatory and launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration on climate Action in Tourism, as part of the UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021 (COP26).
The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism unites travel and tourism behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally. The Glasgow Declaration encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism, as a signatory Little Gwendreath has committed to aligning its actions with the latest scientific recommendations, so as to ensure its approach remains consistent with a rise of no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
The Declaration is asking its signatories to commit to:
Support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050
Deliver climate action plans within 12 months from becoming a signatory (or updating existing plans), and begin implementing them
Align their plans with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance) to accelerate and co-ordinate climate action in tourism
Report publicly on an annual basis on progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as on actions being taken
Work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminating information to encourage additional organizations to become signatories and supporting one another to reach targets as quickly as possible
Little Gwendreath Climate Action Plan
Little Gwendreath is a frontrunner, we have already made significant achievements in emissions reductions, since 2016 energy use has reduced by a third and we were the runner up in the carbon neutral category of the Cornwall Sustainability Awards at the end of 2021. We are therefore already aligned with the necessary reduction levels required to achieve global targets. Therefore our Climate Action Plan focus will be on supporting other businesses and destinations to Decarbonize and on the Regenerate and Collaborate pathways.
We need to know where our emissions are coming from so we can understand how to reduce them. We have established 2016 as our emissions baseline and we will track how much our cottages emit on an annual basis. We will publish a transparent, carbon footprint analysis of all our operations annually, with the first report finished and publicly shared by 30th September 2022. We will use this report to set future reduction targets and to track progress to ensure our business will be on track for low-carbon growth.
We are continually searching for ways to reduce our footprint. Our annual footprint analysis will provide a framework from which we can work across all areas of the business to identify new ways to go even further in reducing our carbon emissions.
We will continually review and implement measures to improve the biodiversity within the cottage grounds.
We will continue to actively engage with our community, and encourage our guests to participate in nature conservation through projects we identify using expert local advice, examples include beach cleans and tree planting with Forest for Cornwall. We will continue to promote and encourage our guests to purchase local produce, arts and crafts. We will continue to seek to identify responsible businesses and support them.
We want to magnify our impact by helping others understand the issues so that they can take action. We seek to inform our guests about Climate Change and build their awareness of steps they can take to reduce their footprint and we encourage guests to take care of the use of energy and water through information sheets in the cottages. Sustainability is at the heart of our business and we always promote what we do and why. By leading by example and answering our guests questions, we encourage all our guests to take back home with them the practices that they can weave into their lives. Our continued outreach and education is vital in changing hearts and minds.
We will continue to allocate part of our budget to implement new environmentally friendly initiatives.
We are very conscious that everything we do has an impact and want to tread as lightly as we can. We are passionate about minimising our footprint and inspiring our guests to make small changes themselves. We are committed to negating the emissions associated with our business with our ambition to always be Net Positive. We do not claim to have all the answers, and we know we will make mistakes along the way, but we are aiming high because the planet is in crisis and an immediate response is needed to protect the environment for future generations to come.
The tourism value chain is complex and accordingly our ambition to negate emissions beyond our reach does come with limitations, we outline these below and explain how we plan to overcome them:
Emission measurement and reporting: As the majority of our carbon footprint is electricity powering the cottages which comes from renewable sources the measurement of our scope 2 emissions is straightforward. The difficulty comes with scope 3 emissions and what to include, how to allocate them and the technical capabilities to measure and report emissions accurately and/or regularly.
Regulatory frameworks and government support: A lack of government support and insufficient regulatory incentives present challenges. We have already invested heavily in renewable technology by reinvesting profits generated from the business and we will continue to do this for any improvements that will help us achieve our ambition of always being net positive.
Infrastructure dependency: Dependence on local infrastructure can affect our ability to decarbonise.
Waste collection - we use Biffa for our waste collection, they have reduced emissions by 70% since 2002 and have pledged to deliver a further 50% reduction by 2030. Biffa are committed to increasing plastics recycling, investing in low carbon energy from waste, ceasing to buy fossil-fuelled trucks and increasing collection route efficiency by 20%.
Transportation - our location is remote and is only easily accessible by personal vehicles, we have installed electric vehicle charging points to provide a green option onsite and we promote local bus and walking routes to our guests.
Sustainability performance of available buildings – we are limited by the cottages being of solid brick construction.