At the heart of great hospitality is the desire to give and to care, and here at the Royal Crescent we are very conscious of our duty to give back to our local community, and to take care of our environment. To this end, we’ve developed a Corporate Social Responsibility programme to ensure that we continue to meet our “giving goals”. In 2022 we formed a Green Team and set about reviewing and enhancing our sustainability efforts, ultimately achieving the Green Key accreditation. The Green Key award is the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. A Green Key stands for the promise to its guests that by opting to stay with the Green Key establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental level.
The RCH Team accepting their Green Key accreditation
They say that charity begins at home, and so our nominated charity is Julian House – a local organisation committed to helping the homeless. You can read more about the vital work they do here. In addition to supporting them with fundraising, we encourage our staff to volunteer at their events. For example last year and this year staff members took part in a sponsored walk, and partook in the Big Bath Sleep Out, where they “slept rough” for one night to experience life on the streets first hand and raise vital funds.
This year for the first time we have joined the National Garden Scheme, which involves us opening our gardens up to the wider public for two days, with all proceeds going to the various charities the NGS promotes. Our 2021 open days raised hundreds of pounds for the scheme's charities.
We also raised funds for The Pink Ribbon Foundation through the creation and sale of a special "Pink Promise" cocktail (pictured below) which we sold throughout Breast cancer Awareness Month.
The "Pink Promise" Cocktail
We are members of Room To Reward, a scheme which enables us to donate unsold room nights to hard-working volunteers in need of some “me time” and recognition.
We are passionate supporters of local businesses, sourcing as much of our produce and amenities as possible from locally based suppliers - for example Seven Hills Chocolate who supply all room chocolates, and Minuteman Press who supply the majority of our branded merchandise.
Young people need and deserve the opportunity to work, and so we actively encourage Bath College students to come and visit our team here at the RCH. We also partake in the college's SWAP (sector based work academy programme), which involves offering interviews to their students. We have hired and developed a number of apprentice chefs in our kitchen, and many of our spa therapists hail from Bath College too.
We are very fortunate to have an acre of secluded gardens in our grounds, and this keeps us ever aware of our impact on the local and wider environment.
We make the most of the garden in many different ways. Our Head Chef grows herbs, which he goes outside to cut minutes before cooking – bringing a new meaning to the phrase “fresh ingredients”! We also have a beautiful lavender path reaching across the garden, which provides food for thousands of little bees, butterflies and other insects every day. This in turn encourages different types of bird to visit, meaning guests can enjoy spotting various species - particularly robins, who visit all year round! Our garden provides food for all sorts of wildlife including squirrels which can often be seen scampering boldly across the grass. This of course includes our three rescue hedgehogs Beatrix, Jane and Daphne!
One of our Rescue Hedgehogs
We don’t use plastic room keys as these produce unnecessary plastic waste; instead we give guests their room keys on traditional leather fobs. We have bamboo toothbrushes on sale for any guests who have forgotten that all important item. Each guest room features recyclable coffee capsules and toiletry bottles, which we collect and recycle. We also collect leftover soap bars to be recycled by the Clean The World initiative. Our toiletries are provided by Noble Isle, whose products are vegan, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and presented in recyclable packaging, including bottles and caps. They recently redeveloped of all of their products into cleaner, greener formulas.
Our Spa Manager carefully chooses product suppliers which fit with our sustainable ethos. Our main spa product supplier, Elemental Herbology, is 100% cruelty-free and committed to ethical sourcing, sourcing all their ingredients from reputable suppliers who can trace the provenance of their ingredients. Over 90% of Elemental Herbology's packaging is recyclable, with all delivery boxes padded with recycled shredded paper and water-soluble packing peanuts.
We are committed to saving energy wherever possible, and so have installed movement sensors and lighting in staff areas, along with energy efficient boilers. 90% of our lighting is now LED, which has led to a reduction in electricity use of 9%.
In 2019 we installed three electric vehicle charging points, to encourage environmentally friendly travel to staff and guests, and to make charging easier for guests with electric vehicles. Bath now has a designated "Clean Air Zone", to ensure residents and visitors can enjoy cleaner air.