Elmhirst’s Resort Achieves Platinum Certification with Greenstep Sustainable Tourism
We are thrilled to announce that Elmhirst’s Resort has officially achieved platinum certification with Greenstep Sustainable Tourism. This prestigious recognition highlights our commitment to environmental stewardship, community engagement, and sustainable business practices. We are excited to share this milestone with our valued customers who have supported us on this journey towards a greener future.
To obtain this certification, Elmhirst’s underwent a rigorous evaluation process conducted by Greenstep Sustainable Tourism. They assessed various aspects of our business, including resource management, waste reduction, community involvement, and environmental impact mitigation. Elmhirst’s also will be reassessed every 2 years to maintain this certification. This comprehensive evaluation is designed to ensure that we meet the highest standards of sustainability in tourism.
Our Sustainability Initiatives:
At Elmhirst’s Resort we firmly believe in the power of sustainable practices to protect and preserve our natural environment. Here are some key initiatives and actions from our sustainability plan:
- Optimal Resource Efficiency: We strive for optimal efficiency in the consumption of water and energy inputs while reducing waste outputs. Through regular audits, we gather baseline data on inputs and outputs, such as bio-mass, propane, electricity, water, and more.
- Waste Management: We are committed to minimizing waste generation and diverting it from landfills. Our dedicated team ensures proper composting and recycling, while also monitoring waste-to-landfill quantities.
- Sustainable Purchasing: We actively engage with suppliers who share our sustainability values. Using the Sustainable Tourism 2030 guidelines, we have developed a sustainability questionnaire for current and future suppliers. By prioritizing sustainable suppliers and seeking third-party certified options, we aim to influence the entire supply chain.
- Stakeholder Engagement: We recognize the importance of engaging our stakeholders in sustainability. We are working closely with travel trade tour operators to encourage sustainability metrics in their operations, such as carbon offsets. Additionally, we offer a seasonally appropriate sustainability kit for purchase by guests, which includes sustainably sourced beverage containers and environmentally friendly insect repellent and sunscreen.
- Guest Education: To empower our guests to contribute to sustainability efforts during their stay, we have produced a video outlining tips for efficient water and energy use, waste reduction, recycling, and other sustainability considerations. Each cottage is equipped with a laminated sheet featuring a QR code linked to the video for easy viewing.
- Team Commitment: All Elmhirst’s Resort team members adhere to a Sustainability Code of Conduct, which ensures a shared commitment to sustainable practices. Through mandatory verbal briefings and sign-offs, we ensure that our staff actively contributes to our sustainability efforts.
Benefits for Our Customers:
Achieving Platinum certification with Greenstep Sustainable Tourism is not just a badge of honour; it directly benefits our customers. By choosing Elmhirst’s Resort for your travel and accommodation needs, you can:
- Experience Sustainable Hospitality: Our commitment to sustainability means that you can enjoy a guilt-free vacation, knowing that your stay aligns with eco-friendly practices.
- Support a Responsible Business: Your choice to stay with us contributes to the growth of a responsible tourism industry. Together, we are making a positive impact on the environment and local communities.
Success Stories and Future Outlook:
We are proud to share some success stories that demonstrate our sustainability efforts in action. For instance, our water and energy conservation initiatives have led to significant reductions in consumption. Additionally, our collaboration with sustainable suppliers has enabled us to provide high-quality products and services while minimizing our environmental footprint.
Looking ahead, we have exciting initiatives planned, including an interactive nature conservation program for our guests. By offering educational opportunities and hands-on experiences, we aim to foster a deeper appreciation for our natural surroundings.
Elmhirst’s Resort is proud to have achieved platinum certification with Greenstep Sustainable Tourism. This milestone reflects our unwavering dedication to sustainable practices and responsible tourism. We invite you to join us in our commitment to a greener future by choosing Elmhirst’s for your next memorable getaway.
We are the fifth generation of Elmhirst’s to operate the farm, and are thankful for what has been passed down to us. For the deep roots of tradition it has provided, and for the connection to place and community that has been entrusted to our care. Throughout the resort and farm we have implemented many initiatives to support the tenets of sustainability. Here are some highlights of our stewardship:
- Naturalized shoreline and waterfront trail to control erosion and provide wildlife habitat
- Non-invasive dockage system to prevent damage to the natural lake bottom and fish spawning areas
- Corn and Carp are used where aquatic weed control is required
- No fertilizers or herbicides are used on the resort lawn.
- Livestock are fenced away from the lake and stream.
- Plantings at each cottage use only native plants to the area. Decorative and non-native species are used in the central garden only.
- Lake weeds are used to fertilize our vegetable gardens.
- Over 1,000 trees have been planted to control erosion, provide shade and wind breaks, and create wildlife habitats.
- We collect seeds from many plants in fall, and in the greenhouse we germinate and propagate annuals as well as some vegetables for planting the next spring.
- Vegetable waste and yard waste are composted for use in the gardens.
- Horse and cow manure is composted to humus before spreading on the land.
- A series of sewer mains and lift stations deliver all sewage to a disposal bed set well back from the lake.
- In our onsite sawmill and woodworking shop we produce building materials used on the property.
- Cardboard, plastic and metal are collected and recycled.
- The Spa uses only vegan products.
- Emphasis is placed on environmental-friendly sports (bicycles, canoes, kayaks, water bicycles, kite boarding, walking).
- A photo-voltaic solar panel system on the roof and tracking systems at the farm produce energy for the grid.
- All public spaces, shops, laundry, and the indoor and outdoor pools are heated with bio mass, which is the equivalent to heating twenty family bungalows.
- Energy-efficient lighting is used in all public spaces.
- Waste wood and culled trees are cut and provided to the cottages for use in the fireplaces.
- Water is heated in a more energy-efficient tankless system.
- A wood-pellet boiler heats the pools and main building.
- The Elmhirst’s Own branding on some foods means they are produced on the property.
- Heirloom varieties are frequently chosen.
- A tomato tunnel is used to extend the growing season and increase production for canning.
- Beehives produce antibiotic free honey for use in our kitchen and for sale in the gift shop.
- A herd of over fifty Angus cattle are maintained so most of the beef we serve is bred, born and finished right on the property without the use of hormones.
- Pekin ducks are raised in the pond for restaurant use.
- Turkeys are raised on the property for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Only Canadian wines are offered for sale in our restaurants.
- Gardens at each cottage contain herbs for guest’s use.
- We have a policy of hiring local’s first.
- We source all food and other supplies from local producers.
- We partner with community groups like the Trans Canada Trail Association and the Canadian Canoe Museum.