responsible | ethical | sustainable
We have had the opportunity to work with Quality in Tourism, who carried out an audit of the hotel for their Responsible, Ethical, Sustainable Tourism scheme (REST). In addition to sustainability, REST looks at the ethical and social conscience – the commitment to staff, guest, community and environment.
In the spring of 2022 after our first audit, we were delighted to have been given a silver award. We will be working towards a gold award over the next few years. If you would like to find out more about what we do at The Grange, please continue reading.
During 2022 and 2023, we were delighted to have won the gold award at the Dorset Tourism awards, for our ethical and sustainable approach to running the hotel. We were subsequently entered into the South West Tourism Awards in the same category and were delighted to have won the silver award.
Community Promotion of local businesses using the Dorset Pantry and by using these ingredients on our menus and their products in the bar. | We support community initiatives, sitting on the committees for Opera in Oborne, the Village Hall, Playing Field and Village Fete. | We host a series of concerts in the garden, supporting local musicians who have had a tough time over the last few years. No charge is made by the hotel. | The hotel raised over £4,000 for a community defib. | In normal times, the village hall uses the hotel function room to host concerts, normally once per year. We make no charge for this. | In addition to the support offered to the village, vouchers are donated to clubs, societies and charities from the wider community. In 2019 (the last normal year), 19 donation vouchers were issued, totalling over £1.5k.
Procurement Our restaurant menu is based on items sourced from Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Wiltshire. | Our drinks are mainly supplied by west-country merchants. | Separately to food and drinks, the hotel procurement policy favours small and British and where possible, local. This includes everything from fire alarms to crockery. | Payment to suppliers. Where possible, we pay by direct debit. Smaller suppliers who do not offer this are paid quickly, usually within a week. Guests We send a departure email to every guest which has links to both TripAdvisor and Medallia where guests can leave feedback. This is monitored daily and positive and negative trends in guest feedback are acted upon. | Each guest bedroom has a form which can be filled in to report any problems or make suggestions. | At the time of writing, the restaurant is ranked first in the local area, the hotel is ranked first in Dorset and forty-second in England. Information Security We outsource the majority of the elements of this to well-known UK based companies, taking much of the responsibility from the team. | Guest card details, once entered into the system are non-retrievable. | IT systems are kept up-to-date and secure by a local IT firm.
Team The hotel is a Real Living Wage employer (Living Wage Foundation). | The hotel employs staff with no experience. | We offer work experience and apprenticeships. | All tips are taken by the team and managed and distributed by a staff committee. | A number of initiatives have helped to engender a team spirit within the work force; the team WhatsApp group, competitions and team videos. | Quick feedback sessions to improve communication. | We do not offer live-in, so all of our staff live in the local area. | We have a policy of giving preference to staff who live in Oborne. | Since taking over The Grange 20 years ago, the number of staff employed has risen from 12 to around 28. Procurement The hotel banks with Unity Trust Bank – a socially determined bank. | The public toilets and each hotel bedroom is twinned with a toilet in a developing country (www.toilettwinning.org) | Toilet tissue is provided by uk.whogivesacrap.org. Accessibility The hotel has very good access for guests with disabilities, including one bedroom which is fully adapted and level access to all public areas. | All information can be printed in large print. | The website has a plugin which checks for accessibility issues. | We have changed our menus so that common allergens are noted on the menus.
Energy management No fossil fuels are used in the production of our energy. 75% of the electricity is from renewable and 25% from nuclear. | LED lighting used wherever possible. | All hairdryers, televisions and alarm clock radios have been renewed in past five years. | Sensor lighting used in WCs and all staff areas. | Voltage optimiser installed on all incoming electricity, reducing to 220v. | All loft areas are lagged, including access doors and hatches, all curtains are lined. | Around 35% of the hotel is heated using water underfloor heating which is very efficient. | All areas are controlled with thermostats or thermostatic radiator valves. | During quieter times, parts of the hotel are closed, allowing the heating to be turned off in sections. | Boilers and gas appliances are serviced annually. | Thermostats are set to 19 degrees. Pollution Almost all cleaning chemicals have been replaced with Stabilized Aqueous Ozone. SAO returns to water within 24 hours of being made and does not therefore contaminate waterways. | All waste water is treated on site using a Waste Water Treatment Plant. Grey water from the WWTP is discharged into the stream under a consent to discharge from the EA. | Use of an environmentally-friendly biotech which is dosed into our drainage system which helps to break down grease. | Oil is stored in bunded tank to prevent the risk of accidental pollution. Waste Management We use digital wherever possible. | Single use toiletry bottles in bedrooms were replaced with refillable dispensers in 2008. | Single use containers at breakfast (butters, jams, etc) were all removed in 2007. | Water supplied at the tables is mains water served in refillable bottles. | Paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and food from staff areas are all recycled (the hotel took part in Dorset’s pilot schemes for recycling | Use of Freecycle to reuse items, such as plasterboard off-cuts and furniture. Wildlife The garden has two ponds. | Areas are set aside for insects, including a new insect hotel | The garden has birdfeeders and houses; we hope to install more during 2023, plus some bat boxes.