We take a holistic approach to our environment, so not only do we try to reduce our impact on the physical environment, we also include our customers, staff & the economy in our approach to sustainability. Louise Treseder, the Landlady studied Rural Environmental Studies at Wye College, Kent and then an MA in Tourism & Social Responsibility, so running a sustainable business has always been at the heart of how she wants to run the Driftwood Spars. Her mantra is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! Some of the Driftwood Spars building is over 400 years old and has been developed at different times, this adds to the challenge of making the business sustainable.
We are proud that very few of our staff on zero hour contracts, they are all entitled to the company pension scheme and we expect them to be treated with respect by the company & our customers. We want to give them security of employment and invest in their future which will hopefully be a future here with us, it gives us stability. Plus we invite local community groups in to use our venues free of charge for fundraising events and meetings.
The St Agnes community is dynamic & vibrant. We support it by sponsoring the local rugby team with beer, (speak to Louise if you want to watch a home game), the St Agnes Players will perform their plays here in Spring and Autumn, The St Agnes Marine Conservation hosts talks here (check reception for the next date).
Every year we choose a charity to support. In 2017 we raised £5000 for Clic Sargeant. In 2018, our chosen charity was the St Agnes village sports clubs and we raised £5400. There are 9 in total. These cover from young children to the retired members of our community and everyone in between. We feel it’s important to encourage sport and healthy life styles and keep people moving. Our ‘house beer’ Spars brewed across the road in the brewery is our charity beer, and 10p from very pint goes towards our charitable fund, so you can support our community by having a pint of beer.
In 2019 out chosen charity is the Sunrise appeal to help improve the facilities at Cornwall’s Oncology unit. Sadly, we lost 3 customers to cancer in 2018 and in their memory all funds raised this year will go toward the unit that supported them.
In 2020 and 2021 we are supporting ‘I Belong St Agnes’, this organisation supports people are isolated and who are affected by poor mental health.
We take our commitment to the environment very seriously so anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated. We recycle food waste, plastic, tins, glass, cardboard & paper which are collected weekly and we send zero to landfill. Unfortunately the COVID pandemic has thrown some more challenges our way to be sustainable & remain COVID secure. So at the moment being COVID secure is taking priority over our efforts to reduce waste.
St Agnes is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in a World Heritage site. Any development we do to improve our business performance we want it to enhance the cove and not take away from its beauty. For example: when we put a new roof on the upper deck (it was about 100 years old and leaked), we wanted to insulate it, but we couldn’t raise the roof line as its listed and a World Heritage site, so we invested in a very thin foil insulation so we get better energy performance while not reducing the visual impact of the World Heritage site. Did you know 22% of a buildings heat is lost through the roof?
We love St Agnes and want it to keep its charm and beauty, we ask you not to drop litter in the cove and leave our lovely place as you find it.
‘Take only pictures leave only footprints’
Mission to reduce single use plastics…
We want to reduce our plastic wastage, you can help us by not requesting a straw, even though they are biodegradable straws, they do not break down in the marine environment as the water is too cold. When our current supply is used up, we will move to paper straws. You can purchase a water canteen which you can refill with our excellent Cornish tap water, there are quite a few venues around St Agnes which will allow you to do this free of charge, just look out for ‘turn on the tap’ stickers in business windows. http://www.cleancornwall.org/turn-on-the-tap.php
For those of you who stay in our B & B, you will discover that we have moved away from single use toiletries and now use 500ml pump action refillable bottles, thus reducing another annoying and wasteful single use plastic. Our disposable plastic cups for bathrooms have moved to washable plastic cups and in 2018 our complimentary tea & coffee will be refillable jars instead of single use sachets. We stopped using condiment sachets several years ago, but we haven’t yet found a usable solution for ketchup & mayonnaise bottles. Some of this is temporarily gone back to single use during the pandemic.
Reduce food & drink miles…
We are attempting to reduce our food & drink miles. Most of our food is of Cornish origin and many of our ales are from local breweries. The Driftwood beer has some of the lowest beer miles in the UK, it is delivered across the road on foot with a trolley. This not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also supports the Cornish Economy.
Reduce our carbon footprint…
To show our commitment to reduce our carbon emissions we have invested in 2 electric cars, if you come to visit and have an electric car we can plug you in, and you can charge your car for a small charge. We are also slowly replacing all our old equipment with new energy efficient equipment. Our staff & customers are encouraged to switch of lights, TVs, and other electrical equipment when not in use. Did you know that 5 – 10% of household energy consumption is from leaving electrical equipment on standby? Lighting up the Driftwood also adds to our Carbon footprint, as we replace light fittings we are going over to energy efficient light bulbs, and encourage people (as long as it’s safe) to turn the lights off if not needed. You will find that our public toilets have motion censors so they are not left on all the time.
We recycle single use paper internally by making the single sided paper into note pads for staff to use. We do not print off documents unnecessarily, unfortunately HMRC require 7 years’ worth of invoices and these need to be printed off, this is probably our most wasteful paper usage.
If you dine with us in the pub you will see that we deliver a box of cutlery & sauce to your table. This will have 1 serviette per person to cover your all your courses (more are available). We used to wrap our cutlery in a serviette for each course, starter, main & dessert and many serviettes were not used by the customers and it was a dreadful waste of a precious resource. This way we have reduced wastage and our carbon footprint. Some of this is temporarily gone back to single use during the pandemic.
Water is a valuable resource across the world and this is also true of here in Cornwall, many years there is not enough water and every time it is used it takes valuable resources to clean it. By reducing your water consumption you can reduce your carbon emissions. To reduce water consumption we have upgraded our men’s urinals to be more efficient with water, installed water hippos into the cisterns of old toilets (we have 25 toilets throughout the business). In the past few years we have installed more efficient washing machines, dishwashers & glasswashers, all of which reduce the amount of water we consume.