When the Falls Hotel and Spa in Ennistymon, County Clare reopens later this year, guests will leave no carbon footprint once they step foot on hotel grounds - thanks to a series of waste reduction and innovative energy initiatives on the property.
The 140 bedroomed hotel which is located in the Burren and Cliff of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark was awarded the carbon neutral status by Green Hospitality Ireland for eliminating its carbon output over a five year period.
One of the most significant measures taken by the hotel was the installation of a €1.3m hydroelectric turbine on the nearby River Inagh which generates enough electricity to power the hotel. Excess green energy from the hotel, earned an income of €20,000 when it was shut due to Covid 19 restrictions.
Other projects included switching to renewable electricity and Bio LPG gas, using water from the hotel’s own well and planting 350 native Irish trees on the hotel grounds.
A 'Green Team' was also set up to encourage staff to become fully involved in all of the hotel’s sustainability initiatives. These include using chemical free cleaning products, compostable cups and straws and cutting back on food waste.
Being based in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and a member of the Burren Ecotourism Network, the owners of the hotel, the McCarthy family were conscious of trying to reduce their environmental impact on the area around them. The move to renewable energy was also driven by demand from guests, locals and staff.
Michael McCarthy, General Manager, Falls Hotel, said “We are delighted to receive this recognition, especially given the huge investment we have made with our hydroelectric plant.
“We are extremely proud of this award. With 140 bedrooms, a leisure centre and a spa complex on a 50 acre site we went from having a large carbon footprint to being carbon neutral in five short years; it’s a massive achievement.”