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Dundas Castle promotes sustainability at the exclusive use luxury venue outside of Edinburgh

As climate change and sustainability becomes a greater concern for businesses around the world, our unique members constantly strive to ensure these fantastic venues are as environmentally friendly and energy efficient as possible.

But how do they do it and why? The team at Dundas Castle can help explain:

“We regularly evaluate our current systems to analyse if they can be updated to reduce our impact. We began this journey a few years ago and already have a number of alternatives in place throughout the Castle and Estate. Our team are always learning new ways to make Dundas as eco-friendly as possible and believe we still have room to improve.”

Here are five ways the venue is contributing to a healthier planet:

1.The company ethos

Dundas Castle is passionate about living greener with each staff member having a conscious mindset outside and inside of work. Small changes such as documents automatically being printed double sided in order to save paper, recycling our ink cartridges and trying to only print when really necessary add up to reduce our office impact.  Car sharing is common between employees and procedures are in place to ensure all of our glass, cardboard and plastic are being recycled along with all food waste and cooking oil.

The team recently updated the Housekeeping equipment to adopt ‘smart technology’. This includes washing machines with ‘eco-programs’ that weigh the wash load and only add the necessary amount of cleaning liquid to reduce waste and environmental impact. The on-site tumble driers do not have a timer system, instead, the machine weighs the load, measures the dampness and dries the washing to 30% moisture. This helps the team with the ironing process but also prevents wasted energy by only drying the sheets for the necessary time

2. Energy use

Over the last few years, all of the lights throughout the venue have been converted to LED, helping the estate reduce its energy use. The venue invested in 200PV solar panels in 2012 that cover 325 square meters and produce 50kWp supplementing the Castle’s energy. In addition to this, a state of the art Biomass system was installed in 2015 to provide hot water and heating for resident guests. This is fuelled by recycled wood chips which are locally sourced.

3. Sustainable suppliers

The venue works with a variety of suppliers who are equally as passionate about contributing to a more sustainable planet.

Sodexo, Dundas’ catering partner, take on board food provenance as a priority: chefs source 70% of the food they serve from local producers, in season where possible. In 2019 plastic straws were replaced with paper ones, and the team are now investigating other ways in which the venue can reduce plastic use here.

4. Community and charity work

The owner of Dundas Castle, Sir Jack Stewart-Clark, has embedded charitable values throughout the business. Each year, we support several charities such as; RNLI, Comic Relief and the Princess Trust, through prize donations and allowing a number of organisations to use the Castle for events at a reduced fee.

Sir Jack founded a new charity in 2018, ‘Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland’ (SOHTIS), who work in partnership with others to encourage, enable and empower those rescued from human trafficking to rebuild their lives and integrate into society. Dundas Castle also hosts events for the charity to help them raise awareness of the cause and create the funding they need to continue their vital work.

5. Wildlife

Wildlife on the Dundas Estate is an important part of the venues sustainability. The grounds are home to various protected animals such as; swans, foxes, deer, hares and many different wild birds. The team are committed to ensuring these animals are not disturbed and are able to roam freely with no threat. So much so, that the woodland area is monitored to ensure there is very little pollution and some areas in the estate have even been developed to home some of these species. In particular, the Lothian Amphibian Group have created several small ponds to encourage breeding of the Great Crested Newt.

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