The Victoria’s Gold Green Tourism Awards

April 7, 2024 | WONDER | 5 minute read

Back in 2015, before sustainability was the buzz-word for businesses that it is now, The Victoria undertook a project to review operations and place ‘green’ practices at the core of the business. Committing to this intention meant being audited and critiqued by an external assessor and so began the journey towards Green Tourism accreditation.

Jump forward nearly 10 years and the team at The Victoria can proudly claim it has secured the Gold Standard Award for yet another year. Green Tourism Awards are acknowledged worldwide as an indicator of good environmentally friendly practice and a hallmark of ‘green quality’. With the judging criteria altered, and the bar moved even higher with the need for businesses to be sustainable becoming ever more important, putting The Victoria forward for re-assessment was a lengthy process. So we are absolutely delighted to have been able to retain our Gold status.

In celebration of this news, we wanted to share with you just some of the changes and implementations we have made to lessen our environmental impact, while still providing an excellent customer experience.

1) Working with local suppliers.

One of the core principles of The Victoria is that wherever possible our ingredients come from local suppliers within a 50-mile radius. Many come from the Estate itself, including venison, beef, lamb and vegetables. However, it doesn’t just stop with the food. From Liberty Wines to Edmunds Cocktails, our drink suppliers produce fantastic local beverages, and our much-loved toiletries and dog biscuits are also made in Norfolk. Keeping it local means higher quality, fresher produce when it comes to food, and less travel miles – a win, win all round!

2) Collaborating with companies that do good.

As well as focusing on local suppliers, we also work with companies that share our ethos of doing good where they can. Edmunds Cocktails plants trees for every bottle we purchase, while our bottled water supplier donates a percentage of profits to the RNLI, and Two Farmers Crisps come in compostable packaging that we compost at The Walled Garden. There are so many opportunities for companies to reduce their environmental impact and increase their community support.This is something we are looking forward to doing more of in the future.

Our menu map showcases our local suppliers.

3) Promoting sustainable transport.

With a cycle-to-work scheme for employees, EV chargers in the car-park, a bus stop right outside the hotel, and plenty of local nature to explore – we encourage our staff and visitors to leave their car either at home or at least in our car park as much as possible. With many of the staff living within walking distance, there is certainly limited business travel miles!

4) Reduce, reuse, recycle.

From providing guests with recycling bins in their bedroom, to removing general waste bins from behind the bar, managing the waste produced at The Victoria has been a key focus since the start. There has been a huge number of alterations to help reduce single use plastic (compostable coffee packets, bamboo straws, and refillable toiletries for example) and in the last four years we have reduced our non-recycled waste by 50%. Digitising certain operations and and room information being available through a QR code rather than in paper form has led to a paperless reception. This area is something that we continue to review as we move along the journey to reduce the amount of waste we produce, reuse what we can, and recycle as much as possible.

Switching to refillable, soluble cleaning products.

Our waste review also includes food. With a third of food produced in the world being thrown in the bin, food waste is a big problem. Here at The Victoria we are proud to work with external companies and Holkham’s Walled Garden to create nutrient rich compost from all of our cuttings, scraps, and plate scrapings. The kitchen team work hard to reduce the amount of food waste produced by changing the menu each evening and creating innovative dishes with local, available ingredients.

5) Monitoring and reducing carbon emissions.

From implementing LED lighting and sensors, to using woodchip from the estate in our Biomass Boiler to fuel heating and hot water, we are continuously looking for new ways to reduce the amount of energy we use. As of 2023, The Victoria’s emissions were the lowest of Holkham’s leisure businesses and we have managed to reduce emissions by 11% since the 2020 baseline carbon audit. A continuous area for improvement and review, innovations in sustainable energy sourcing and the potential to convert the kitchen to fully electric, provide the opportunities for further progression in this area.

These are just a few of the changes and implementations the business has made over the last nine years to continuously put sustainability at the forefront of our operations. As part of the team that worked on the initial Green Tourism project I am extremely proud to receive our renewed accreditation. I am excited to push forward and continuously innovate, adapt, and improve – ensuring that The Victoria continues to play its part in building a sustainable future.

Evie-May Ellis, The Victoria

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