Jane Davidson Sustainability Minister Hails Credentials
Bluestone has been hailed as a “wonderful example of a sustainable business” by Welsh Assembly Minister Jane Davidson, who visited the national park resort for the first time last week.
Ms Davidson, the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, was shown around the resort and its facilities, including Blue Lagoon - believed to be the only biomass-heated waterpark in the world.
Blue Lagoon is heated by an on-site energy centre, housing two 28-ton biomass boilers, which burn a blend of woodchip and energy crops grown by local farmers.
Lucy Hoggins, Bluestone’s Environment Manager, said: “Our biomass energy centre has been developed in partnership with PBE, a local co-operative which manages the facility and sells us heat by the unit. All feedstock, including miscanthus and willow, is sourced from within a five radius of the site.
“By using biomass instead of oil, we are saving the emission of 3000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year; we’re saving money, and we’re supporting the local farming community.”
The Minister also heard about the other measures and policies Bluestone has employed, both to minimise any impact on the environment and support the social and economic wellbeing of the Pembrokeshire area.
These measures include triple glazing and solar panels in the lodges; the planting of 168,000 trees, shrubs and bulbs, and use of the stringent Green Dragon environmental management system. Bluestone achieved Green Dragon Level 3 in April, and hopes to achieve Level 5 in the coming months.
Bluestone’s wage bill is currently running at over £100,000 a week, and 98% percent of its 351 employees live in Pembrokeshire or west Carmarthenshire. The company seeks to use local suppliers as far as possible, and spends over £200,000 a year with its Narberth-based suppliers alone.
“We don’t claim to be perfect and we know there will always be room for improvement” said Bluestone CEO William McNamara, “but we take our obligations seriously, and we think we are on course to achieve our aim of being an exemplar of sustainable tourism in Wales.”
Ms Davidson said, “Bluestone is a wonderful example of a sustainable business and I would like to congratulate it on its approach and on all of its achievements so far.
“I hope it inspires its visitors to change their behaviour to make their lifestyles more sustainable.”