Blenheim Palace is among the UK’s ‘greenest’ tourist attractions according to a new audit by Green Tourism.
Blenheim Palace was assessed under 10 different categories including energy saving, waste minimisation, purchasing, social responsibility and equality and achieved a total score of 88%.
As well as receiving a Gold Award the score means the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the best performing Green Tourism members globally.
“We are delighted to confirm Blenheim Palace has gained a Green Tourism Gold Award with a score putting the internationally recognised Palace in the top five per cent of Green Tourism members,” said Jon Proctor, Technical Director for Green Tourism, who carried out the audit.
“The palace continues to innovate with more renewables as well as best practice in water, energy management, nature conservation and green cleaning. Food and drink has a strong bias to local sourcing and the menu uses products from the estate reducing food miles to food yards.
“On my visit not only was I able to witness some excellent practices I could also get a real feel for the positive energy and drive of the organisation as a whole and we wholeheartedly recommend them as a leading global green minded attraction.
“As an indication of how good the estate is the carbon footprint per visitor is only 1kg and the total kWh per square metre is 121kwh/m2 per annum this achieves a high standard and compares well against even new ‘eco’ builds,” he added.
As well as implementing wide-ranging energy saving programmes across the Estate, Blenheim has also invested extensively in photovoltaic panels, bio-mass boilers and hydroelectric turbines in order to achieve its aim of becoming a net generator of green energy within 10 years.
Blenheim has also taken delivery of its first electric van alongside two new electric cars, introduced a recycling compactor on site and announced plans to phase out single use plastics.
The audit also highlighted Blenheim’s commitment to source products and services locally. Eighty per cent of all food sold on site comes from within a 50 mile radius and more than 60 per cent of Blenheim’s total spend is done within 20 miles of the Estate.
“We are thrilled to have achieved the Green Tourism Gold Award,” said Jacqueline Gibson, Environmental Advisor at Blenheim.
“We now must ensure we maintain these high standards, and continue to develop as an environmentally and socially responsible business.