Langdale Estate and the challenge of net zero

How Green Small Business Galvanised our Team to Understand and Plan our Sustainable Future

Dan Visser Director of Sales and Marketing for the Langdale Estate

Dan Visser is the Sales and Marketing Director for the Langdale Estate holiday resort, and part of the senior management team that runs the business.

Part of his role is to lead on sustainability.

This is important to him as he is also a member of the board of trustees for the Lake District Foundation – a landscape and environmental charity for the area.

“This is a great place to work because we have the freedom to be imaginative and to do things differently. Whether that’s in marketing, employment, or looking to be more sustainable and environmentally responsible.”

Langdale Estate

Set in the Langdale Valley in the heart of the beautiful natural landscape of the Lake District, the historic Langdale Estate offers a choice of luxury hotel and self-catering accommodation. Together with exceptional fitness and leisure facilities, a spa, restaurant, bar and traditional pub.

Surrounded by breath-taking scenery and some of the finest biking, walking and climbing locations in the country, the Langdale understands that the stunning environment on their doorstep is integral to the success of their business.

“We are very mindful of our place within the natural landscape of the Langdale Valley. We need to be respectful of this and aware of our impact. We have a collective belief as a business that we need to do the right thing and this encompasses many areas including the environment, our employees, our community and the wildlife around us.”

Challenge – the best way for us to be carbon neutral would be if the guests stayed at home!

As with many businesses in the Lake District the Langdale Estate is aware that their success means an increased carbon footprint due to the travel of guests and employees.

As Dan explains

“We are conscious that we create a great deal of carbon – there is no public transport to reach us, so guests need to drive, and we bus people in. This has become worse due to the pandemic.”

Langdale Estate self catering

But of course, the benefits to well-being and  mental health that the resort provides are much needed. Giving people the opportunity to spend time outdoors, to relax and recharge in the natural environment is vitally important.

Historically the senior management team has given this situation serious thought and taken progressive action on environmental issues.

However a recent change in personnel saw their sustainability champion moving on and the loss of knowledge, skills and experience left the team without direction.

We needed to revisit and revitalise our plans to set a clear vision for the future but the business is busy and we weren’t sure where to start.”

Solution –  Green Small Business Consultancy Service

Tim at Green Small Business supports businesses to better manage their environmental impacts. He works with them to develop environmental policies and action plans and provides an independent certification scheme to help enhance their reputation amongst customers and staff.

Green Small Business also offers a bespoke consultancy service for larger businesses to access support.

In this case, they were commissioned by Langdale Estates to work with their staff via a series of interactive workshops, to develop a new environmental action plan for the resort.

“Everyone was invited to participate – from a part-time barman or kitchen porter to senior managers. We wanted buy-in from the staff, a collaborative, whole team approach.”

The aim was to create an e-steering group that would be able to move plans forward.

Results – a clear plan created as a team

Tim organised a series of workshops which the staff found informative, relevant and fun. The reaction was super positive, very collaborative and the output from the sessions resulted in a clear path of outcomes and a plan of action for the short and medium-term.

“Tim was really well prepared; he collected a lot of data about our business and had a calm and pragmatic approach to the sessions which worked very well. He certainly does his research.”

“Having someone from outside come in and work with us has galvanised the team. It’s information we all know but having someone else say it and coordinating everything is hugely helpful.”

Langdale Estate

Dan felt that the team had the knowledge and expertise amongst themselves, but under pressure from the impact of Covid and employment challenges, they needed the structure and framework that Green Small Business was able to provide, helping them to focus on what was important.

Tim supported the e-steering group to develop proposals for a commitment to Net-Zero that are realistic, clear and achievable – a massive help.

Our priorities:

  • To declare a climate emergency.
  • To publish our Net-Zero plan in late 2021, a clear and robust framework for action.
  • Working in conjunction with the National Park Authority to align with their Net-Zero aspiration for 2037. Well ahead of the UK target.
  • To use our fantastic network of organisational and community support to achieve our goals.
  • To evidence the requirements for B Corp certification.

“Tim managed to pull together what would have taken us up to a year to do as a team.”

“Tim has given us the focus, structure and coordination that we needed to understand what net-zero is, how we are going to get there, and what our plan is. We hope to continue to work with him into the future.”

Book a call with Tim now to discuss how Green Small Business can help your business.