The Hospitality STARS Awards are a celebration of our great city. They champion the culture, history and future of Nottingham. The awards are held annually by the tourist board Visit Nottinghamshire, who work tirelessly to keep Nottingham on the map. Their aim is to recognise and celebrate the best Nottingham has to offer, with 15 awards up for grabs for local businesses. The awards recognise every area of great tourism, from the best B&B and Guest House to the most accessible and inclusive hospitality venue.
Held at the Crowne Plaza in Nottingham city centre, the awards ceremony was a sight to see. Aprons, begone! Overalls, take a hike! Period costumes, no more! For one night only, 20+ tables of hard-working hospitality folk ditched their workwear and dressed to the nines. Castle Rock’s Green King Pete McWilliam donned his kilt and attended with marketing assistant Jess Collins and MD Colin Wilde. (Rumour has it the three had rather a late one at the afterparty in Alea Casino…)
We were incredibly proud to take home the Sustainable Tourism Award last year, which was developed for 2019 into the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award. Our beloved Canalhouse also won an award in 2018, as Tourism Pub of the Year. This year however, with manager Wayne Harvey’s blessing, we skipped the pub entry and focused all our efforts on the sustainability award.
‘We were cautiously optimistic following our judge’s visit, we thought it went really well. But the shortlist in our category was very impressive. It included some big names and I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to get [the award] for another year. We’re really chuffed,’ said Pete. (He refused to comment on the aforementioned shenanigans…)
Kinga Kapias, Acting Marketing and Communications Manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, said:
‘The Castle Rock team has successfully identified all areas within the business where they can become more sustainable and are truly setting an example to other businesses. The brewery has invested time and resources into ensuring they are doing their best to look after the environment.
One of their new projects is particularly exciting; looking at ways in which heat/steam can be captured and transferred into energy. Our judges felt genuinely inspired to get involved!
We look forward to Castle Rock representing best practice of sustainability in Nottingham at a national level next year at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.’
BEHIND THE APPLICATION
In the past, we didn’t shout too much about our sustainability efforts. In fact, implementing sustainable and ethical practices has been an integral part of our operations for decades. Pete McWilliam plugged away behind the scenes for many years, trying to reduce our impact on the environment. But as the business grew, so did our determination to keep our ecological footprint as light as we could.
Liv Auckland, brand and communications manager, decided Castle Rock should take a crack at being reigning champs in the sustainability category. ‘Entering the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism category wasn’t so much about winning, but about making a statement about who we are and who we want to be as a business. It’s an honour to win, especially two years in a row, but the bigger picture is what we value most. When it comes to the sustainability, there is always more you can do. We are far from perfect, but we are trying our very best to have a positive impact on people and the planet.
‘We firmly believe that all businesses have a duty to decide what part they want to play in building a thriving future for their communities and the wider world. It gave an opportunity for colleagues across various departments to come together and really drive our projects and initiatives forwards,’ she said.
WHAT WE’RE ON WITH NOW…
We’re currently working on our Sustainability Strategy. This strategy will ensure we have a clear plan of action for the future and will allow us to guide investment and resources into high priority areas. Watch this space…