Highland hotel’s pioneering energy centre gets worldwide recognition

An old fashioned Highlands hotel, with a modern extension, pictured in sunshine
The Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness, with its Uile Bheist Distillery alongside

Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness has been short-listed in the first World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards.

The family-run Highland hotel, on the banks of the River Ness, developed Scotland’s first ever Water Source Energy solution centre in 2021, saving 250 tonnes of carbon per year.

This £8m energy centre also produces malt whisky and craft beer at the business’s on-site Uile-bheist Distillery and Brewery.

Alongside that hardware, Glen Mhor has initiated its own Climate Action Plan, and introduced staff programmes to promote inclusion and positive mental health.

This work has now been rewarded with listings in three categories of the World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards, wherein it is the only business in Scotland to be named, and one of only two in Britain. Its nominations are for ‘Sustainable Energy Efficiency Initiative’, ‘Sustainable Water and Waste Innovation’ and ‘Sustainable Employer’.

The 126-room Glen Mhor will now go up against international chains, resorts and famous names in the global vote, which is open to everyone. Voting closes on 2nd August and the winners in each category will be announced at a ceremony in Belize on 27th September.

A blond lady stands in a pump room wearing a hard hat and high vis
Glen Mhor Hotel sustainability director, Victoria Erasmus, inside the hotel’s ground-breaking Energy Centre

“When we evaluated our business with a desire to future-proof with renewable technology and practices, we knew we had to take bold steps in order to achieve our net zero goals,” said sustainability director Victoria Erasmus.

“Our Energy Centre and sustainable technology had never been used before and we had the challenge of building during lockdown in a historic conservation area and during the Covid pandemic. Despite the challenges and the risks, we were driven by the urgency to address a global climate crisis.

“As a smaller player among these fellow nominees, I am incredibly proud of our team’s efforts and honoured to have been shortlisted,” said Erasmus.

“This recognition is a testament to the fact that everyone in the hospitality industry, not just the large chains and resorts, can make a significant impact on sustainability and climate change. The journey has been challenging, but this acknowledgement is the ultimate reward for our hard work and dedication.”

The Glen Mhor’s Energy Centre, showcased as an exemplar at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow in May, replaced 20 gas boilers in the hotel and provided a new water source for heating and hot water. Electricity usage was reduced by solar panels, putting the hotel on course to be carbon neutral by 2030.