As part of a concerted effort to green the Wexford Festival Opera, 16 Wexford businesses were certified ‘green’ at a recent awards ceremony held at the Wexford Opera House. The 16 premises have met with environmental standards set down by the Green Hospitality Programme (GHP) and €concertive and are leading the way to making Wexford a green destination for visitors and business.
Examples of exemplary savings, both monetary and resource efficiency, include the Riverbank Hotel which has cut it its water bill by €35,000 per annum through leak detection and improved water efficiency and the Maldron Hotel, Wexford which has taken measures to cut its waste bill by 50% and has recently reduced water consumption by 40%.
Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Waste Prevention Programme, the project has proven extremely successful to date, with more than 30 businesses around County Wexford signed up to the ‘Green Aware’ programme. All of these businesses are striving to achieve environmental certification, in the form of the Green Hospitality ‘Eco-label’ or the ‘€concertive Eco-cert’. Both of these labels are EPA recognised environmental management programmes for small businesses.
If the participant businesses can reduce water and energy use, and cut the amount of waste they produce, they will assist in reducing the environmental impact of the Wexford Festival Opera, whilst also saving significant amounts of money for their businesses/
“The dedication of businesses in Wexford to green Wexford Festival Opera has been phenomenal,” says Dr Gerry Byrne, EPA programme manager. “We believe it is just the start of a process to move Wexford towards becoming a ‘green destination’ and promote itself as being more sustainable for future visitors and businesses.”
Participating businesses in greening Wexford Festival Opera will be listed in a ‘Green Trail’, which maps out a route for visitors to the festival – so that they can choose to support the green businesses and make their own Opera experience a more environmentally friendly one.
The ‘Green Aware’ Programme is also encouraging Wexford homes to participate in the An Taisce Green Home Programme. The Programme assists volunteers to find out how they can make their homes greener by reducing water usage, waste generation, and energy consumption, and by learning about composting and sustainable transport. In turn, they too can save money on their household bills.