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News & Blog

Luxury Doesn’t Always Come At A Price

Posted: 3rd March 2020

You could be forgiven for thinking, as you relax in the tranquil and stylish surroundings of Eden Locke aparthotel in the heart of Edinburgh, that this luxury must come at a heavy price to the environment.

Fluffy towels, crisp linen, perfect pillows, friendly uniformed staff, the smell of fresh roasted coffee, lashings of delicious cakes and pastries – all in intelligent design-led style.

But you would be surprised. Because while Eden Locke is enormously committed to recycling to protect the environment as far as possible, this hospitality organisation, part of edyn, are now going beyond that and embracing Edinburgh’s growing circular economy, working with Circular Edinburgh.

The way we traditionally design, build, use then dispose of products means that a lot goes to waste. A circular economy looks to keep the flow of materials and products within the economy for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them whilst in use.

The Circular Edinburgh project is supported as part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73m in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This programme provides funding and support for small and medium sized businesses in Scotland to be more resource efficient and create a more circular economy.

Annabel Drysdale of Eden Locke said: “All the suppliers we use are local as we are intent on supporting the local community. The cakes and pastries we sell in the café, the cookies we put in our rooms even our coffee, is roasted in Fife. Our alcohol suppliers are all from Scotland (Thurso, Banchory, Arran, Dalkeith, Dunbar and Edinburgh).

“We only change towels every three days, linen every 7 days, thus saving on detergent and wasteful water. It controls our labour costs and ensures the housekeepers have different tasks in each room they are assigned each day. The local laundry company we work with use sustainable products.

“Our toiletries are bespoke to Locke and we plan to put large pump action, refillable bottles in all the rooms. Even our toilet paper uses environmentally friendly materials. We repair and remanufacture our IT equipment to lengthen time of use. “

The circular economy is something constantly considered at Eden Locke. Old pillows are donated to Edinburgh Dog and Cat home for example, and detergent bottles are refilled rather than discarded.

Annabel added: “There are many practical ways to engage with the circular economy that are easy to implement and cause no extra work, or are not in any detrimental way to the quality service we offer.”

The business is trying to find ways to reuse its used coffee grinds and its unused food, and is in discussions with local organisations to see how this can best be achieved. It is currently speaking to Olio about sharing their unused food.

Annabel added: “As a city, I think there is more potential for companies to work together on the circular economy.

“There is always the option for some change. Everyone doing a little is the start. Whether moving away from plastic bags, or recycling paper, or using the most environmentally friendly ways available to travel are all good steps. Perhaps the beginning is to consider all waste – what can be reused, fixed, donated, before discarding it is a good start.”

“We have to consider this from the top down and the bottom up. How we run our infrastructure, our building materials, transportation and how we run our public services is all for experts in their fields to discuss with the government.

“Individuals can help make it work from the bottom up, with households doing all they can to reuse and recycle.”

For further information please visit https://www.edinburghchamber.co.uk/circular-edinburgh/ or contact Mayan Grace or Lauren Ridgley on 0131 221 2999 (option 5) or email circulareconomy@edinburghchamber.co.uk

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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