The Gateway Conference Centre’s commitment to protecting the environment has retained them the Silver award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. The nationally recognised award was given to the London Road centre for the innovative measures staff had made to reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint.

From using recyclable pens in all meeting rooms to installing energy efficient lighting and purchasing an A rated fridge and dishwasher, the centre’s green ethos impressed assessors who said they must be given credit for taking responsibility for the environment.

Today Nigel Byrne manager at the Conference Centre, said they were committed to going green and hoped other businesses would follow their lead.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been given a silver rating once again and are very proud of the achievements we have made in cutting waste and becoming energy efficient. As a parent I feel a real personal responsibility to protect the planet for future generations.

“I know other staff feel the same and have brought that personal commitment to work with them. We have all been recycling and have set up a car sharing scheme, which are small things that long term will make a real difference. Since we have looked at ways we can be greener we have seen that there were so many areas where we could improve.

“We were leaving too many appliances on when they could be switched off and are now educating ourselves to behave differently. We are really trying to do our best and are committed to continuing to improve. This is just too important not to do.

Some of the main areas where The Gateway has made efforts to be green include drafting an environmental policy, commissioning an environmental audit from Groundworks and providing green information to customers. In addition the business is using phosphate free detergents and soaps, recycled paper, natural products in housekeeping and is now buying mainly Fairtrade products.

They have even signed up to a green electricity tariff with energy company Eon – which although costs significantly more, gives peace of mind that 100% of the energy they use has come from sustainable sources