Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in Cambridge, Ont., keeps environmental sustainability at the forefront of decision-making in all its departments. As this year’s recipient of Kostuch Media’s Green Leadership Award, the Relais et Châteaux member thinks green at every turn: from working with local ingredients in its kitchens to using bio-degradable cleaning products, the hotel is committed to a number of solutions that have positively affected its guests, partners, community and region.
Among its efforts to reduce, re-use and recycle, Langdon Hall uses motion-sensor lighting in several staff areas. Over the past year, the hotel has been updating lighting in its guestrooms to use lightbulbs that require significantly less energy, resulting in almost immediate energy-bill savings. The hotel, which was originally built as a summer home, has also re-structured HVAC by installing contemporary systems to improve efficiency.
Furthermore, Langdon Hall lobbied the region to provide a bus stop at the end of the road to assist its team of more than 300 with a clean and cost-effective way to commute to work. There are also electric-vehicle charging stations onsite for guests to use at no extra cost. Many of the hotel’s local food suppliers have even switched to electric vehicles.
In addition to working with local ingredients, suppliers and products, Langdon Hall’s culinary team also grows its own produce. In fact, Langdon Hall is FeastOn Certified with more than 80 per cent of the food and beverages used at the property produced in Ontario alone. For take-out orders, boxes are either made of recyclable cardboard or non-plastic compostable products. The hotel also encourages its suppliers to review packaging as part of a concerted partnership. Currently, the hotel is reviewing a system that turns food waste into biofuel in an attempt to eradicate food waste from landfills.
“At Langdon Hall, we work so hard on everything we do. It’s great for us to receive this award, but we’re not doing this on our own. As an industry, we all have to work together,” said Jason Bangerter, executive chef at Langdon Hall, in accepting the award at KML’s recent Top 30-under-30 Leadership Summit. “We have great responsibility in what we produce, what we purchase, what we source and the message we convey through our cuisine. We have the power to make real change.”
With respect to water conservation, low-volume toilets are being installed in guestrooms and public washrooms, as well as taps allowing high pressure and low water waste. Furthermore, the hotel’s housekeeping department uses bio-degradable and naturally derived cleaning products that require only small amounts of water for effectiveness and keep water polluting toxins out of the fresh-water system.
This year, Langdon Hall partnered with The Keep Refillery to provide high-quality and locally sourced bathroom products for its guestrooms. Through a closed loop supply chain, the housekeeping staff re-fill shampoo, conditioner, soap and moisturizer in glass containers, eliminating single-use plastic bottles. Similarly, Langdon Hall aims to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles on property by 2024.
While minimizing its environmental impact at the property level, Langdon Hall actively supports green programs with other businesses and the local community, including the RARE Charitable Research Reserve, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the 50 Million Tree Program, to name a few. Team members also participate in speaking engagements at schools, colleges and universities in the area.
Langdon Hall constantly strives to improve the way it operates. Each year, the hotel re-addresses their commitments to sustainability to find new ways and processes to fulfill its responsibility towards the environment.
“Reliance on global supply chains shattered many businesses’ ability to operate after the pandemic,” says Carla Stachurski, brand manager, Relais & Châteaux. ”In order to build a re-generative future, we need to focus on our immediate surroundings and people.”
BY NICOLE DI TOMASSO