Maritime Charity Takes Home Green Award

The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society has taken home the Green Award at the Toast of Surrey Business Awards following efforts to cut its carbon footprint and operate in a more environmentally friendly way.

The Awards, run by the Surrey Advertiser and first held in 2009, bring together business leaders from across the county for a night of celebration and recognition. On Thursday 23 April the sixth annual ceremony took place with a range of companies taking home various awards for their achievements.

In a highly competitive and new category for this year, Royal Alfred was successful in pitching up the Green Award, which was sponsored by the WWF-UK. In judging this award, the main criteria included seeking out businesses which have really challenged themselves to operate more sustainably and to manage their environmental impacts.

The Home’s campaign to work in a greener way includes its recently installed pellet-fired biomass boiler has resulted in the home being less reliant on gas, reducing usage to under 20% of previous levels. Solar panels installed in 2012 have saved the home 15% on electricity bills to date.

A new 135 metre borehole provides the home’s water supply with estimated savings of up to £8,000 a year. The money saved from these various initiatives will go back into the home, funding further projects, refurbishments and extensions for the residents to enjoy. Small changes can also go a long way; the home now has a compost bin on site, installed during a recent garden revamp by local volunteers.

The green initiatives employed at the home will reduce its impact on the environment and reduce spend at a time when energy bills are rising nationally.  The Society is very focused on supporting green living and working towards becoming self-sufficient.

Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society Chief Executive, Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt, said: “We are well on our way to becoming a self-sufficient home. Not only are we providing energy to the home, powered on site, we’re also doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprint. There is so much we can do with the money we’re saving, meaning we can continue to provide the best care possible for our residents.

We are absolutely overjoyed at the award win as it recognises the efforts of the entire team. We’re hoping to continue our green initiatives, following the current refurbishment project taking place at the home. We hope others can take ‘a leaf out of our book’ so to speak, and do their part to cut their own carbon footprint.”

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