Bigbury Net Zero Assembly at Burgh Island Hotel

Torbay Weekly

Iconic Devon hotel welcomed more than 60 delegates to discuss sustainability initiatives for energy, transport, and farming in the local area

London, 22 February 2022 – Burgh Island Hotel has today announced the success of the Bigbury Net Zero assembly, in which the iconic Devon hotel hosted attendees eager to discuss ways for the local community to combat climate change.

Bigbury Net Zero facilitated fruitful, informative, and thought-provoking discussions about sustainability objectives in the local area and future initiatives to drive forward positive environmental change and help achieve Net Zero targets by 2030.

Following the opening speech from environmental enthusiast and owner of Burgh Island Hotel, Giles Fuchs, the assembly’s spokespeople ranged from sustainability experts to local Devonshire councillors and Government representatives. Keynote speakers included Farhana Yamin, an internationally recognised environmental lawyer and chair of Bigbury Net Zero, and Nigel Toppings, the UK’s High-Level Champion for Climate Action at COP26.

This latest Bigbury Net Zero event follows the Bigbury-on-Sea Beach Assembly of November 2021, which coincided with the COP26 UN Climate Summit. Local residents from Bigbury-on-Sea and the South Hams area carved out a large “SOS COP26” message in the sand on the local beach to draw attention to the impact that the climate emergency is having on local communities’ livelihoods and homes. Over 500 local activists gathered for the Beach Assembly in the tidal causeway between Burgh Island and Bigbury beach to create a musical and visual display of support for climate change legislation.

Being at the vanguard of eco-friendly practice in the hospitality industry, Burgh Island Hotel is proud to sponsor the Bigbury Net Zero campaign. Sustainability is a key issue facing all industries, and hospitality is no exception. Hotels alone account for 1% of global carbon emissions, yet, as two-thirds of travellers anticipate the industry to offer more sustainable options, there is a clear expectation for hotels to do more.

Recognised in Devon as a leading eco-friendly hotel, Burgh Island is setting a precedent for the future of the industry. With an emphasis on supporting the local area, Burgh Island sources 80% of its ingredients from within a 30-mile radius, and all staff members are trained in energy awareness to provide guests with essential information about the local environment.

In addition, from housing solar panels on the disused tennis courts to installing light pollution monitors, Burgh Island is working closely with the Carbon Trust to manage its energy needs, ensuring there is no unnecessary consumption of resources at the hotel.

Following vast planning and consultation last year, Burgh Island has announced plans for a development that holds sustainability values at its core. This project will maintain the hotel’s rich heritage, while also equipping it to meet the demands of the 21st century, striking the perfect balance between luxury and authenticity – without compromising the natural environment. This even includes plans for the iconic sea tractor to become an electric vehicle.

Giles Fuchs, Owner of Burgh Island Hotel, said: “Climate change is a global issue, but often the consequences are felt most heavily on a local scale. Despite being located on our own tidal island, Burgh Island Hotel is a part of our local community, and we want to do our bit. It’s an honour to be sponsoring the Bigbury Net Zero Assembly, an organisation that we will continue to work with pushing our shared sustainability agenda, for years to come.”

Farhana Yamin, international climate lawyer and Chair of Bigbury Net Zero, added: “It has been a pleasure to attend the Bigbury Net Zero assembly at Burgh Island Hotel as a keynote speaker. Raising the profile of issues surrounding climate change and sustainability is an essential component in reaching the goal of Net Zero by 2030. Thank you to the Burgh Island team for hosting us and for recognising the role that the hospitality industry has to play in achieving our shared ambitions for a greener and kinder world."