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Center Parcs awarded Carbon Trust Standard for reduction in emissions

Press release   •   May 16, 2013 00:00 BST

Center Parcs’ reduction in carbon emissions since 2010 is the equivalent of driving around the world over 600 times[1]

Center Parcs has today announced it has been recertified to the Carbon Trust Standard for all UK operations, including its four Villages - spanning 1,600 acres of forest - and remains on track to reduce its emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.[2]

The business has reduced its absolute carbon emissions by 5% over the certification period of the last two years. Center Parcs has also placed amongst the top ten per cent on the Performance League Table of all organisations taking part in the UK Government’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. 

Center Parcs’ 1.6 million annual guests can not only enjoy the fact that they are reducing their carbon footprint by choosing a domestic short break over an international flight, but that the wider business has saved an additional 2,900 tonnes of carbon too: the equivalent of driving an average petrol car over 600 times around the equator.

Crucial to this achievement is Center Parcs’ ambitious Sustainability Strategy which includes the commitment to invest over £300,000 of energy initiatives across its four villages each year. This is in addition to flagship initiatives such as a financial bonus to all staff based on carbon savings and a commitment of over £2 million to replace the boilers for the Subtropical Swimming Paradise at Whinfell Forest and Elveden Forest with a more efficient heating system and a Combined Heat and Power Unit.

Darran Messem, Managing Director – Certification at the Carbon Trust, commented: “By taking action to reduce its own footprint, and by having this independently certified, Center Parcs is demonstrating that it is not just committing to a target to reduce its emissions – it is well on the way to achieving it. Beyond this Center Parcs is setting an example for its 1.6 million annual guests and 6,000 staff, encouraging them to introduce energy efficiency into their everyday lives.”

Chris Brooks, Sustainability Manager at Center Parcs, said: “The Carbon Trust Standard is testament to the hard work and commitment of our 6,000 employees over the last two years. At the end of last year we took this one step further and introduced our Home Energy Savers scheme to encourage and reward our staff to reduce carbon emissions at home as well as in the workplace."

The reduction in carbon emissions comes at a time when Center Parcs is undertaking a significant building programme for its new village in Bedfordshire. Due to open in spring 2014, Woburn Forest will set a new benchmark with carbon emissions 25% below the average of the four existing villages.

The Carbon Trust Standard is awarded to companies who consistently measure, manage and reduce their carbon footprint. Organisations must be able to provide an accurate footprint measurement, demonstrate an absolute reduction of their footprint, or equivalent relative efficiency improvement, and demonstrate good carbon management through carbon governance, accounting, reduction methods and targets.

For details on Center Parcs’ Sustainability Strategy visit:http://www.centerparcs.co.uk/company/sustainability.jsp

[1] Benchmarked to 2010 emissions

[2] Based on Defra emissions on the average petrol car

Contact information

Center Parcs Press Office

Telephone: 01623 821733

Email: press.office@centerparcs.co.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
  2. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
  3. Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 1.7 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
  4. The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
  5. This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK, owned by The Blackstone Group
  6. Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
  7. Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row