As well as providing exceptional service, memorable stays and unforgettable events to our many guests and visitors, here at The Greenbank we are passionate about giving back to the community we feel so lucky to be a part of. As the oldest hotel in Falmouth, we are deeply rooted in the town’s maritime heritage from as far back as the 17th century.
We are proud of our past. But we know that the here and now provides the opportunity to make a difference. That’s why we have made an proactive decision to do our bit for a better future in Cornwall and further afield. At The Greenbank, we believe deeds speak louder than words. Keep up to date with all the causes we passionately support and get involved in, from charity events and fundraisers to environmental schemes and community sponsorships.
At The Greenbank we believe we have an obligation to seek out the most sustainable business practices to support our climate, the local economy and our Cornish community. We are immensely proud of our Gold Level Green Tourism award, an accreditation which we have held for several years, which requires a dedicated approach to sustainability.
Businesses opting to join The Green Tourism Business Scheme are assessed against a rigorous set of criteria, covering energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more.
Some of the ways we exercise a lower carbon footprint and encourage greener transport include financial incentive schemes for guests who choose to arrive by public transport over driving, actively promoting the Fal Mussel Card and using our harbourside location to persuade visitors to arrive by boat or water taxi. Also our staff are all offered the nationwide Cycle to Work scheme.
We know our guests travel far and wide to visit some of the UK’s most stunning coastlines, and as part of the hospitality industry, we undoubtedly have a duty to protect the natural beauty of our beaches. To support the coast, we host a bi-yearly beach clean for Surfers Against Sewage, supported by Sharp’s Brewery. Lots of our Greenbank and Working Boat team members also volunteer to help at Falmouth’s Spring Clean, which happens every March. Read more about our beach cleans here. Or give us a call to see how you can get involved with our next one.
Down at The Working Boat, during all our events we have launched a reusable glass scheme to eradicate single-use plastic. We ask our customers for a £1 deposit when they order a drink in one of our lovely branded Working Boat glasses made of reusable plastic, which they get back when they return the glass to us. We can wash these and re-use them over and over again at all our events. The perfect, eco-friendly way to avoid smashed glass which inevitably happens during busy events!
As part of the nationwide project to encourage litter picking, we invested £400 to install one of the Two Minute Beach Clean Stations in the Greenbank Gardens. The station has a litter picker and refuse bags so members of the public can do their bit to keep the surrounding areas of the Greenbank beach clean. We empty this regularly and dispose/recycle the rubbish collected suitably.
Running a hotel requires a lot of purchasing from external companies. We have been praised for our responsible purchasing, with sustainability at the top of our agenda. We’re proud to source our food and drink from local suppliers wherever possible, to showcase the wonderful produce Cornwall has to offer, as well as cutting down on our carbon footprint.
Our team is also dedicated to recycling, and we ensure all our staff receive training in this area to avoid any unnecessary waste. We use waster compactors to reduce our bin waste collections by half, and we’ve installed energy saving water pumps.
When it comes to coffee, our guests can enjoy a guilt-free cup, as we use bio-degradable coffee capsules supplied by Eden Project, as well as working with Cornico Coffee in their coffee recycling scheme.
Our marketing materials are all created from recycled paper, and plastic is avoided at all costs, as we opt for wooden signage and natural varnishes instead. The housekeeping team also use plant-based cleaning products throughout the hotel, and Dyson air dryers have replaced paper towels.
The Cornwall Good Seafood Guide is a local sustainability programme which supports Cornish fisheries, healthy seas and sustainable species. We use this guide when purchasing seafood for our restaurant to ensure we aren’t having a detrimental affect on the fishing industry or the marine environment.
At The Greenbank and The Working Boat, we offer free tap water and refills to members of the public who want to re-use their water bottles.
The hotel is a proud member of Plastic Free Falmouth, and have been implementing our own in-house schemes to reduce single-use plastic in our hotel. We have abolished plastic straws, swapping them for bio-degradable ones in our bar, pub and restaurant. We’ve also introduced branded refillable glass water bottles in all the rooms of the hotel, replacing plastic bottles which were inevitably contributing to our plastic waste.
The Greenbank has found an inventive way around ridding our rooms of single-use plastic toiletry bottles, by teaming up with a local potter Natalie Bonney, who has created beautiful hand-crafted ceramic bottles for each of our rooms. We are now working with Helston-based beauty brand Living Sea Therapy and will be refilling the ceramic bottles with their luxury body wash and lotion, as well as shampoo and conditioner that they’ve created especially for us. With 61 rooms in the hotel, this will be saving us from throwing away tens of thousands of plastic toiletry bottles away per year!
The Greenbank team are all so excited and proud to be pioneering a plastic-free future for the hospitality industry in Cornwall, and hope that others follow in our footsteps. Find out more about our plastic-free projects here.
Giving back to those less fortunate and the local community has always been something we are deeply passionate about, and wherever possible we donate our time and money to charities, community projects and worthy causes.
We have donated lots of gift vouchers as raffle prizes to various charities and individuals raising money for worthy causes. In 2019 alone we gave out over £4500 worth of gift vouchers.
The charities and communities who benefit include: local schools, nurseries, colleges, theatre groups, choirs, hospitals, nursing homes, rotaries and sports clubs. As well as: Falmouth Skate Park, Falmouth Spring Flower Show, Cornwall Music Service Trust, Falmouth Marine Band, Falmouth Primary Academy, Pink Wig events, Flushing Regatta, Penhaligon’s Friends, and Falmouth Working Boat Association. Plus national appeals including: Sepsis Trust, Cornwall Children’s Hospice, Cornwall Hospice, Alzheimer’s Society, MacMillan Cancer Support, Ronald McDonald House Charities, The Lily Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
In addition we sponsor lots of events. These include: Falmouth Gig Club, Falmouth Rugby Club, Penryn Rugby Club, Fal River Festival, Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, Falmouth Week, Falmouth Town Council’s Charity Ball, and Truro Food Festival.
We have been a business member and supporter of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust for 10 years. This year we have also hosted various events for the trust at the hotel.
In 2019, we chose Cornwall Air Ambulance’s New Heli Appeal as our charity of the year, alongside our sister hotel The Alverton. We pledged to raise £10,000 for the charity for each hotel, and succeeded this amount through our continuous fundraising and events. From team sky-dives and our Coastal Convoy (where we walked the coastpath from The Alverton to The Greenbank on a sunny Sunday) to pub quizzes, charity auctions, and generous guest donations, we have managed to exceed £34,000 in total! And we’re still counting until the launch of their New Heli Appeal in March 2020.
This year we have partnered with Cornwall Community Foundation as our chosen charity for 2020. This organisation works with thousands of local community groups and charities in Cornwall. Ranging from mental health support centres and food banks to children’s youth clubs, environmental causes and elderly social events, we believe this is the perfect way for us to raise money for a whole host of worthy causes.
We’re also setting up The Greenbank Community Fund. Members of our hotel team will become part of our grant panel who will regularly vote for the individual charities, communities and projects to donate to. We’re excited to be deciding exactly where our money is being spent and seeing the positive impact on these charities, both big and small. So you can expect even more fundraising activities throughout 2020!
Every September we take part in Jeans 4 Genes Day, encouraging the whole hotel to wear their favourite denim items to work for a £1 donation. All the proceeds go towards supporting children with life-altering genetic disorders.
We are proud supporters of Hospitality Action, a charity that helps workers in the hospitality industry during times of hardship. Our Managing Director Ben Young is on the board of Hospitality Action South West. And every summer we take part in the charity’s Social Sunday event. This sees our chefs creating a special menu where we donate £2 for every person who dines with us.
We have partnered with Room to Reward, a unique charity that recognises the good deeds, extraordinary individuals and inspirational volunteers who deserve a treat. We donate our unsold hotel rooms to the charity, who choose from a list of nominated ‘Hidden Heroes’ to enjoy a relaxing stay with us.
We have teamed up with a local charity who feed the homeless community in Falmouth with donated meals from local businesses. Our Executive Chef Nick Hodges and the Greenbank kitchen team have pledged to cook a batch of meals every Wednesday evening to be distributed directly to the street corners around the town, providing a vitally important hot dinner that could make all the difference to a homeless person.
On National Christmas Jumper Day every year, we do our bit and wear our festive knitwear to help raise money for Save The Children.
Although we purchase most of our products from local companies, if we need to shop on Amazon, we have chosen the children’s charity Barnado’s to receive our charitable spend percentage.
Being a part of Falmouth is something we’re proud of here at The Greenbank. Above all, the town has such a beautiful community spirit. We are heavily involved in a wide variety of community projects and events. Our team plan to continue supporting the town in any way we can.
Some of the community events we are involved in include Falmouth Oyster Festival, Falmouth Week, The Greenbank’s Fal River Festival, Falmouth Classics Regatta, Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, Falmouth Town Council’s Charity Ball, and Truro Food Festitval.
We have played host to many of these events in our marquee on The Greenbank’s private quay, offering use of our pontoons to the Falmouth Classics, and being the official headline sponsor of Fal River Festival. We have created our own annual Chefs on the Quay event during Falmouth Week. This sees six local chefs rustling up a dish each for an epic rustic feast.
Our Executive Chef Nick Hodges is on the committee of Falmouth Community Football Club and The Greenbank sponsors Falmouth Gig Club, Falmouth Rugby Club and Penryn Rugby Club. We are also involved with Friends of Greenbank Gardens. One of our team members is on the committee, who meet monthly.
Our harbourside pub hosts a Sunday night quiz to raise money for various charities. Each month is dedicated to a charity or cause nominated by the hotel team or a pub quiz goer. One of our busiest nights of the week, the quizzes are free to attend with an optional suggested donation of £1. Thanks to the wonderful support from locals and visitors, the quizzes continue to be a roaring success for our charities.
We started the quizzes in May 2018 and raised £3800 in total. The charities we supported were: Cornwall Hospice Care, ShelterBox, When You Wish Upon A Star, Man Down, Ronald McDonald House Bristol, The Snowdrop Suite, and Crisis. Each team member chose a charity, as a cause close to their hearts. Find out more about our first year of pub quizzes here.
After a successful first year, we kick-started in January 2019 with a fresh batch of charities to raise money for. We supported: Falmouth Community Football Club, MQ Mental Health, Parkinson’s UK, Fishermen’s Mission, British Heart Foundation, Surfers Against Sewage, ShelterBox, Hospitality Action, The Lily Foundation, Cornwall Air Ambulance, Penryn and Falmouth Foodbank, Movember, and Crisis, raising over £4300 in total.
The Working Boat pub quizzes continue to be a popular Sunday night tradition throughout 2020. Despite a turbulent spring and early summer, we are back to raising money for our chosen charities for 2020. We have also chosen to donate some of the money from our collection pots to the Lebanon Emergency Appeal following the recent devastating explosion. Join us every Sunday evening in our outdoor marquee from 7:30pm to support some amazing charities!