At Breac.House, we aim to create memorable experiences for our guests which reflect and respect the unique environment and community in which we are located. Horn Head is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the EU Habitats Directive and we feel a strong responsibility to minimise our impact and the impact of our guests on this beautiful place.
We have designed as sustainable a business model as possible, limiting guest numbers to the minimum. This sustainability ethos has become our daily way of life, and that of our guests while they are here – and hopefully long after they return home.
Our specific commitments to our guests, employees, suppliers and communities are set out below. While we have built-in strong environmental and sustainability measures into our business from day one, we are committed to constantly improving these measures as our business develops. In this regard, we support and adopt the UNWTO definition of Sustainable Tourism (see below).
Sourcing and fair trading practices
• We are committed to sourcing responsibly, supporting the best of Donegal, Ulster and Irish makers. We are particularly focused on supporting small local producers, makers and suppliers who contribute to the local community and who use local materials and methods.
• We actively engage in fair trading practices with all of our suppliers, guests and employees.
Local food culture
• We are committed to the preservation and revival of local food culture and heritage. We make our own breads, pastries, butter, yoghurt using local organic ingredients – some of which are grown on site, others are from local growers.
• We are committed to substituting imported products with quality Irish equivalents
• We aim to reduce our landfill waste year-on-year through continuous reduction / elimination of all plastics & packaging and a programme of rigorous recycling.
• We compost as much as possible of our green waste, including the re-use of seaweed from our guest seaweed bath ritual, for use in our polytunnel
• We use environmentally friendly guest amenities, cleaning, household and garden products.
• All of our heating and hot water is provided by renewable energy (two airsource heat pumps)
• Our building has been constructed and fitted-out to a very high energy efficiency standard
• Our sauna is off-grid, using no electricity
• Our vehicle is plug-in hybrid and we provide electric charging facilities to guests free of charge
• We strive to further reduce our energy usage through the introduction of new efficiencies, controls and process improvements
• We have implemented a rainwater harvesting system which supplies all water to our toilets throughout the building
• We efficiently manage the water output of our high demand facilities
• We provide bikes, maps, picnics, torches and hi-viz jackets / helmets to encourage our guests to visit our local headland, beaches, forest and surroundings on foot or by bike.
• We advise guests on local amenities, craft shops and nearby attractions while respecting local by-laws, landowners and residents.
Community & networks
• We have absolute respect for the community in which we are located and the impact of tourism on the people, heritage and environment of the area
• We are actively engaged in a number of local community groups and initiatives, particularly focused on the preservation of local culture, heritage and the environment.
• We are members of Sustainable Tourism Ireland, Leave no Trace and other affiliations who are committed to sustainable travel practices.
UNWTO Definition of Sustainable Tourism : “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities”