ISCF Sustainability Practices

Sustainability Policy

Sustainability is central to the ethos of  self-catering as a holiday or short break. A survey on Sustainable travel in 2022 showed that 83% of global travellers thing sustainability practices are vital to a holiday and 78% want to stay in sustainable properties. People want more authentic  local experiences representing the local culture and 71% want to try travel more sustainably.  Tourism Ireland has the ambition to be be seen as one of the world-leaders in sustainable tourism practices.

The New strategy for Tourism Ireland is aspirational with increased focus on attracting value-adding tourism. Develop a Sustainability Policy for your business.


Diagram- Tourism Irelands New Sustainable Strategy.  – attached


Responsible Tourism

With Responsible tourism we need to embed sustainable practices across all activity in our business

We need to encourage sustainable practices in our guest behaviours as well as the way we run our business.

We want to inspire, guide and inform visitors on memorable experiences in our community and Ireland in general.

We need to become a sustainable destination for visitors ensuring growth of the sector and a positive green experience


 The Stages in Developing a Net Zero Tourism Offering

1 Need to measure and monitor where we are no, with BER assessments of buildings. We can then proprieties what actions to take to improve efficiency.

2 Target for NewZero have to be set, with best practice, allowing for adapting existing self-catering structures and including such practices in all new builds.

3 Behaviour of the tourism community as a whole has to change with consideration on transport, Food waste, nature sustainability.

4 We need to Decarbonise and Regenerate the areas we live in with Communication, collaboration with others and financial support packages.

5 We need to certify and approve work completed already by some and make it part of the norm.

6 In self-catering businesses we need to reduce the impact of seasonal filling capacity’s to bring more guest in during low-season. This in turn will improve the local economy and all for more local employment


How Do we tell our Visitors about our Sustainable Initiatives?

We need to show our sustainability through the story of our business with images and benefits to the area.

We want people to choose inclusive self-catering holidays  as it will make them feel good about the experience. Include offering of immersive local activity, train and bus routes to the property as well as nearby cycleways.


 Tell Your Sustainability Story

Here is the story of Mount Brandon Self-Catering’s sustainability journey.

Do you remember the leak in our mains water pipe? Since we are on our own private well, our submersible pump was running more or less all of the time. When we realized what had caused the problem, we managed to fix the leak and are glad to report that our energy consumption has dropped by 68 % – a very welcome sight, especially with the present high energy costs.

In order to prevent/reduce shading of our solar panels, we had to fell three large Leylandii trees along our avenue a while ago. The three trunks were just sitting there, looking somewhat sad. We have just repurposed them, by making them into a lovely bench, from which we and our guests can now enjoy the views over Brandon Hill and down to the Barrow valley.

The trees have shed most of their leaves by now. Autumn/winter is always a busy time, tidying up the garden and getting the place ready for hibernation. We compost our leaves. The leaf mould can then be used in the garden for mulching and flower beds in the following season. Win/win! And for the time being, it makes a lovely habitat for our resident hedgehogs.

Did you see the recent article in the Sunday Business Post (03.12.2022)? It was entitled “SMEs leading by example with sustainable practices”? We were interviewed by Quinton O’Reilly and you can read the full article HERE

Andrea Wenner – ISCF Executive Board Member



What Can do to make a self-catering unit more sustainable?

Get the guests to agree to take part in the sustainability  by giving them infomation on your sustainability policy on site and make up your own policy. Let them know the efforts small and large you have made

We are after making a big effort in being more environmentally- conscious.

  • The house has been fitted with low energy bulbs throughout.
    * Your linen has been washed using PV-generated electricity as much as possible and has been line-dried.
  • We are pollinator-friendly and do not use insecticides on the property. Check out the bug hotel and enjoy it.
  • And if you hear our barn owl or indeed a fox, please do not be alarmed, it is not a banshee!
  • We do, however, need your help to keep things green!
  • * Please turn off lights, when leaving the house.
    * Please do not bin recyclables.
    Glass, tins and cans can be recycled locally at ………   For your convenience we have provided various labelled boxes/bins  for recyclables …….
  • * Please separate the items to ensure the least amount of waste ends up in landfill.
    * For your organic waste (not wrappers or plastic) we have provided two compost bins behind house no. 3.
    *  Please do not bin any edible food. We will find a home/use for it when you leave.

Thank you for your help and cooperation!


What Sustainable Practices Can I use in my Self-Catering Business


House interior House In Community Luxury
Use Eco Cleaning Products – better for staff and guests Energy efficient Boiler Recommend local shops and Markets for food purchase before guests arrive Provide washing and Cleaning Eco Products for guests
Bins for waste clearly signposted and waste divided up Biomass Boiler Provide a welcome pack of local foods Provide shampoo, shower gel from area for use
Details of nearest Bottle Bank Groundwater Biler Details of local GAA and other cultural activity to watch.
Tell if water is drinkable and provide drinking bottles Solar PV Panels on roof Details of local festivals, activities and attractions.
All lights have LED Fittings EV charging point
Use Degradable Bin liners EV charging point
Meter water usage
Line Dry all linens used in house
Provide a washing line external and internal