Posted on Thursday 22 March 2012 by Ulster Business

Five Stars for Merchant’s Renewable Energy Switch

James Sinton (left) Group Finance Director, Beannchor and Alan Cunningham from Electric Ireland announce the Merchant’s switch to renewable energy

The Merchant Hotel, situated in one of Northern Ireland’s most recognised and oldest established buildings dating back to 1857, has announced that it is making the switch to renewable energy as part of its commitment to put long term sustainability practices at the core of its business.

The electricity supply contract with Electric Ireland will enable The Merchant Hotel, recently awarded Best UK Hotel 2011 at the prestigious International Hotel Awards, to achieve its significant energy sustainability objectives.

Part of the Beannchor Group which owns 50 pubs hotels and restaurants throughout Northern Ireland, The Merchant Hotel has a comprehensive and integrated sustainability programme in place. This programme includes the recycling of all glass bottles, recycling printer cartridges, and buying goods locally, where possible, to reduce associated transport pollution, which it believes will help deliver long term success and drive economic competitiveness.

“At The Merchant Hotel we recognise the Hotel’s abiding link between Northern Ireland’s Victorian past and the potential for its future economic prosperity,” said James Sinton, Group Finance Director, Beannchor.

“And with this comes a responsibility to ensure that we have the most energy efficient, sustainable practices in place to support the hospitality sector in helping to build a better society for us all.

“This new partnership with Electric Ireland represents a key energy conservation asset for us and our facilities, and it perfectly fits within our commitment to increase our operating efficiency and switching to renewable sources of energy as part of our sustainability practices.”

Commenting Alan Cunningham Customer Relationship Manager, Electric Ireland said,

“As one of Northern Ireland’s leading hospitality venues, The Merchant Hotel is demonstrating real leadership in terms of its sustainability objectives and we at Electric Ireland are delighted to support them in delivering this.

“Tourism and renewable energy are two areas which provide enormous potential for the development of the Northern Ireland economy. As a beacon of the new Northern Ireland and with its commitment to igniting visitor numbers The Merchant is building a lasting legacy for tourism prosperity as well as playing its part to support the development of a vibrant and sustainable renewable energy sector capable of creating long term employment.”

“At Electric Ireland we too are committed to building and supporting the development of a robust renewable energy sector, as an integral element of a new rebalanced economy and we will continue to provide cutting edge services to support the long term viability and competitiveness of our business communities.”

The five star Hotel, situated in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter area, has 62 guest bedrooms including 5 luxurious suites, and facilities including a spa, rooftop gymnasium, meeting and events suite and a live jazz bar. Since opening in 2006 The Merchant has won over 50 awards including the World’s Best Cocktail Bar in 2009 as well as being named the Best UK Hotel in the recent International Hotel Awards.

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