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Woodland Trails

Sustainability at Kylemore Abbey

Nature Blog
Monday, 24 June 2024

Here at Kylemore, it is our vision is to share Kylemore Abbey’s tranquility, beauty, spirituality, living heritage, and Benedictine hospitality to the world. Our mission is to preserve the beauty, heritage, craft, peace and ethos of the Benedictine estate. As a place that welcomes over 550,000 visitors each year, we seek to moderate the impact of our ‘footprint’ on the environment and to ensure ecological, social and economic balance at Kylemore by focusing and building on a plan which was put in place in 2019, which follows the UN Sustainable Development Goals guidelines seeking to improve and advance its biodiversity and sustainability.

The Kylemore estate is consistently working and building on the actions of this plan and ensuring these actions are carried out. We have formed a green team that consists of members from each Department here in Kylemore, including Biodiversity Officer, Inez Streefkerk who was appointed in 2022. The team meet frequently providing insight into the various areas spread across the 1,000 acre estate, as well as to measure opportunities for development and action.

The Kylemore estate is committed to be coming carbon neutral by 2030. To do so, we have been recording and monitoring the energy usage, waste and water usage to allow us to establish a base line. Striving for a carbon neutral estate, Kylemore Abbey is obliged to lower its carbon footprint by 12.5% each year. With welcoming over 500,000 visitors each year, waste management is critical on the Kylemore estate. Throughout the estate, waste input and output is monitored, including packaging from suppliers. Kylemore Abbey has been working alongside suppliers to limit the amount of packaging that comes in and goes out. We have made it our mission to become more sustainable with our packaging, and we are pleased to report that it is entirely recyclable or compostable. Plastic bottles and aluminum cans are no longer sold, and segregated bins have been installed for visitors and staff to utilise.

2019, the Kylemore estate saw the beginning of the conversion to electrification of our van fleet. Following up with the use of Hydro vegetable oil to fuel both the neo-Gothic Church, located to the east of the estate and the fleet of Kylemore shuttlebuses. As an estate with food outlets, there are various fridges and freezer onsite, we have along with the repair and replacement of fridge seals, to conserve energy.

As custodians of the Kylemore estate, the Benedictine Nuns have as one of their central edicts the protection, preservation and promotion of the unique biodiversity of the 1,000 acre estate. Promoting positive biodiversity is fundamental hereat Kylemore and honouring this, 200 trees are planted each year across the estate, we produce our very own peat free compost solely for estate use, as well as harvesting and using rainwater for the Kylemore 'Peaceful Ponies' and water plants from natural stream sources. We have also made a considerable investment into a water treatment plant. Rhododendron Ponticum is very much present across the Kylemore estate and the Kylemore team have taken action to remove it from our estate and other invasive species.

Our efforts to positively promote sustainability at Kylemore would be impossible without the dedication and hard work of our fantastic team. Kylemore Abbey's diverse environment offers opportunities for everyone, from first-time job seekers to those with 45 years or more of experience. We are constantly working to improve and upskill our team, and in 2022, Kylemore's staff received over 1000 hours of training. In addition, Kylemore Abbey has been recognised a "Great Place to Work" for 2022 and 2023.