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Cork International Hotel first business to be awarded 50 Shades Greener Award which aims to reduce tourism and hospitality industry’s carbon footprint



Pictured are Carole Carey, Instructor Cork College of FET Bishopstown Campus, Fiona Sneddon, Manager, Cork College of FET Bishopstown Campus, Edel Kavanagh, Cork International Hotel Front Office Manager & Greening Manager with the Fifty Shades Greener Certificate of Completion and Valerie Cowman, Assistant Manager, Cork College of FET Bishopstown Campus, at the Cork ETB Cork College of FET Bishopstown Campus, presentation of the Fifty Shades Greener Certificate of Completion in the Reduction & Monitoring of Carbon Emissions, Green Business Online Programme 2021, to Cork International Hotel, at the Cork International Hotel, Airport Business Park, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

50 Shades Greener project in conjunction with Cork College of FET’s Bishopstown Campus aims to reduce energy and waste costs within the industry

Cork International Hotel was the first hotel business in Cork to receive the 50 Shades Greener award on Wednesday morning, following their completion of a new programme offered by Cork College of FET’s Bishopstown Campus in conjunction with SOLAS.

The programme aims to reduce carbon emissions within the tourism and hospitality industry, in addition to making energy and waste cost savings for hotels. 

The aim of this project is to provide businesses within the tourism and hospitality industry with the knowledge and skills required to be able to control and reduce their use of utilities and Cork International Airport Hotel is the first hotel in Cork to complete it.

The programme is focussed on three key pillars of sustainability- energy, water and waste, with the below included as part of the course outline:

  • Provision to establish baselines and Green KPI’s (Carbon calculations)
  • Monthly benchmarking of utilities
  • Short and easy to follow videos to train all staff members of each organisation

It is hoped that this reduction of utilities will result in businesses achieving the ambitious goal of lowering their carbon footprint, reducing energy consumption and waste, and thus contributing to a reduction of the overall running costs of the business.

Speaking in relation to the programme, Fiona Sneddon, Manager of Cork College of FET’s Bishopstown Campus said she welcomed Cork International Hotel’s participation in the project

She said: “I am delighted that to present Cork International Hotel with their award for their completion of this programme and hope that they will be the first of many in Cork to receive leadership and guidance from 50 Shades Greener in relation to their environmental and sustainability practices. It’s never been a more appropriate time to become more energy and fuel aware and we hope that businesses within the tourism and hotel industry will take this opportunity to get hands on and expert advice and utilise it going forward into a more sustainable future, lowering both their carbon footprint emissions and making savings in both their energy and waste costs.

“I would encourage any businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry who would like to follow suit to visit the following website to register their interest – Green training for the Hospitality Industry (,” Ms. Sneddon added.

Edel Kavanagh, Front Office Manager and Greening Manager for Cork International Hotel said that their completion of the programme was in line with strategic pillars of Environment, Sustainability, Diversity, Inclusion and Community for the Trigon Hotel Group.

She said: “Completion of this programme has paved the way for us to implement a number of projects and has been instrumental in helping us on the path to a more sustainable future and have now been awarded a Visit Cork Green Award.

“We also have a greening team and manifesto and have invested in training ‘green leaders’ and team members to embed a strong sustainability culture within the workplace, our restaurant is supplied with fresh herbs and vegetables and we are participants in the Irish Pollinator Plan,”

“This was an invaluable programme to participate in and we would like to express our thanks to Cork College of FET’s Bishopstown Campus, Cork Education and Training Board and 50 Shades Greener for their support, guidance and insight in helping us to achieve our greener ambitions,” Ms. Kavanagh concluded.

The 50 Shades Greener programme is designed to accommodate businesses working on busy schedules and offers a flexible model of delivery with a self-directed online programme in support of industry needs.

This course is divided into six modules, with the time a company takes to complete each module being completely up to them as it is determined by their business and their existing practices.

There is four and a half hours of video tuition over four months, however, this does not include the implementation time of tasks as this is determined by each individual business.

In terms of a rough timeline, it is envisaged that Modules 1 & 2 would be completed in the first month, Module 3 in the following 2 weeks, with a month allowed to implement each of Modules 4 and 5, with the final 2 weeks to implement Module 6.

This programme is intended to be an ongoing learning process for the company, which support and guidance on best practice available from 50 Shades Greener for one year upon signing up to participate.

Further information on applying to take part in the programme is available through the following websites:

Green training for the Hospitality Industry (

Cork Training Centre – Day Courses, Evening Courses, Apprenticeships

For more information on Cork ETB’s FET offering, visit For updates, visit Cork Education and Training Board or Cork ETB on YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

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