Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses are pretty special places, where our lucky Upper Class passengers get to start or finish their journey with the luxury of a delicious meal or snack, a massage in the spa or just some downtime with a coffee and the paper. What they may not realise is that this is luxury of the sustainable kind.
For example, our London Heathrow and Gatwick Clubhouse teams have done some amazingly hard work to reduce and manage their waste. In 2008 (when all waste was sent to landfill), both Clubhouses carried out a waste audit with a team of external consultants, weighing every single waste item they generated, to get a detailed picture of the nature and size of their landfill waste and come up with some innovative solutions to reduce, reuse and recycle it.
Today the waste picture is a very different one. Further audits have shown that the teams’ hard work has produced some fantastic results.
For example, in 2008 the Heathrow Clubhouse was producing an average of 540 kg of waste per day; over the course of a year that amounted to the weight of one of our aircraft. Working with contractors and suppliers to cut down on packaging and other waste meant that by 2012, the Heathrow Clubhouse had reduced its overall waste by 41% compared to 2008 levels, and the Gatwick Clubhouse by 67%.
Recycling has gone from strength to strength and from 100% landfill in 2008, this has been reduced to 36% at Heathrow and 8% at Gatwick in 2012.
This has all been achieved though creative thinking and practical ‘hands on’ solutions. For example paper towels have been replaced by reusable bamboo handtowels, which also feel more luxurious Eliminating passenger bins means that every bit of rubbish can be properly segregated – ensuring we can recycle glass, newspapers, magazines, paper, cans and plastic, items from ink toners, cartridges and batteries, to metal – even the wire from champagne bottles! Food waste is either composted as soil fertiliser or burnt to produce electricity that is fed back to the national grid. Any general waste which can’t be recycled is heat treated and turned into solid fuel for energy at a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant.
For more information on our Clubhouses, click here (opens in a new window)
For more information on how our work on sustainability in our Clubhouses fits into our wider ‘Change is in the Air’ sustainability programme, take a look at our sustainability reports here (opens in a new window).