By Rachel Kent, Head of Partnerships, Ecotricity
Back in 2017 we visited Café ODE, an Ecotricity customer based in the heart of Devon, to find out what makes them an award winning sustainable restaurant.
As a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (the SRA) it will come as no surprise that sustainability really is at the heart of all that Café ODE do. They are well ahead of the curve, proven by their recent success at the Food Made Good Awards where they won the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ award, despite some stiff competition. The award reflects Café ODE’s genuine commitment to value natural resources and reduce the environmental impacts of its operations.
The restaurant was set up back in 2006 with a mission to offer refined dining, with locally inspired dishes and an environmental ethos at its core. These eco conscious values were brought to life across every aspect of the organisations operations and when they noticed a gap in the market to provide quality, ethically sourced food in a family friendly environment, the idea for Café ODE was born. Having found the perfect location, they set about building the new café which was to be eco conscious in every way. The new building is timber framed and they installed rooftop solar thermal to heat the water needed on site. They also planted a sedum roof, reducing water runoff and helping to conserve energy, as well as providing a habitat for wildlife. They installed an induction cooking suite, helping to improve energy efficiency and set up recycling and up cycling on site to reduce plastics use. They’ve since installed electric vehicle charging on site so their customers can power up whilst enjoying the locally sourced food.
They also started to use renewable energy, and chose 100% green energy from us, Ecotricity, Britain’s greenest energy company. As the very first company in the world to supply green energy powered by the wind and sun, we kick-started the now global green energy movement and our mission was, and remains to this day, to change the way energy is made and used in Britain. We’re not for dividend and we don’t have shareholders, meaning that all of our profits go into our mission to combat climate change. We’ve been building windmills and solar parks across Britain for over two decades now, and are proud to have saved our business customers a combined 90,110 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in 2017– all they had to do was switch their energy supply to us!
We do so much more than just supply electricity and gas, we’ve built wind turbines for businesses such as Michelin, Sainsbury’s and Ford – and we work with our customers to understand their energy needs, helping them generate or store their own green energy, whether it’s onsite wind, solar, or green energy storage – lowering carbon emissions and energy costs. We also offer the opportunity of getting involved in our Virtual Power Plant (VPP), a digital control system that wirelessly connects thousands of businesses, energy generators and energy storage systems across Britain – all working to the same aim of lowering costs and optimising energy use.
Back in 2011 we built the Electric Highway, the first national network of electric car charge points, helping to kick-start the electric car revolution in Britain. We can help our customers install EV pumps on their sites too.
For us, it’s all about people:power. The more people who join us, and the more organisations we can work with who share our vision, the more we can do to build a green Britain.