Here at Ashford Castle, our commitment to environmental and social responsibility has a multifaceted approach, find out more about our holistic dedication to creating a positive impact on both the environment and the community below. 


ashford exterior

We are undertaking a number of different measures to reduce our carbon footprint at Ashford Castle. For example, in 2021 69% of our waste was recycled or composted and as of 2021, Ashford Castle is proud to use 100% renewable electricity.  In 2023 we installed solar panels in our Staff Accommodation building on the Estate, while our new Éalú leisure facility utilises solar panels, air to water heating, pool cover and extensive insulation.

In 2023 the Ashford Castle golf course became a Geo-certified course, a global recognition demonstrating our commitment to responsible social and environmental practices. Furthermore we have expanded our car charging stations and introduced electric buggies and vehicles for use across the Estate.


Reducing food waste

paula pastry

The hotel industry is the largest producer of Food Waste in Ireland, which is why here at Ashford Castle, we understand the importance in reducing our food waste as much as possible. We have three industrial kitchens producing food for eight restaurants and a retail outlet, with a team of 32 chef’s producing covers of approximately 137,500 plates of food annually. 

In 2020, we made the decision to install Winnow food waste bins into our kitchens, which has had an enormous impact on reducing food waste at Ashford Castle. Winnow has the ability to turn raw fruit and vegetable trimmings, coffee grinds and egg shells into compost, currently collecting around 400kg per month and in 2021, 69% of our waste was recycled or composted. 2024 will see the launch of a bio-digester on the Estate, further assisting us create nutrient rich, concentrated compost which will be transferred into helping fruits and vegetables grown on the Estate. This circular process is one we are particularly proud of. 

Since 2020 our chefs have been working on creative ways to divert excess fruit requirements. Led by Sous Chef Hilary Casey, our team now have a constant supply of fresh Kombucha, kefir water and smoothies for the breakfast juice trolley in George V Dining Room, in the post-treatment relaxation rooms at The Spa and through retail in Mrs Tea’s Boutique & Bakery. Additionally, Chef Hilary works to use any excess produce into jams, chutneys and other preserves.

Local and Organic Produce

garden adventure

Ashford Castle currently has 28 local food suppliers and 28 organic food suppliers. Using local and organic ingredients can reduce carbon emissions by minimising the use of fossil fuel-rich pesticides and fertilisers. Glasraí are a small certified organic farm in Hollymount Co. Mayo, a few miles from the Ashford Estate; they farm with the earth as their core value and encourage a biodiverse, vibrant, healthy ecosystem. 

Our lamb supplier, Calvey’s, is a family-run business working based on Achill island off the west coast of Mayo. Today, three generations are working together to produce the highest quality of meat on the market. Having one family in control over the quality and process is how they guarantee a sustainable and socially responsible business. 

On the Ashford Estate, Head Gardener Alex Lavarde and his team have completely renovated the original kitchen gardens used during the Guinness era, supplying the Ashford Estate with a vast array of homegrown, seasonal produce throughout the year, with more plans and investment underway to increase production.

In addition, the polytunnels situated by The Lodge at Ashford Castle have been redeveloped to work in harmony with the wider kitchen garden to ensure optimal levels of produce throughout the year.


Eliminating single-use plastics

We are the first hotel in Ireland to be awarded the GREENMark Plastic Smart Standard for our efforts in responsible tourism and commitment to remove all single use plastics. Additionally, we have eliminated all plastic water bottles from our operations saving 56,928 bottles being sent to landfill. Since late 2023 we have removed all paper cups from circulation across the Estate, with reusable cups now offered at Ashford Castle, Mrs Tea’s Boutique and The Lodge at Ashford Castle. Mrs Tea’s Boutique now also offer pastries and cakes on reusable wooden boards instead of compostable plates.

The kitchen team have eliminated clingfilm from their operations, now using reusable airtight containers, as well as switching to reusable nylon alternative piping bags. 


Make Travel Matter


We have curated a collection of MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experiences under four different themes: Irish food, indigenous craft, music and story, and the real Connemara. This is a unique opportunity to meet the flagbearers of traditional Irish culture and to support our local artists and artisans. 


Here at Ashford Castle, we prioritise sustainable wildlife experiences by implementing eco-friendly practices.  For example, our apiary yielded a total of 70kg of honey in 2021, of which 195 jars were given to Mrs Tea’s boutique for retail sale, and 8kg of honey was provided for the Ashford Castle kitchens. 


The Ashford Estate Sports and Social Committee task themselves with bringing fun and social activities to the many employees. The Ashford Estate has a wonderful collection of employees who have been trained as Mental Health First Aiders, who provide their own time and energy to talk and mentor colleagues who may be facing personal or work challenges. 

The Ashford Castle sustainability team have been given the tools to research, investigate and implement ways that can continue to support our significant global process. The success of our sustainability movement thus far relies heavily on the team’s awareness and commitment. We realise that we have a huge way to go to fully realise our goals of achieving carbon neutrality whilst still delivering world class hospitality; nonetheless we are overwhelmingly proud of the achievements we have made so far.


Volunteering at Ashford Castle is something that we’re incredibly proud to take part in, working with four main charity organisations; Mayo Roscommon Hospice, Cope Galway, Hand in Hand and Madra. 

Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation in association with HSE West funds specialist palliative care services, which are free of charge, to patients and families living with life-limiting illnesses in counties Mayo and Roscommon.

Cope Galway provides essential support services for people who are homeless, women and children experiencing domestic abuse and older people. The senior management team at Ashford Castle have supported the charity for several years now through their annual business sleep out, where they spend 24-hours out on the streets of Galway City to heighten awareness of those in need in our close community. In December 2023 our Hotel Manager Lisa Toomey joined The Lodge at Ashford Castle General Manager Peter Fergus for the sleep-out, raising almost €14,000.

Hand in Hand work with families in every county throughout Ireland who are affected by childhood cancer. With care being predominantly based in Dublin, their focus is to give these children and their families on-the-ground support to minimise the impact that both the diagnosis and frequent long-distance travel for treatment has on family life. The General Manager of The Lodge at Ashford, Peter Fergus and Ashford Castle’s George V Restaurant Manager, Robert Bowe, both sit on the Board of Directors for Hand In Hand Children's Charity.

MADRA rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes unwanted, neglected, abused and abandoned dogs. Located in Connemara, in the heart of the Gaeltacht, surrounded by beauty and nature. Dogs sleep in purpose built kennels and have a variety of outdoor areas available to them for exercise and enjoyment. Staff at Ashford Castle are frequent visitors to the visitors to the MADRA facility where they walk dogs, take on maintenance general cleaning duties. We have also donated a number of blankets and pillows no longer fit for hotel use, but that are very much welcomed by the dogs.