A PIONEERING ice cream parlour and pizzeria is encouraging businesses to share its appetite for a net-zero future.
In partnership with sustainability experts Greener Edge, Glaslyn has a vision to work with farmers, suppliers, and the community to make Eryri/Snowdonia National Park a carbon-free area.
The Beddgelert venue managed to achieve net zero status while retaining the skilled, traditional methods that made its popular ice cream a multi-award winner, including two titles at last year’s Great Taste Awards.
Following an initial assessment by Stu Meades, managing director of Greener Edge – also based in the Gwynedd village – they came together and identified and addressed ways to lower the site’s emissions.
From heat sources and procurement processes, materials, ingredients and transport, the audit focused on all aspects of Glaslyn’s day-to-day operations, and there are plans to install solar panels and upgrade the fabric of existing buildings.
Glaslyn director Bonnie Rowley is delighted with the results and firmly committed to supporting other organisations looking to diversify and reduce carbon emissions.
“The impact this process has had on the business is huge,” said Bonnie, whose grandparents Joan and Bert founded the company in 1970.
“As trade in the village tends to be seasonal, as a community we need to look at ways to become more sustainable, more cost-effective, and efficient, and working with Greener Edge has allowed us to do that while retaining the quality of our products, packaging, and customer experience.
“I am particularly keen to offset carbon locally, rather than abroad, which would mean forging partnerships with farmers and landowners in this area, planting more trees and coming up with nature-based solutions.
“That would bring so many benefits, in tandem with the developments here at Glaslyn, for this and future generations of people in north west Wales.”
She added: “We are a family-run venue, our staff are local, and I grew up here in Snowdonia, so it means a lot for us to be able to make a difference to the environment.
“If everyone worked together, we could attain even more positive outcomes, so that’s something we will be driving towards.”
Other actions taken by Glaslyn included converting all lighting to LEDs, installing an air-cooled – rather than water-cooled – ice cream display freezer, and converting to a renewable energy supplier, having already removed all single-use plastics and polystyrene from takeaway packaging and switching to a zero-landfill waste company that transforms anything they can’t recycle into biofuel.
Stu congratulated Bonnie and the team on being so “planet positive” and encouraged organisations in the public and private sectors to follow her lead given the Welsh Government’s 2030 net zero targets.
“Glaslyn took this process seriously and were fully invested from day one, so we applaud them for that,” he said.
“We are both based in Beddgelert and urge others in the village and further afield to follow their lead, whatever the sector, and I echo Bonnie’s call to support offsetting in North Wales given it’s so prominent in England and overseas.
“It’s the perfect circular economy and an income generating project for landowners; essentially you can plant trees and earn carbon credits which can be sold as a tradable commodity in what is an evolving market.
Stu added: “What Glaslyn has done ticks so many boxes, it shows they are responsible and committed but also gave them an opportunity to take a step back and analyse their business model from the outside looking in.
“I think more people have the appetite to do this than ever before, and my dream is for Beddgelert to be a carbon neutral village, for all of the businesses to be in line with the vision of Bonnie and Glaslyn – hopefully one day that dream will come to fruition.”