Hosting upwards of 400,000 visitors a year, the Skegness Butlin’s Resort operates with the energy demands of a small town.
Initially developed to rely on traditional energy sources, Butlins asked the Graduate Skills Builder team to explore potential sustainable energy options for the next 5 years, looking at both renewable energy sources and changes to their current energy management system.
To complete this project, the student group split their focus of research into 2 key areas. Their first major focus was on the potential changes that could be made from a managerial perspective and the other key focus was looking at what could be done to enforce a sustainable message with resort guests.
On the managerial side, the group suggested various physical changes that could be made to the site to improve sustainability. These solutions ranged from the implementation of a key card system to all accommodation blocks that reduce the chances of energy waste, to the introduction of a new energy management system that keeps track of key areas of high-energy usage and pinpoints improvement areas more effectively.
From a visitor perspective, the group proposed the introduction of character mascots that enforced a greener message and challenged visitors’ behaviours to encourage sustainability from a younger age. The group suggested that these mascots could form part of an entertainment package, and not only would this be a fun and engaging way to teach younger guests about the environment, but it could also provide marketing and merchandising opportunities.
These sustainability solutions were positively received by the resort team who showed a genuine interest in the students’ work and resulted in a student-led demonstration of the new energy management system.