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Our Green Story : Cornish Gems


A suitably sustainable welcome gift

At Cornish Gems we look at every aspect of our business, working hard to evaluate the impact on our planet and to endeavour to reduce that.

Along with many other self-catering companies, we have traditionally supplied a ‘Welcome Gift’ in our properties. Consisting of locally sourced coffee, tea, milk, scones, jam and cream and delivered in one of our ‘Scenes of Cornwall’ jute bags. During the pandemic, (between lockdowns) we provided vouchers.

We undertook to revamp our welcome packs post-Covid. Our research had shown us that a lot of the food was wasted previously, often due to unsuitability for all guests due to food intolerances and dietary requirements.

Our goals were to support Cornish producers and suppliers, to minimise food miles, to reduce the waste of unwanted products, to remove unnecessary journeys from the distribution process, and finally to also offer our guests luxurious, local and sustainable choices.

The solution we arrived at was to give our guests 6 options that they could select from during the booking process. We also developed the online guest account to allow the guests to change their mind and select a different option.

The six options are:

  • The Cornish Gems Welcome Gift - featuring products from local, Cornish suppliers such as Tregothnan tea, Origin coffee and Polgoon wine.
  • The Alcohol-Free Welcome Gift with Cornish spring water and Hidden Valley juice, and the Cornish Gems ‘Scenes of Cornwall’ jute bag.
  • A gift card to spend with Cornish Food Box- local suppliers of seasonal and Cornish products. Our guests are able to choose the contents of the welcome gift. This helps to accommodate specific dietary requirements, such as gluten-free, vegan or sugar free.
  • A voucher to spend at the online Cornish Gems Shop offering zero waste and plastic free items, including beach towels made from organic cotton and reclaimed ocean plastic.
  • A year long family membership with Cornwall Heritage Trust, supporting and investing in the cultural heritage of the county.
  • Finally, our guests can choose to plant trees as their welcome gift. Our virtual forest now has over 500 trees planted, supporting projects worldwide.

To date we have successfully rolled out nearly 4,500 of these new welcome gift choices. We have found a balance between offering the high quality of products that our guests expect and reducing the waste and carbon footprint of the welcome gift provision.  And you can read more about our sustainability journey on our blog