The long-standing principles of sustainability at Ballymaloe House have been recognised among business leaders in Cork at a recent awards ceremony. The stunning East Cork destination received the Best Sustainable Business Innovation Award at the Cork Business Association Business of the Year Awards. The accolade means a huge amount to the team at Ballymaloe House, particularly as it was won in the run up to International Women’s Day.

Ballymaloe House was founded in 1964 by the late great Myrtle Allen, a trailblazer both in terms of women in business, and sustainability. Mrs Myrtle Allen taught herself to cook, with food waste never an option. Leftovers were, and still are, given back to the animals or the ground. At a time when it was unusual to see pioneering women in business, Mrs Allen became the first female chef in Ireland to be awarded a Michelin Star in 1975.

Waste reduction and resource conservation has been a priority at Ballymaloe House from the beginning, and Mrs. Allen’s resourcefulness and ingenuity is still being put into practice today. Renewable energy sources at Ballymaloe House include solar panels and a biomass boiler, the newly added innovative boiler is fuelled by straw bales which are prepared onsite. These mechanisms provide most of the heating and the hot water for the premises.

Laura Behan, General Manager at Ballymaloe House said, “We’re over the moon to win at the Cork Business Association Business of the Year Awards, particularly in a category that focuses on sustainability, something we’ve always placed at the heart of operations. We are extremely proud of the sustainable foundations Ballymaloe House was built on, and we work hard to maintain these values throughout every department. The award adds to the celebrations at Ballymaloe House in the run up to International Women’s Day – we’ve always championed strong women and inclusivity at Ballymaloe, not just within the Hotel but in Ballymaloe Shop and Café, Ballymaloe Cookery School and Ballymaloe Foods, I take pride in the fact that the company has women in strong leadership roles.”

Ballymaloe House’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in every aspect of the operations including the dining experience. With the farm to fork ethos, menus are written daily with seasonality in mind. Produce is grown at Ballymaloe’s sustainably managed garden and the farm, or sourced from local producers and farmers.  Such is its commitment to sustainability, Ballymaloe House was recently recognised by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World as part of its Considerate Collection.

Ballymaloe House holds true to its tradition of female leadership in the present day; with Laura Behan as General Manager, Dervilla O’Flynn as Head Chef; Fern Allen is House Manager and Roisin Berner is Housekeeping Manager. Meanwhile Lyndsay Greer-Cashman is Front of House Manager, Daphne Spillane is Reservations & Revenue Manager; Helen Cuddigan is Marketing & Digital Manager, and their Head Gardener is Mags Coughlan. Bree Allen heads up the Ballymaloe Grainstore, a hugely successful events venue on the grounds of Ballymaloe House and Chloe Taberman recently joined the team as Events Manager.

To mark International Women’s Day Ballymaloe House is celebrating its female employees with a lunch and an inspirational talk by Allana Brown, Founder and Managing Director of the Global Corporate Leadership Development Consultancy.