Social and Environmental policy

The purpose of this document is to set out Forever Cornwall’s commitment to reducing our impact on the environment, and in making a positive contribution to our communities. Our mission is to inspire better holidays by creating and delivering experiences and outcomes that are better for all stakeholders, placing equal importance on people, planet, and business success. We expect all staff to engage in this common purpose as part of their roles. We encourage all customers (guests and owners) and wider stakeholders to share these values and to engage in practical measures to have a materially positive impact on society and the environment.


Forever Cornwall provides holiday cottage agency services including quality management, marketing, guest services and changeover services, throughout coastal areas of Cornwall.  This policy covers all of Forever Cornwall’s business activities in all locations and applies to all employees. It is updated periodically to reflect existing and new commitments.

Limitation and opportunities

We recognise that all tourism has both environmental and social impact. In particular, Cornwall is located hundreds of miles away from where most guests live and travel is intrinsic to accessing the area. Most holiday cottages are not purpose built and share the same challenges in terms of energy efficiency as any homes. Tourism is an essential part of Cornwall’s economy but over-tourism can be devastating to communities, can damage the environment and threaten wildlife. Nonetheless we take a positive view and believe that by innovating, and working together to pursue practical outcomes, we can succeed.

Mission Lock through Governance

We are committed though our Articles of Association to; “promote the success of the Company; for the benefit of its members as a whole; and through its business and operations, to have a material positive impact on society and the environment”. Derived from this is our mission; “to inspire better holidays by creating and delivering experiences and outcomes that are better for all stakeholders, placing equal importance on people, planet, and business success”.

Glasgow Protocol and One Planet Network

We are a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism and part of the One Planet Network, a global community of practitioners, policymakers and experts, including governments, businesses, civil society, academia and international organisations, that implements the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production and works towards achieving SDG 12: ensuring sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

Our commitments 2023/24

We are committed to the following:

B-Corporation certification

We are committed to achieving B-Corporation certification with an application in 2023. The B Corp Community is a global movement of businesses that provide leadership by demonstrating their commitment to people and the planet. B Corps are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

Commitment to giving together

We are committed to donating a minimum of 20% of our profit to relevant environmental and social charities. We also give to community interest companies (CICs). We do this by working together with owners and guests; money is donated by owners equitably in proportion to size of property. Forever Cornwall commits to match owner donations pound for pound, and a further £2.50 is contributed from each booking fee.

Our social and environmental charge is held in a fund (a dedicated bank account) before being shared out between our social and environmental partners who are either Registered Charities or Community Interest Companies (CICs). All costs associated with managing and administrating the Social and Environmental Fund are met by Forever Cornwall Limited.

We aspire to forming a charitable foundation as a mechanism for holding and managing funds and aim to achieve this by close of 2026.

Our partners have been chosen carefully to strike a balance between social and environmental support, and local and global support. We have four beneficiary partners with agreements to give over three or more years in support building long term benefits. We also support other charitable projects paid for by Forever Cornwall Limited (see Supporting Local Communities section below). Our four key beneficiary partners are:

  • Wave Project (an evidence-based programme of surf therapy that enables children to build confidence and overcome anxiety barriers)
  • Wild Young Parents Project (working with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised young parents in Cornwall to give them a better start to family life)
  • The Pole Pole Foundation (environmental protection in Africa though reforesting and habitat regeneration, education, social and economic development)
  • Field to Forest Foundation (tree planting and habitat regeneration in Cornwall)

Carbon reduction

We are dependent on the natural beauty of Cornwall for our livelihoods and on the fragile global environment to sustain us. We are committed to fighting climate change through carbon impact reduction, carbon sequestration, and helping regenerate natural habitats. We measure our carbon footprint and carried out our first audit in 2021 (based on carbon emissions in 2020) and again in 2023 (based on emissions in 2022). We audit Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions which include:

  • Scope 1. Emissions from sources that we own or control directly.
  • Scope 2. Emissions that come from where the energy we purchase and use is produced.
  • Scope 3. Emissions that are not produced by the company itself, but by those that we are indirectly responsible for up and down our value chain. This includes guest travel and the carbon footprint of each holiday property.

By regularly auditing carbon emissions we work towards science-based targets for carbon reduction in line with the Paris Agreement, and guided by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).  In line with this our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions need to be reduced on a scale consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C by no later than 2050. Secondly, any emissions that can’t be eliminated must be neutralised through greenhouse gas removal, such that our residual emissions are balanced by the removals.

Tree planting

In relation to greenhouse gas removal our main practical focus is on tree planting because of the additional and holistic benefits of habitat regeneration, supporting biodiversity, environmental protection by reducing soil erosion, reducing flooding and retaining water, plus associated local social and economic benefits. We believe strongly that decarbonisation is the best and most important pathway towards a net carbon future, but that carbon sequestration through tree planting is a critical complimentary strategy. Please note that we do not buy ‘certified carbon credits’ although we do aim, each year, to plant enough trees to offset the carbon generated in that year, over the lifetime of the trees.

Reducing waste and impact

In our office and operations we commit to a culture of continual waste reduction and minimisation of environmental impact. Specific actions are:

  • All of the electricity we use for our business comes from 100% renewable sources like sun, wind and water through our supplier Octopus Energy (2023).
  • Our web hosts 34SP pays to plant enough trees to offset more than twice their own CO2 emissions. They are UK based, use only renewable energy on their offices and support a wide range of social initiatives.
  • Through our staff travel policy aim to reduce carbon output through encouraging lift sharing, cycling and walking to work, and working from home when appropriate. We offer staff subsidised bicycles including e-bikes via a government backed Bike to Work Scheme.
  • We always minimise waste and apply “reduce, re-use, recycle” principles to procurement and operations.
  • We will specify productions and choose products which have lower embodied carbon, contain materials derived from recycling, and which use less materials, taking into account available information including source of origin and delivery miles.
  • For holiday cottages we encourage the use of sustainable energy, the use of eco-friendly cleaning products, and measures to improve heat insulation. We monitor these through our Quality Stays review process.

Supporting local communities, environment and economy

We are part of the local community and champion local enterprise to help put money into local pockets, and we support organisations that fight for a fair start for young people and families in Cornwall. Specific actions are:

  • We commit to reduce the negative impacts on ‘hotspots’ by not adding new properties to our portfolio in areas of over-tourism.
  • We commit to not adding any residential properties with a market value of less than £350,000 to our portfolio with the exception those specifically built for holiday home use or in existing holiday home use.
  • Our Sustainable Procurement Policy commits us to apply criteria based on such things as local proximity, natural alternatives, sustainability and working conditions, when making procurement decisions.
  • We commit to procuring over 50% of all goods and services, by value, from within Cornwall. This includes digital services such as internet marketing. (Financial year 2022/23 52%).
  • We continue to be 100% locally owned and managed.
  • We employ local people with 86% of Forever Cornwall employees living in the county, and 100% living within 12 miles of their work locations.
  • We are an accredited Living Wage Employer and ensure, through contracts, that all freelance housekeepers are also paid not less than the minimum Living Wage.
  • We support and encourage staff in local volunteering and to that end give each staff member two days of fully paid leave to work in support of communities or the environment.
  • We are corporate members of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, and the Surfers Against Sewage Ocean Network.

Facilitating low impact stays

We commit to encourage guests to think about the environment and local Cornish communities, leading to positive, empathetic behaviour while on holiday. We use the communication power of our website, social media, and the influential Guest Directory. Specific actions are:

  • Reduced car use on holiday, leading to lower carbon emissions, less congested roads, and more positive local engagement.
  • Supporting and partnering with the best of regional food and drink.
  • Raising awareness about reducing plastic use, plastics in our oceans, and encouraging beach cleaning.
  • “Ultra local” listings online and in Guest Directories to support a more circular economy.
  • Encouraging awareness about the tree planting carbon sequestration work that we are able to do with support.
  • Local and ethical sourcing in welcome packs.
  • Encouraging awareness about the social impact of tourism.
  • Learning about our social and environmental charity partners.


Published: 26 April 2024