Sustainability and Environmental Practices 

When Myrtle and Ivan Allen opened their family home to the public in 1964, the world was a much more sustainable place. In the early 80’s Ivan wanted to move away from using fossil fuels as an energy source. A few years later, in 1984 his son Rory purchased Ballymaloe's first Biomass Straw Boiler, and the fossil fuels were not used ever since.

We continue to research and embrace green initiatives throughout every aspect of Ballymaloe House, Shop & Café, gardens, and farm operations. Biomass boiler provides heating and hot water, and in 2021, we installed solar panels on the roofs of existing outbuildings, which now produce 50% of our electricity.

We are renowned for our farm-to-fork cooking practices, we use produce grown in the gardens and reared on the farm or source them locally, significantly reducing the carbon footprint. The land around Ballymaloe House Hotel is sustainably managed, with an emphasis on biodiversity and nature preservation.

Our team embraces sustainability, and this culture is lived by in every department daily. Bicycles and electric buggies are used to travel around the estate and many of our long-term team members grew up or live locally.

With all the efforts we try to set an example for sustainable tourism practices, and to operate a sustainable business, and an eco-friendly hotel promoting a greener future for the hospitality industry.

Biomass Boilers

Biomass Boiler is our main source of energy. The boiler is fueled by straw bales and provides hot water and heating for Ballymaloe House, the outbuildings and the farm, the swimming pool in the summer and helps to dry 2,000 tons of grain annually.  
We estimate over 600,000 litres of oil would have been burnt over the past 40 years.

In 2020, we upgraded to LIN-KA Energy Boiler providing even more efficient energy and additional hot water and heating. It is fueled by straw bales, which are not suitable for animals, sourced from the Ballymaloe farm and local farms. Each rapeseed straw bale has an equivalent of 200 litres of oil.

We keep the emissions to the minimum, by souring fuel grown that year, no more than 3km from Ballymaloe House and support the local community.  

Ballymaloe House Hotel Located in East Cork


Biomass Boilers




litres of
Oil saved


tonnes of grain dried annually

Solar Energy  

In 2021, we installed 147Kw of PV solar panels on the roofs of existing farm buildings, producing over 600KWH of power per day, representing a third of overall daily energy consumption and adding to our renewable energy sources. We were 50% independent of the ESB nation grid in 2022.

An online interface located at reception, and available for the guests to view, is showing the effectiveness of the panels in reducing energy consumption. Since the installation, we have saved 1.4 tons of carbon per week.

Electric car charging stations are also powered by solar energy. We have Tesla and general charging points.

LED lighting is used throughout the property, saving CO2 energy and many common areas use sensor-based lights.

Farming Practices

In 2022, the straw from barley cropwas chopped at harvest and left on the field to generate carbon organic matterfor the soil. Manure is used on the farm as

‍Eggs used in the kitchen a fé are freerange from the henseared on the farm and fed on home-grown grain and food waste and scraps fromthekitchen.

Wastewater is treated by our treatment plant, which then flows through a constructed reed bed for the final treatment, on the way to providing hydration for the gardens. Wetlands are located near the pond, covering a small area to support plant and animal communities living in and on the soil, supporting both aquatic and terrestrial species.

Planting and Growing  

In 2004, Ballymaloe farm planted 10 acres of ash trees (5300 trees) on the estate, equating today to 1,000 tones of carbon credits. In 2014, we planted a 2-acre apple orchard now providing us with both apple juice and Ballymaloe Cider.

The walled garden is managed organically, providing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers for the house. The fruits we grow include strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries, fregolas, red and white currants, plums, apples, pears, cherries, peaches, figs, kiwis, grapes, and rhubarb.

We save and grow produce from seed each year. Flowers used in all the bedrooms, dining rooms and public spaces of Ballymaloe House are from the walled garden throughout the year.

All waste along with the cuttings from the garden are composted and returned to the soil. For floral design, we use glass and ceramic vases, and never foam oases. Our floral designer works with sustainable practices in floristry.

Darina Allen talks to Ballymaloe's Head Chef


Trees Planted


acres planted




tonnes of carbon

Nature Preservation

The land around Ballymaloe House is sustainably managed, with an emphasis on biodiversity and nature preservation.

We have reduced the management of forestry to sustain its natural habitat. Clear nature walks are carefully maintained for the guests to enjoy and much of the land around Ballymaloe House has been designed for re-wilding.

The wildflower meadows provide an important habitat for wildlife and every year we plant an extensive amount of native Irish trees and shrubs. The farm sows 12 acres with a seed mixture of brassicas and wildflowers under an EU wild bird habitat scheme. This area is left to go to seed over the summer, creating a food source and cover for small birds over the winter months.

We plant flower species strategically to encourage the welfare of butterflies; a rare butterfly, the Comma, was recently living on the grounds. Beehives on the estate grounds, are managed by Niall Coffey of East Cork Bees and the honey produced is used in the restaurant and kitchen.

The land is farmed with wildlife welfare in mind. We embrace innovative farming and conservation schemes including bat boxes, bird breeding boxes, and owl nesting boxes and sponsor the annual Birdwatch Ireland’s Survey.

Ballymaloe House Hotel Located in East Cork

Farm-to-Fork Principles

The menus are written with seasonality in mind, using seasonal fruit and vegetables grown in our walled garden. We make small batches of food to avoid waste.

Additional fruit and vegetables are sourced from gardens and glasshouses of a nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School, Kilbrack Organic Farm new potatoes from Patrick Walshe and Willie Scannell in Shanagarry, and many other local producers.

Fish comes from small boats Ballycotton Bay, shellfish from Kenmare Bay; Sally Barnes, Frank Hederman and George Devereux smoke fish for us. Meat is sourced locally on the carcass, and we use every part of the animal, including main components, secondary parts for mincing and bones for stocks; we leave no waste.

Everything that can be recycled is placed in the compost bins, including fish waste, coffee grinds and loose tea leaves. We use reusable storage containers, grease-proof paper and steel containers for storing food instead of using cling film and foil.

Recycling and Waste

Sustainable culture and eco-practices are lived by in every department. We are committed to further reducing waste to landfill and waste reduction is at the front of our efforts.

All food waste is separated at the source and fed to the animals. We provide recycling facilities for cardboard packaging, glass, cans, used lightbulbs, printer cartridges and batteries in every department.
We encourage our guests to reuse towels, saving a significant amount of water and energy.

We use the Eco Lily cleaning product range throughout the property. Robyn’s Handmade Natural Soaps, which we used in the bedrooms are made on the farm using the lavender grown on the estate.

We are fortunate to have a well on the grounds, providing us with all the water we need, including high-quality drinking water for the house, café, Grainstore and the farm.
We source suppliers with environmentally similar ethos and sustainable practices.

Ballymaloe House Hotel Located in East Cork