Environmental Policy Statement

Environmental Policy Statement Burren Smokehouse

Burren Smokehouse joined the Burren Ecotourism Network as a founder-member in 2011. This affiliation gave us the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism.

We have also created our own environmental management statement as follows.

We are committed to conserve Energy, reduce Waste generated and Recycle as much as possible of the raw materials that we utilise in the Burren Smokehouse. We are also committed to sustainable tourism and sustainable production and sourcing of food, to care for the environment and to leave as little trace as possible.

The following recommendations were recently implemented:

  • We have changed our electricity supplier to a company that uses renewable sources to create energy.
  • We changed lighting in the visitor centres to LED
  • Our heating and hot water systems are running on BioLPG, a clean gas produced from waste, residues and renewable vegetable oils (see video below)
  • We have upgraded our waste bins, and across the entire premises we have recycling and waste bins that are labelled and colour coded.
  • The oak shavings we use for smoking our salmon are a side product of a wood craft company.
  • We recycle our polystyrene boxes through a company that efficiently generates a compressed end-product that can be re-used as a raw material. They are also re-used in-house.
  • We continually look for new, innovative ideas in our processes to reduce water and energy use.
  • All our fish that we smoke are 100% Irish, sourced from Clare Island in Co Mayo, Co Donegal and Co Waterford. Our salmon all have an ECO-label and ISO 14001, and all of the Salmon are organically certified. We are certified with IOA (the Irish Organic Association) to produce Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon.
  • We are committed to source locally and/or organically produced raw materials and food to keep the food mileage as low as possible. This helps to support and grow our local community and local economy.
  • The majority of our gourmet foods like cheeses, chocolate, chutneys, and jams are produced in the Burren and Co Clare and also from all over Ireland. Our priority lies in sourcing as locally as possible.
  • We employ staff who live locally. They support the local economy and its services.
  • Birgitta & Peter Curtin are Slow Food Members and believe in as well as support that movement.

Here a video about the use of Calor's BioLPG (natural and sustainable gas), and about making small decisions that impact your future lives for the better:

The Burren Smokehouse is fully committed to environmental good practice following the Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism from management through to members of staff.

We provide a facility that encourages visitors to visit the region while positively impacting on our local economy, our local community and without harming our environment.

Our commitment to the principles is targeted and will be measured and reported to the administrators.

Working Together
  • We are highly active and committed members of the Burren Ecotourism Network, constantly participating in events that enhance and promote sustainability and using all opportunities to network with other Burren Ecotourism Network members by attending training events, workshops, and activity days.
  • In our Visitor Centre we provide many resources that promote Burren Ecotourism providers. We supply our visitors with free Geopark visitor maps, brochures, and leaflets with information about the Burren and a detailed folder with information on BEN members that provide local accommodation, local activities, and food businesses.
  • Members of staff are trained to provide and find information as to where next to visit in the area, and supply referrals.
  • We actively promote the Burren Ecotourism Network, the Burren Food Trail and Burren Adventure programme on our social media profiles as well as through posters and brochures in our Visitor Centres


To increase and improve participation in the Burren Ecotourism Network sub-groups and committees’ meetings throughout 2023.

A Cared-for Landscape
  • The Leave No Trace principles are a part our sustainability commitment. Visitors can read more about Leave no Trace in our visitor centre as it is promoted through leaflets and posters or online on our website – link here.
  • Members of the Burren Smokehouse Team have undertaken Leave no Trace training.


  1. Have all members of staff in our visitor centre complete the Leave no Trace training in 2023.
  2. Increase participation in the Leave no Trace webinars and workshops.
  3. To contribute to the promotion of positive outdoor behaviour.


A Well Understood Heritage
  • All of our visitors are exposed to the Burren Ecotourism, UNESCO Global Geopark and Burren Food Trail plaques proudly displayed outside our main Visitor Centre.
  • We are committed to providing relevant and accurate interpretive information to visitors on the natural and cultural heritage of the region. We are proud to be part of Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO supported global Geopark status.
  • Through film and tour guide presentations our visitors can learn about the heritage of the ancient craft of smoking salmon in Ireland.  We make this experience available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian & Swedish.
  • For our visitors, we also offer a new fascinating learning experience called “Taste the Atlantic – The Salmon Experience” about Ireland’s salmon story reaching back to ancient times using legends and the traditional methods of yesteryear. The experience also explores contemporary salmon aquaculture, salmon’s nutritional benefits and introduces the real-life characters for whom this is a sustainable modern way of life.  The experience also educates visitors on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. Categorically, Goal 2 which aims at ending hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition. Goal 3 which ensure healthy lives and promotes well-being at all ages. Goal 12 that ensures responsible consumption and production patterns. Goal 13 that aims at combatting climate change and its impacts and Goal 14 ‘Life Below Water’ where the target is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.


  1. Increase visitor numbers for the Taste the Atlantic experience to share the cultural, built, and national heritage.
  2. To align employees’ skills and capabilities with our sustainability goals and values by providing training and resources.
Vibrant Communities
  • We welcome all visitors of all ability and supply facilities for those with limited ability.
  • Our visitor centre is well adapted for over-seas visitors as we use universally recognised signs across the premises and members of staff are trained at providing understandable guidance to our visitors.
  • During their over 30 years in business, Birgitta & Peter Curtin have been and are committed to conservation, promotion of and networking in the Burren with other businesses.
  • Birgitta & Peter are founding members of Slow Food Clare and have been organising the Burren Slow Food Festival since 2005.  They are also founding members of the Burren Ecotourism Network and act as advisors to the Burren Geopark.


We want to make all our visitors feel welcome by improving communication of our story in a way that they understand by using clear language and signage

Strengthened Livelihoods
  • The Burren Smokehouse provides local employment as members of staff are mostly from Lisdoonvarna or neighbouring towns such as Doolin or Ballyvaughan.
  • We use local service providers and trades and craftsmen where possible
  • We only use certified Irish organic fresh salmon farmed sustainably on the west coast – see Irish Organic Association website
  • The Burren Smokehouse sources 100% of our organic salmon, trout and mackerel from Ireland.
  • We purchase other Burren artisan food products, Clare food products and Irish artisan food products for sale in our visitor centre and on our website for mail order customers.


  1. To create opportunities to increase engagement and collaborate with local communities.
  2. To increase the number of local suppliers for our raw materials.
Sustainable Tourism Management
  • Burren Smokehouse have appointed a Green Manager and a green team of staff members that meet on a monthly basis to monitor and make continual improvements in efficiencies of reduce, recycle and reuse energy, water and waste.
  • Our Gold Ecotourism Ireland plaque certification is visible as well as our Organic standards and our commitment to the Slow Food philosophy and local produce.
  • We welcome cyclists, walkers and visitors that use public transport.  We offer information on how to access us with sustainable transport on our our website.  Many Burren Smokehouse staff live locally and walk to work.


  1. To implement the Fifty Shades Greener plan and reduce our carbon emissions in 2023 and going forward.
  2. To narrow water consumption to less than 300m3 per year.
  3. To minimise our electricity usage to less than 100,000 kwh per year.
  4. To reduce, reuse, recycle the resources consumed by our business wherever practical.
  5. To increase purchase of products which are organic, local, fair-trade, and eco-friendly.

The Burren Smokehouse is committed to contributing to Ireland’s biodiversity while conserving the environment for the future. We will continue environmental practices across our business in all areas including production and our visitor centre. We will persist with monitoring and recording our environmental impacts regularly and compare the outcome with our objectives.