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Over 150 tourism businesses are set to benefit from discounted membership to certification schemes, aimed at supporting a green recovery and Scotland’s ambitions to become a sustainable destination.
As part of the Destination Net Zero programme, three sustainable certification programmes have successfully secured a total of £60,000 to ensure businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 in a sustainable manner.
The Sustainability Certification Fund for Tourism Recovery has been allocated to Green Tourism, Green Key and EarthCheck.
The three scheme providers will now be able to offer a £500 discount on their membership fees to those within the tourism industry looking to gain green certification.
Consumer concern over the environment and climate has doubled in the last decade and visitors are increasingly seeking out businesses and destinations with excellent green credentials.
Businesses with a sustainability certification can help make it easier for visitors to make environmentally conscious travel decisions.
As well as attracting visitors, taking part in a sustainability certification scheme and reviewing environmental practices can help reduce the carbon footprint of a business, in turn saving money on energy, water and waste bills.
Rob Dickson, Chair of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG), said:“Visitors are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the world around them. We want to support their desire to be environmentally conscious by equipping those within the tourism industry with the knowledge and understanding of how their business can meet these needs, reduce their own operational costs, and preserve and enhance Scotland’s natural surroundings, all at the same time.
Barry Fisher, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, the Scottish operators of the international Green Key Award said: “We’re looking forward to supporting tourism businesses across Scotland to become accredited with the international Green Key award thanks to this boost as part of the Destination Net Zero programme. Green Key accreditation provides a comprehensive framework for continual environmental improvement and with visitors already looking for green credentials when making choices, now is the time for us to all step up and support a truly green and just recovery and promote responsible tourism across our beautiful country.”
Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder, EarthCheck: “EarthCheck is delighted to be working with VisitScotland and supporting operators to meet the expectations of the new carbon economy. COVID has given destinations and operators a breathing space to reset and redefine their commitment to more responsible business practices. Based on a fundamental belief that what gets measured gets managed. The EarthCheck Certified program will allow operators to scientifically benchmark their operational performance and identify where improvements can be delivered to the bottom line.”
The Destination Net Zero programme is a key strand in the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Programme. It aims to support businesses and destinations as they transition to a future of net zero emissions.
The programme is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) by Scottish Enterprise (SE), VisitScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE) and partners.
For more information on the Green Certification schemes visit: https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/responsible-tourism/green-certification-schemes
Scheme discount to help tourism businesses meet sustainability ambitions