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New 'green' collaboration

Hospitality puts environment in spotlight

Andrea NicholasEnvironmental awareness and sustainability are being placed at the heart of the nation’s hospitality sector through a collaboration between two organisations.

UKHospitality, the new sector-wide voice of sector, and Green Tourism, which helps businesses and attractions achieve sustainability goals, are joining forces to help drive forward fresh thinking across the industry with a view to reducing its impact on the planet.

The UK-wide partnership will create a platform for environmental issues within the £130 billion hospitality sector, the UK’s third largest private sector employer. 

The collaboration coincides with the launch of Green Tourism’s upgraded online sustainable management tool, GreenCheck, designed to enable thousands of businesses to quickly confirm they are hitting sustainability and environmental targets.  

Protecting the environment is a key concern for the hospitality and tourism sectors as they strive to meet sustainable goals, reduce pollution and protect natural resources against a background of rising demand for tourism and leisure services. 

The new partnership will see UKHospitality work hand-in-hand with Green Tourism, a Scottish based organisation which operates a nationwide ‘green’ accreditation scheme. 

A joint industry dinner to mark the new collaboration and to celebrate the national launch of UKHospitality will be held in Edinburgh on Thursday, 25 October,  at which the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop will be speaking. 

Green Tourism’s innovative GreenCheck sustainability management tool, which will go live in November, means businesses will be able to easily maintain and confirm their ‘green’ credentials and they will receive valuable Green Tourism accreditation using an online interactive platform. 

According to Green Tourism’s recent Scottish Impacts report, its  assessments have resulted in more than £5m of savings in energy costs and over £3m savings in water costs. In addition, stronger links have been forged between the sector and local food suppliers. 

Kate Nicholls, CEO, of UKHospitality said: “The hospitality sector is at a critical point, with fantastic innovation, dynamism and enthusiasm across the industry.

“Our links with Green Tourism will help the hospitality businesses we support achieve vital sustainability and environmental goals.”

Andrea Nicholas (pictured), MD, Green Tourism, said: “Our natural resources are limited. While all businesses must play their part, hospitality and tourism businesses are well placed to deliver sustainable goals due to their unique relationship with people.

“Our partnership with UKHospitality and the launch of our upgraded online GreenCheck tool are major steps towards our ambition to support businesses on their green journey.” 

Ms Hyslop said: “I commend UKHospitality and Green Tourism for this partnership, which aims to address and promote the sustainability of Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.  

“Our environment is very precious and, now more than ever, we recognise the impact our businesses have on our planet. The Scottish Government will continue to encourage businesses and our millions of visitors to embrace sustainability and experience Scotland responsibly.”

UKHospitality was launched in early 2018 with the aim of creating a strong, united voice for the whole of the UK’s hospitality sector.  The trade association represents more than 700 companies and 65,000 venues across a sector that employs 2.9 million people.

It spans the entire leisure sector and campaigns across a range of issues, including business rates, regulatory issues and employment. 

Green Tourism broke new ground when it was established in Scotland in 1997 with a view to raise awareness of the environmental impact of tourism. It provides advice, expertise and accreditation to the tourism sector aimed at protecting environments, minimising pollution and conserving natural resources.

A globally recognised organisation, it has more than 2,000 members across the UK, Ireland, Italy, Canada and Zimbabwe, and is the world’s largest sustainable certification programme of its kind.

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