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Discount to help Scotland’s smaller tourism establishments access eco-certificate

Scotland’s smaller tourism and hospitality establishments are encouraged to find out how leading international sustainability programme, Green Key, can help them to secure year-on-year environmental improvements, financial savings and attract customers who are increasingly seeking out sustainable options.

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful is working with VisitScotland to give smaller and medium tourism establishments the chance to join Green Key with a discount of £500 off the first year of membership. The funding is part of VisitScotland’s Sustainability Certification Scheme Fund for Tourism Recovery, and the Destination Net Zero Programme. The discount is available for ten micro, small and SME businesses until March 2023, on a first come first served basis.

Since 1994, the Green Key Certificate has been a leading standard of excellence in environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. Keep Scotland Beautiful is the national operator for the certification programme in Scotland, which is licensed globally by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Through Green Key, Keep Scotland Beautiful offer a comprehensive in-person audit of premises and additional support to help tourism establishments achieve year-on-year environmental improvements and reduce climate-change-causing greenhouse gas emissions. From energy use in hotel rooms and laundry to food waste in kitchens to how employees work day-to-day are all areas they offer advice on through the audit process.

The Green Key audit also provides an ideal opportunity to access advice on how to make financial savings, such as through more efficient use of energy and resources – vital with the current rise of operating costs.

And with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year having put a spotlight on sustainability in Scotland’s tourism sector, Green Key provides a way to help businesses showcase their green credentials to a large pool of environmentally conscious consumers.

To help prospective Green Key applicants find out more about the initiative and the discount, Keep Scotland Beautiful will be running a webinar on 10 January 2023.

Barry Fisher, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:

“We’ve been delighted to receive interest in Green Key from a variety of large hotels and attractions, with Radisson Red becoming the first we’ve supported to receive accreditation. Now we are delighted to work with Visit Scotland and offer smaller businesses the chance to access the multiple benefits of Green Key for a reduced price.

“We have a highly-skilled team of staff available to assist Green Key applicants with both technical support and advice and encourage you to get in touch today or attend our webinar to start your sustainability journey.”

 

Lyn Donnelly, Senior Responsible Tourism Manager at VisitScotland, 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.

“Gaining a sustainability certification is a chance to publicly demonstrate your business’s commitment to environmental and sustainable practices. Through the Destination Net Zero programme, we are pleased to be working with service providers who can support the industry on its journey to net zero.”

 

Finn Bolding Thomsen, International Green Key Director at Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) said:

“Green Key is a leading eco-certification programme run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and its national member organisations. The programme has more than 3,700 eco-certified establishments in 60 countries. Internationally recognised, the Green Key programme is open to a variety of tourism establishments – from small accommodations to large hotel facilities. We are very appreciative of VisitScotland for supporting Keep Scotland Beautiful in offering a discount for SME establishments in Scotland wishing to join the Green Key programme.”

 

Green Key is open to a wide range of establishments including hotels, visitor attractions, conference centres, campsites and restaurants and helps them meet global environmental standards set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and recognised by the UN World Tourism Organisation.

Find out more about the Green Key discount, a supporting webinar and other assistance Keep Scotland Beautiful offer on the Green Key webpages:

www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/greenkey

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