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Tackling climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing Scottish tourism.

Tourism is a clear contributor to the global climate crisis, but also stands to suffer its consequences. So, it is now more important than ever for tourism to step up and show how the sector can be part of the solution.

The move to a net zero economy is already happening, bringing both opportunities and challenges to businesses. The Scottish Government has set a 2045 target for net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases with a reduction of 75% by 2030 and 90% by 2040, therefore it’s important to prioritise responsible, low carbon growth within your business now. By acting now, your business can reduce costs and build resilience, but will also meet the increasing consumer demand for sustainability.

Sustainability entails meeting the needs of current generations without jeopardising the needs of future generations, while maintaining a balance of economic growth, environmental care, and social well-being.

More and more travellers are becoming environmentally conscious and are actively seeking out sustainable travel options. By making your holiday rental more sustainable, you can attract these guests and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Sustainable practices such as using energy efficient appliances and low-flow fixtures can also help reduce your operating costs by lowering your energy and water bills, making it a smart business decision too!

While there are some big ticket options for making your business / holiday rental more sustainable; such as installing solar energy or ground source heat pumps, there’s equally many small improvements which are very easy and relatively inexpensive to implement. These include;

  • Switching to LED light bulbs
  • Installing a Smart thermostat (e.g. Hive, NEST, etc)
  • Installing Smart plugs (e.g. Tapo Smart Plug) to allow you to control your household appliances from anywhere
  • Installing water saving shower heads
  • Fixing any leaking taps
  • Providing recycling bins & clear instructions for what items go where
  • Using eco-friendly linen & towels
  • Using eco-friendly cleaning products and toiletries which are refillable (rather than travel sized plastic bottles)
  • Encouraging guests to shop local
  • Working with environmentally focused suppliers (speak with all suppliers from energy to web hosting and find out what their environmental policy is)
  • Install an electric car charger

With so many options, it can be overwhelming as to where to start. You don’t have to go it alone!

There’s lots of support available to help you with your sustainability journey.

Available Support

Green Tourism Accreditation

Getting an accreditation can be a good way to not only get expert advice to help you on your sustainable journey, but also to show potential customers that your business takes environmental considerations seriously and is taking practical steps to tackle issues such as energy efficiency, water saving and mindful waste reduction.

Green Tourism works to promote a greener, cleaner environment, for people, places and our planet. They recognise and support eco-friendly achievements of tourism businesses with their internationally respected accreditation programme of Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

With increasing numbers of visitors and buyers making environmental credentials a critical part of their buying decision, becoming a member of Green Tourism can make a difference to your commercial success and your contribution to sustainable living.

To find out if your business is eligible for a Green Tourism award, take their free 10 minute quiz and get instantly graded. – www.green-tourism.com/greencheck

Green Tourism are a Trade Supplier of the ASSC and offer a member discount. You can find out more in the Members Trade Suppliers Directory.

Author of guidance: ASSC Date of guidance: March 2023

Disclaimer – Guidance Sheets are written by experienced Members of the ASSC and other experts. The information in the ‘Guidance Sheet’ is provided by the ASSC for use by Members in support of their own independent business decisions. It does not constitute advice or instruction for which the ASSC can be held liable in any way whatsoever. All Members and other readers remain responsible for the consequences of any decisions taken whether in the light of information gained from this Guidance Sheet or not.

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