The Goldstar Shortlist is selected from the highest scoring businesses that had a Gold grading during 2012. Business can not enter the awards they are selected solely on the score they achieved at their grading. On average they are usually the top 10% of Golds within their category although the percentage cut off for the Goldstar Shortlist differs year on year and between categories depending on what scores were achieved.
Now in their third year the annual awards aim to honour those businesses and organisations that have done the most to promote sustainability within the industry by implementing cost-saving practices that help the environment, improve customer services and benefit the bottom line.
The winners of the awards will be announced at the first Green Tourism Conference to be held at the AT-Bristol Science Centre on 8th November as one of the highlights marking a week of events across the country between November 4th and 10th to mark Green Tourism Week.
All of the finalists, which include 33 from England, 22 from Scotland, 5 from Wales and 1 from the Channel Islands, were chosen from over 2400 green tourism companies assessed for their innovation, cost savings and green ambassadorship during 2012-2013.
Andrea Nicholas, Director of Green Tourism, said: “The GoldStar Awards are a recognition of the best of the best in Britain when it comes to creating and maintaining a thriving sustainable tourism industry.
“A record number of 61 green tourism businesses from across the UK have been shortlisted for the GoldStar Awards this year out of more than 2,400 entries. The finalists represent the top 3 per cent of Green Tourism businesses in the UK.”
One new category introduced this year is the Green Tourism Destination Award. Andrea Nicholas added: “We have introduced the Green Tourism Destination Award this year as we find the support and commitment of the Destination Organisations so important for encouraging businesses and promoting Green Tourism to their visitors. We wanted to be able to highlight some of the excellent activities and projects that have been rolled out in these Destinations.”
Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgence and Ecologist magazine, is the keynote speaker at this year’s awards ceremony, which is again sponsored by Triodos Bank and Ecover.
Kate Lewis, Assistant Relationship Manager with Triodos’ Food, Farming and Trade team, said: “Triodos is very pleased to be sponsoring the GoldStar awards for the third year running.
“In previous years, the awards have enabled us to connect with many inspiring and like-minded businesses which has resulted in new leads for the bank.
“This year’s conference is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet more of these businesses and showcase what we do to those who don’t already know about us. We look forward to the event and the exciting prospects it will undoubtedly create.”
Green Tourism was launched 16 years ago and is now is the biggest of its kind in the world having helped nearly 10,000 businesses improve their commitment to sustainability. It is considered one of the most rigorous of its kind and is the only certification programme independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.
The organisation has become a world leader in highlighting the importance of protecting environments, respecting local cultures, supporting communities, conserving natural resources and minimising pollution.
Steve Mitchell, UK Sales Manager for Ecover, said the bank was delighted to once again sponsor the Goldstar Awards and to underline and build on the partnership between Ecover and Green Tourism.
He said: “Tourism and Hospitality is a cornerstone of the UK economy and GTBS members are leading the way in showing how businesses in this vital sector can operate in a successful and sustainable way, enhancing the visitor experience whilst minimising their impact on the environment.
His comments were echoed by fellow sponsor Kimberly-Clark Professional. Lori Shaffer, Sustainability Marketing Manager for the company said: “We are pleased to be working with GTBS as they have adopted a similar lifecycle approach to sustainability. Together we can make a difference, by proactively evaluating each stage of the product/service lifecycle and identifying ways to reduce environmental impact.”