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Climate Emergency Response – take action today!
Collective Action to reduce Carbon Emissions
The latest news on our climate achievements as a society (or lack of) makes for some alarming reading, and to hear Greta Thunberg’s passionate and emotional speech as a young person was very sobering. It is also extremely positive to see how quickly the Governments of Scotland and Wales, and the UK as a whole have responded by declaring a climate emergency. This week I would like to encourage us to celebrate this milestone and to take on the challenge ahead of us positively.
At Green Tourism we are making real headway, but there is still so much work to be done by everyone: Governments, businesses and you and I as individuals. Green Tourism has been growing for a number of years and collectively we have saved over 1 million tonnes of CO2since we established a set of industry benchmarks in 2010. We operate with the whole tourism and hospitality sector and aim to reach over 3000 active members by the end of this year. We have now completed over 10,000 audits and have helped to transform our industry in the UK.
To put the importance of our industry’s commitment to the cause into perspective, the average emission per guest for a hotel internationally is around 50kg CO2per guest night (and this doesn’t even include food miles and food impact). When we started in the UK we found our green businesses were averaging around 35kg but by 2018 this had come down to around 18kg or a 50% reduction through energy savings, motivating teams to think more sustainably and the introduction of new technology. In addition, businesses made savings through the more challenging carbon elements (which we measure qualitatively) – through the practical actions on which we advise. We also offer a free service for members to easily identify their carbon footprint: with only 5 key pieces required to understand how intensive your energy and carbon use is.
Special mention must go to some of our star members who have achieved some fantastic carbon reductions: the Crystal Conference Centre and Visitor Attraction in the heart of London can boast a performance of under 100 kWh per square metre, while Central Hall Westminster also has low figures, which for a period Grade II listed building is particularly impressive. EICC in Edinburgh have achieved some massive savings over recent years also. We have been working steadily with some other leading lights in London and throughout the UK including The Ritz, The NED The Savoy hotels and the Radisson Edwardian Group. We also have valued members like Historic Environment Scotland, Blenheim Palace and Chatsworth and it’s great to see how historic buildings can be really sustainable too. We have a plethora of small businesses throughout the UK all working hard too and achieving excellent success some even have net zero carbon emissions and even are net renewable energy generators.
Businesses are improving in terms of sustainable actions but progress is painfully slow and too many operators avoid the difficult decisions to act truly responsibly. It is up to us to ensure young people have a future which they can enjoy. We mustn’t get complacent thinking new technology will resolve everything or that someone else will take the lead. We need to tackle the climate change issue NOW and we must be even more collaborative.
All the solutions are with us the only missing piece is YOU and your business. I urge you to join us and create a future we can all share and be rightly proud of our achievements. For details of our green check process and to get access to our carbon calculator contact us at the GT office 01738 632162 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
p.s. Why the gannet colony photo? Well its all to do with altruism and the need to control the selfish gene before it destroys our whole colony. For more look at our Green Tourism members conference in 2014.
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