Editor’s note: Got a trip to the UK coming up? If so, Life Goggles notes that it will soon be easier to find eco-friendly accommodations, as the British Tourism Board has launched a new program for certifying “green” hotels. This post was originally published on Tuesday, April 29, 2008.
VisitBritain, Britain’s National Tourist Board has launched a new program to help accommodation providers and visitor attractions in England take the first steps toward becoming sustainable businesses.
The Green Start project aims to encourage a “rapid, widespread and significant increase in the adoption of sustainable tourism principles” by offering a validated sustainable accreditation scheme.
Jason Freezer, VisitBritain’s sustainable tourism project manager, said: “VisitBritain is committed to encouraging sustainable businesses. However, nearly two-thirds tell us they need more guidance on developing their business in that way.”
“Green Start is an initial step in helping more of our tourism businesses improve their existing practices and signal to visitors that they recognize the increasing importance and value of sustainable good practice.”
Benefits to businesses are listed as including:
- Cost savings, e.g. on utility bills
- Improved quality profile and market edge
- Increased business, e.g. from green conscious consumers
- Improved management efficiency and skills
- A feel-good factor for you and your staff
Using an online self-assessment tool, participants must meet a code of conduct, commit to four fundamental sustainability requirements and, over a period of two years, meet or work towards at least 23 relevant ‘good practices’ from a total menu of 50. These could include insulating buildings and water tanks, using low-energy lighting, collecting rainwater, using locally-sourced produce or promoting eco-friendly travel such as cycling. More details can be found on the Green Start site.