It’s a broad term to describe many different things. It’s nothing to do with sleeping in yurts and showering once a week, and everything to do with issues like business efficiency, environmental management, waste and transport, as well as social responsibility and biodiversity.
Essentially, it’s a way for any tourism-related business to reduce its environmental impact. (As a concept, it’s sometimes confused with ‘eco-tourism’; this can use the environment as a marketing tool, but without any obligation for a business actually to reduce its environmental impact. )
How does Green Tourism accreditation work?
The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) is a nationally-recognised accreditation. It leads the way in responsible and sustainable business practices, and all its member businesses have been quality graded though a recognised industry standard.
As a first step, businesses are visited and advised as to how they could reduce their environmental impact. They’re then graded against 120 environmental, economic and social measures of best practice. These range from good management and communication to efficient lighting and heating, and include nature conservation, local crafts and produce, renewable energy and community support and involvement.
Finally, businesses are then accredited as winners of either a Gold (excellent in environmental practice), Silver (very good environmental practice) or Bronze (good basic environmental practice) award.
Green Tourism on Scilly
The GTBS has been in operation on Scilly since November 2005. Businesses here are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact, especially in regard to waste, water, food imports etc. The GTBS also provides businesses with advice and techniques on how to reduce costs, so businesses are able to save money while reducing their environmental impact. By supporting these businesses, visitors and locals will be helping to encourage and achieve a more sustainable island community.