Taking our sustainability efforts to the next level
We have always been aware that we should take care to operate our business as responsibly as we can and to look after our environment, not only within the business setting but also in our wider community. We show visitors to Aberdeenshire some of the most beautiful places and proudly show off the wonderful landscape, historical treasures and pretty villages in the county. But by doing so we are also mindful of the impact we are having on these locations. Since we started Grampian Escapes & Tours, there has been an Environmental Tourism Policy in place and we have implemented this as best we can.
Environment Tourism Policy
We care about the North East of Scotland and it is our pleasure to share Aberdeenshire with our guests responsibly. We value our landscape and environment and are committed to working in a manner that safeguards and supports the environment and culture.
We are committed to the following:
- Do no harm to people, environment and wildlife
- Take care to leave no trace by removing our waste, picking up any litter that may have been left by others
- Take care not to disturb wildlife
- Be courteous to others
- Provide information on nature, wildlife and local culture and history on tour
- Purchasing local and environmentally friendly products
- Encouraging our guests to be equally respectful of our policy
We are committed to monitoring our impact on the environment and the region to reduce our carbon footprint. We will support projects and activities to offset our carbon footprint by planting trees, supporting wildlife and woodland conservation projects.
Green Tourism Accreditation
We feel the time is right to start working towards our Green Tourism Accreditation and strengthening our commitment to develop a more sustainable approach. There are several things we already have in place such as; recycling waste and using vegware or other non-plastic alternatives in our tours and tastings. We source the food & drinks used in our Taste of Scotland Tour and our Aberdeen City Food Tour from local suppliers and producers to highlight the best of Aberdeenshire and our regional provenance.
In the next few months we will be focusing on three principle factors as cited by Green Tourism, (the awarding group) these are People, Places and Planet. What steps and actions can we take and implement in our business to become a more responsible business, in short making better choices and having a greater effect. These principle factors will enable us to create a robust Sustainability and Green Tourism Policy for the next stage of our business. We have some exciting ideas and hope these will be implemented soon.
What is meant by sustainable tourism? We looked at several definitions and have chosen the definition from The World Tourism Organisation (WTO), a United Nations Specialised Agency, which states:
“Sustainable tourism is the form of tourism which meet the needs of tourists, the tourism industry and host communities today, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Although we cannot affect global change such as the WTO, we can in our own small way contribute to their goals by making better choices and supporting our own local environment. So the WTO’s definition will be adopted and central when making our plans. We trust that our customers, suppliers and tourism colleagues will support us in our efforts and we in turn will do the same. Together, all doing our share to becoming more responsible and implementing sustainable tourism plans, can make a difference in helping to protect this area of Scotland we love so much.