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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 09/02/2022

Destination Net Zero

Tackling climate change is the biggest long-term challenge facing Scottish tourism now, and in the future, and we want to inspire future generations to say that Scottish tourism led the way and made a difference. 

We’re asking the industry to prioritise responsible and low carbon growth. By taking action, it can not only reduce costs and build resilience, but it will meet the increasing consumer demand for sustainable businesses focused on delivering responsible tourism.

The Destination Net Zero programme is a key strand of the COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Programme and is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) by Scottish Enterprise (SE), VisitScotland, HIE, SoSE and partners. 

Pilot project | Hospitality Zero

As part of the programme, we are delighted to launch the Hospitality Zero pilot project, working in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.  

The cost of food waste generated by the hospitality and food service sector, corresponds to an average cost per outlet of £10,000 and this project will encourage SME hospitality businesses to focus on food waste reduction, providing advice and support to achieve this.  

The project will help to identify priority actions specific to the business to implement food waste reduction measures, many of them low or no cost measures.

Who can take part?

This is a pilot project aimed at businesses within the Glasgow City Region. It will support:  

  • Tourism businesses  
  • SMEs  
  • Businesses with permanent premises and full sit-in facilities   
  • Visitor attractions with full food offering (not a snack only offering)  
  • Accommodation with full food offering (breakfast and lunch or dinner offering minimum)  
  • Food and drink with full food offering (not a snack only offering)  

What do you have to do?

  • One month of measuring and monitoring your food waste – equipment will be provided – collating detailed data around stock waste, plate waste and prep waste 
  • Meet with a consultant – paid for through the project – to give support on monitoring and advice on food waste reduction, create an action plan and give recommendations for measures to take, including changes in operations or behaviours, as well as identifying any equipment that would support waste reduction (e.g. vac pack machine, oil filtration system).

The pilot has now closed to participants. Should you have any queries, please contact the team on

The Hospitality Zero project is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by VisitScotland with development and delivery input from Scottish Enterprise and Zero Waste Scotland.

Managing food waste

If you serve food as part of your offering to your customers, an area to make significant financial and carbon savings is by preventing food waste.

Reducing the quantity of the waste you produce will save you money by reducing your waste disposal charges and also by reducing the amount of food you need to purchase, transport, store, and cook. Put simply, food waste costs money.

Consumer concern over the environment and climate has doubled in the last decade and visitors are increasingly seeking out businesses and destinations with excellent green credentials.

Top five benefits to you

  1. Reduced ingredient cost
  2. Reduced labour cost
  3. Reduced waste disposal cost
  4. Increased profile as a sustainable responsible operator
  5. Reduced GHG (global greenhouse gas) emissions for your business, essential on your journey to net zero

And if you need a wee bit more inspiration, then we have it for you... hear from businesses who took part in the Plate up for Glasgow project. 

Case study | Plate up for Glasgow

Plate Up for Glasgow was a hospitality-led campaign highlighting the issue of food waste and its impact on our environment and the local economy which coincided with COP26 in November.

Piloted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce through its Circular Glasgow initiative and funded by Experience Glasgow Food and Drink Regional Group, the campaign aimed to highlight and encourage hospitality businesses to act upon the global issue of food waste and its impact on climate change.

There were 47 participating businesses including the city’s best restaurants, bars and local producers, with the venues offering a sustainable "Food Hero" dish or drink on their menu for the duration of the campaign. 

Some of the city's chefs also shared tips and advice on how to reduce food waste as well as highlighting the many benefits of buying locally and seasonally.

Four of those business speak about why they got involved in Plate Up For Glasgow and why sustainability is important to them.

As a pilot initiative, and the first of its kind in Scotland, Plate up for Glasgow has been an incredibly insightful project, and one which has filled those involved with inspiration and optimism for the future. The successes and key learnings of the campaign are now available in the Evaluation Report on the Plate up for Glasgow website.

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