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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 21/07/2021

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail, launching in October 2021, is the first national UNESCO trail anywhere in the world that brings together our country’s full range of UNESCO place-based designations, whilst promoting responsible tourism.

 Our UNESCO National Trail case studies shine a spotlight on green-accredited businesses that are actively working to be more sustainable, whilst also demonstrating UNESCO key values.

Read our Q&A with JP Orkney to find out more about the ways they are acting sustainably, which include using electric vehicles to deliver their tours, carefully sourcing packaging and growing their own produce. 

About the business

JP Orkney sell homemade produce in their online shop, deliver memorable days out on their Orkney Tours and provide environmentally friendly electric camper van hire. They're a family business run by Jane Ellison and Paul Hudd, who take great pride in providing hospitality of the highest quality.

On a JP Orkney Tour you will see, smell, taste and hear all things Orkney. They do all the driving in their electric tour van, so visitors can sit back and enjoy the experience.

Developed through their love of working with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, their brand is homemade in their Birsay kitchen by the sea. They sell award-winning Fatty Cutties, moreish tablet, jams, pickles, chutneys and more. They also supply tour guides, self-catering accommodation and private events.

JP Orkney also offer experience campervan hire in eco-friendly vans. The Nissan Dalbury E is the world's first all-electric camper van, and can be charged at any of the numerous charging points across Orkney at a minimal cost.

JP orkney

What steps and procedures do you have in place to reduce your carbon footprint and act sustainably?

"We have always felt strongly about running an ethical and environmentally responsible business. When we initially had the idea to rent out a campervan we were very specific that if we couldn't find a green enough option then we wouldn't move forward with the idea. This ethos has continued with our business.

"The ideas we've had are not new (delivering tours of Orkney), but we have tried to do it in as green a fashion as possible, for example, by using an electric vehicle to deliver Orkney Tours. Whenever choosing new suppliers, one of us will research them first to decide if they are the greenest option, e.g. proximity, business practices.

"We constantly look at things we use and ask if we can do it ourselves to make our business more sustainable, for example we used to buy in beetroot for our spiced beetroot relish, we now grow our own."

Why did you think it was important to join a green accreditation scheme and how did this benefit your business?

"We thought it was important to join a green accreditation scheme as a way to help us tell our green story. Green Tourism has benefited our business by giving us an instantly recognisable stamp. People are looking more and more to businesses to be green, and by being Green Tourism accredited we get that instant recognition."

What would you say to other businesses thinking of joining a Green accreditation scheme?

"We were quite confident of our green credentials before joining Green Tourism, however it was surprising and refreshing to work with them and find out more things we could do to improve. I would recommend other businesses joining the scheme, as it's a great way to reflect on all aspects of your business and can help generate new ideas."

How do you incorporate the UNESCO values into your green tourism practices?

"Our business is all about sustainability. The packaging for our products (our produce is stocked at two UNESCO sites in Orkney, Maeshowe and Skara Brae) is carefully sourced to be as green as possible with recycled, recyclable and compostable components. If a customer chooses to visit a UNESCO site on one of our tours, or in our all electric campervan, then they know they are doing this with minimal impact as the vehciles aren't burning fossil fuels. Also, the electric engine is quieter so does not disturb nesting birds in the reserves that often surround UNESCO sites."

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