Destination Net Zero is a £4 million programme which will provide support to tourism businesses and destinations as they transition to a greener, more sustainable, net zero future. This takes place as Scotland prepares the host COP26, the world's largest climate connference, in Glasgow from 31 October - 12 November.
A key strand in the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Programme, the initiative includes the creation of a website offering practical advice for businesses when moving to low-carbon, an awareness-raising programme promoting net zero as good business and funding support, due to be announced later this year.
Another key piece of activity will be industry research to identify current attitudes and behaviour towards a net zero economy, as well as opportunities to successfully encourage action and measurement of progress over the coming years.
The programme is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) by Scottish Enterprise (SE), VisitScotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE) and partners.
- The rebuild of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory – The development has received almost £200,000 worth of net zero funding which will go towards creating a new, sustainable and energy efficient building, using power from the island’s community-owned renewable energy grid as well as from the building’s own solar panels.
- Transformation of Nevis Range –With the project including plans to create a new hotel and bunkhouse, the Lochaber mountain resort has received £500,000 to help ensure that the facilities will be built in as low carbon a way as possible to help with its continuing journey to net zero.
- Re-charge in Nature – a nature-based tourism recovery project, led by NatureScot which seeks to encourage more people to engage with nature and learn about the impact of climate change while recharging their EV or cycling or using an E-bike. The project seeks to present integrated information profiling existing charging infrastructure and nature- based experiences close by.
- Hospitality Net Zero - working in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise. This is a pilot project aimed at businesses within the Glasgow City region. Working in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, this project encourages SME hospitality businesses to focus on food waste reduction, providing consultation and support to achieve this.
Environmental change is the biggest long-term challenge facing the tourism and events sector, with the climate crisis already impacting many aspects of the natural environment that has made Scotland such a popular destination for visitors.
By taking action on climate change, tourism businesses can not only reduce costs and build resilience, but they can also attract new customers by meeting the increasing demand from visitors for responsible and sustainably focused experiences.