Skip to main content
Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 24/10/2022

Boosting the city's green credentials and supporting its visitor economy

Today (24 October), the Sustainable Tourism and Conventions Action Plan was launched by Glasgow Life in association with VisitScotland and The Travel Foundation, demonstrating Glasgow's commitment to becoming one of Europe's most sustainable cities, enhancing its reputation as a leading international destination for responsible business and leisure tourism. 

Glasgow already has a strong track record of innovation and action in the field of sustainability and the Action Plan aims to drive and accelerate further positive climate change to create a stronger, regenerative circular economy. 

Aligned to the Glasgow Declaration announced at COP26 - the UN Conference on Climate Change - the Action Plan has been created to support Glasgow in meeting Scotland's NetZero target and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The plan sets out the key actions being undertaken to help the city's tourism and conventions industry partners reduce environmental impact by improving the sustainability of their practices, products and services.

At a time when recovery from the impacts of the pandemic continues to be a priority, the Action Plan also aims to support economic renewal to boost industry performance by attracting responsible visitors and business events to Glasgow.

Latest tourism insights reveal that sustainability is an increasingly important consideration for travellers choosing destinations for both business and leisure. Research findings demonstrate a rapid rise in global consciousness of the impact of travel and trade, which is linked to a growing desire to support responsible venues, hotels and events. Destinations and their business communities that embrace a change for good and adopt more sustainable practices are therefore more attractive to customers.

The Action Plan in detail

Glasgow Life will implement the Action Plan through activities focused on three strategic areas:

  • Building a sustainable tourism sector - supporting industry to be more sustainable through training, accreditation and signposting to resources
  • Developing Glasgow's sustainable city offer - working with internal teams and external stakeholders to strengthen the sectors' sustainable credentials and adapting processes to champion green change
  • Showcasing Glasgow as a sustainable city destination - translating the green conversation actions which are meaningful, free or low cost; celebrating and promoting successes in the industry

Under these overarching themes, key actions designed to accelerate positive change are set out to provide a clear, practical guide which also highlights how these actions are aligned to the priorities of the national tourism strategy Scotland Outlook 2030, and what the targets are for measuring success. Examples of the extensive activities are:

  • Sustainability-focused food and drink schemes to minimise waste, to use / promote locally-sourced seasonal produce and ensure suppliers demonstrate responsible practices
  • Encourage business sign-up to the Green Tourism award and accreditation schemes
  • Promote sustainable methods of transport for staff and guests, and capitalise on schemes to encourage public transport uptake and electric vehicle use
  • Training opportunities supporting sustainable and responsible tourism and hospitality by raising employee awareness of policies and procedures and engagement as good practice

Recent sustainable success

The Action Plan also emphasises the importance of promoting sustainability activities and achievements and sharing best practice to inspire other industry partners. Recent examples include The Burrell Collection which, following the museum's £68 million refurbishment, highlighted its new technologically advanced power, heating and lighting systems that have dramatically improved its environmental performance. 

Learn more about The Burrell Collection in our responsible tourism case study.

Related links