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Visit Scotland | Alba

The combined emissions generated by your customers and suppliers are likely to be much greater than your direct business emissions. Influencing change is an important element in working towards net zero.

As part of the tourism sector, your business can play its part to facilitate and lower the emissions of each visitor. Research tells us that they’re actively looking for businesses that allow them to keep their emissions low. So, investing into this makes good environmental and financial sense.

Influencing those who provide you with goods and services will not only reduce your indirect business emissions but also build resilience into your supply chain as your suppliers will be more prepared for the impacts of climate change.

Take action to influence and reduce these indirect emissions alongside your own internal business actions. There may even be opportunities to work together to find innovative solutions that benefit all involved. This page explains what actions you can take to influence climate action.

The importance of influencing climate action

Increase resilience

Sustainable businesses save on energy, fuel, and waste, and have more robust supply chains.

Increase visitors

70% feel overwhelmed when planning sustainable travel. 90% want sustainable booking options.

Green supply chains

Ask suppliers if they have a plan to reach net zero and exchange plans to get started.

Reduce emissions

By seeking out low or zero emission services, you'll be poised to reach net zero in the long-term.

Influencing climate actions

There are many ways to influence climate action. The following are four actions to kickstart your journey to net zero over the next three years. You’ll find that you’ll be able to implement some straightaway. Others will require some upfront investment or will take some time to show their value.

Encourage responsible tourism practices

Consider helping your community and the environment by encouraging visitors to plan and enjoy a responsible trip in Scotland. Spread the message and share content that allows your visitors to make responsible choices. The more you talk about it, the more people will hear about it.

Steps to take

  1. Help your visitors choose a sustainable and inclusive destination. Ensure seasonal spread by encouraging visitors to travel in the quieter spring, autumn, and winter months. You can also showcase hidden gems.
  2. Promote low carbon transport options. Transport has a significant impact on how sustainable visitors can be. Browse different sustainable travel options on
  3. Show visitors the benefits of staying longer. Inspire visitors to stay longer by showcasing the many unique experiences available to them. And make a case that there’s too much to do in just a couple of days.
  4. Demonstrate to visitors how they help your business and local community. Our visitors can help give back to local communities by shopping and supporting locals. Promote what your business does and the experiences that can be found on your doorstep.
  5. Engage with your community council. Consider the broader impacts of climate change on your community and try to look at ways your business can help the community adapt to climate change. Attend local community meetings and reach out to local politicians to get responsible tourism on their list of priorities.

Create responsible tourism itineraries

Today’s travellers are more sensitive about the impact of their choices on the environment. Some businesses have itineraries in place to help their visitors make the most of their time in the area. You could consider creating or adapting existing travel itineraries for your visitors.

Include low or zero emission alternatives and encourage visitors to stay within your local area.

Steps to take

  1. Design sustainable travel experiences. Consider alternative modes of transport such as train, coach, or group shares promoting local travel as part of the stay. Especially when people are flying into Scotland, it can really help visitors lower their emissions.
  2. Promote slow travel. Slow travellers want to slow down and take time to relax. They want to immerse themselves in local culture and authentic experiences. This can result in economic impacts from a more extended stay.
  3. Facilitate cultural exchanges. Consider incorporating contact with your local community. It can leave positive lasting impacts on both sides. Look at ways visitors can interact or contribute whilst visiting an area.
  4. Set up ethical interactions with wildlife and the environment. Allow visitors to contribute, donate, and interact positively with the area.
  5. Promote other sustainable businesses. Build trips to other local businesses doing sustainable and innovative things and raise awareness for sustainability activities in your area.
  6. Create a mutually beneficial itinerary. Develop the itinerary with wellbeing, inclusiveness, and accessibility for the visitors and local communities in mind. Discover responsible travel tips on

There are lots of ideas of things to see and do across Scotland. Browse them on

Record and reduce indirect emissions from your supply chain

Indirect emissions are mostly emissions that come from your supply and value chains. Value chains include a series of steps that go into your finished product or service, for example marketing or procurement.

Much of these emissions are outside your control, but that doesn’t mean you can’t influence them. Recording and reducing these emissions as a longer-term action is important. It will give you:

  • a more complete picture of your greenhouse gasses
  • the knowledge to address more complex supply chain issues
  • more informed longer-term targets to reach net zero

Steps to take

  1. Identify your supply or value chain emissions. These can be indirect things like purchased goods and services and their transportation, fuel and energy, waste, business travel and employee commuting, use of sold products, and more.
  2. Set emission reduction targets for the next two to three years and beyond. As you do, you’ll slowly start to understand which indirect emissions you have and where they’re coming from. It’s important after your first three years to start to measure and become more accurate.
    Browse free climate courses for businesses on or sign up for the carbon footprinting and reporting (IEMA certified) course on
  3. Use conversion factors. After completing your first three years the carbon emissions may need to be converted to build a more complete picture of your supply chain. This will allow you to report greenhouse gas emissions associated with your broader business activities beyond the scope of our calculator. Using these will allow you to change one set of units to another and build a more complete picture. For example, when calculating distance, fuel or waste. You will need to learn how to split these and what you currently have into scopes one, two, and three. Browse annually updated conversion factors on 

Review your suppliers

Reaching net zero will be difficult without the buy-in of your suppliers. Engage with them, ask if they already have a net zero plan or show them yours and collaborate. If a supplier is resistant to implementing any net zero plans in the long-term, consider switching to a different one.

Always try to work with your suppliers by positively and proactively influencing them through leading by example.

Steps to take

  1. Create a sustainable procurement checklist. This can help set a baseline for procuring goods and services. Identify your starting point, set a baseline of criteria such as sourcing local goods and services in the first instance. Set sustainable baseline criteria for each purchase. If you already have a procurement method or guidelines in place, perhaps consider expanding this to consider sustainability.
  2. Consider the environmental impact of your purchases. Where do they come from? Could you buy local and support local businesses? Do any (new) suppliers have any green credentials or net zero policies and are these meaningful to your business? Are any (new) suppliers backed by climate-conscious investors?
  3. Embed climate change into your business model. Write a one-page policy paper that states new suppliers must complete a questionnaire on their sustainability credentials and provide evidence or a plan to reach net zero targets.
  4. Embed net zero questions into your supplier procurement questionnaire. Circulate it with any relevant teams, include it as part of your new supplier handouts, and publish it on your website.

Measure your emissions and record your actions

This free climate action workbook gives you the tools to easily measure your business emissions and select actions to reduce them over time. You can track up to three years of data and pick the actions that work best for your business – from free, quick-wins to longer term investments.


Climate action plan

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        Other resources to help influence climate action

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