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Visit Scotland | Alba

Environmental sustainability

Responsible Tourism focuses on minimising its negative and maximising its positive impact to make all forms of tourism more sustainable. Especially the environmental impacts of tourism are key elements to consider when developing a more sustainable business and destination as a whole.

What is environmental sustainability?

Environmental sustainability focuses on reducing tourism’s negative impact on the environment and maximising its benefits for Scotland. Negative environmental impacts are caused by a wide range of interrelated issues, such as: climate change, pollution, depletion of non-renewable resources, and loss of habitat. These issues combined puts pressure on our natural environment, resulting in significant biodiversity loss. 

Protecting Scotland's natural heritage is not only vital to our health and wellbeing, but also helps businesses and communities to thrive, and promotes Scotland as a world-class, responsible tourism destination. 

Incorporating sustainable practices into how we do business is key, such as as reducing carbon emissions; increasing energy efficiency; reducing, reusing, and recycling waste; promoting walking and cycling; using and promoting low carbon transport options; reducing unnecessary use of harmful chemicals; supporting protection or regeneration of natural habitats for biodiversity. 

Why is environmental sustainability important? 

Scotland has an international reputation for its natural heritage, scenery, landscape and wildlife.

By celebrating and protecting our natural heritage, we have an opportunity to position Scotland as a world leader on nature preservation, net zero initiatives, and most importantly, as a must return destination.

To maintain Scotland’s global image as an attractive, responsible and successful tourism destination, it is important that every tourism business adopts a sustainable management approach in their business strategy, as well as promoting natural heritage sites to your customers in an engaging and responsible way.

Operating in a more sustainable way can also have clear business benefits, such as cost savings, staff engagement and retention, meeting increasing customer demand, as well as ensuring legal compliance and managing risk.