What is Destination Net Zero?
The Destination Net Zero programme is a key strand of the £25 million Tourism Recovery Programme. It 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.
Together, we’re investing in the programme, worth almost £4 million, to support Scotland’s tourism industry on the journey to net zero.
The programme consists of research to discover where we are now, advice on taking climate action, and funding to support our businesses and destinations to transition a greener, more sustainable future, building their resilience and aligning with Scottish Government targets.
Walkers at Conic Hill. Image credit: VisitScotland/Kenny Lam.
Understanding the industry’s needs | research
We need to discover where we are now, where we are going and how we get there – together. In order to do this, we need to talk to you.
We have commissioned Progressive Partnership, an independent market research agency, to conduct research with Scottish tourism businesses to gain an understanding of the current attitudes and behaviour towards a net zero economy.
We will also be conducting research to provide us with a baseline for Scottish tourism’s carbon emissions, which will allow us to identify opportunities to successfully encourage action and measure progress over the coming years.
A couple explore the forest and hillside around Cairn O'Mount. Image credit: VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale.
Supporting our industry
Knowing where to start and taking action can be a bit daunting at first. We’re here to help.
You can begin your climate action journey to net zero today by taking a look at our top tips, and the range of advice, support, and funding that is already available from our partners.
You can also get inspiration from others who have begun their journey. Visit our Climate Change page to see what further advice and information is available.
The Destination Net Zero programme will provide additional support to Scotland’s tourism sector in these challenging times, to support their green recovery, building their resilience and to transition to a future of net zero emissions. One of the ways we will do this is through additional funding.
Electric Vehicle Charge Point Fund | open until 8 September 2022 (or earlier if budget is utilised before then)
The Electric Vehicle (EV) Charge Point Fund provides a one-off payment to tourism businesses towards the installation of an EV charge point. It will support around 100 charge points.
By adding an EV charge point to your business, it will help to demonstrate a point of differentiation and your commitment to responsible tourism practices, meeting the needs of visitors who are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability in their travel plans.
Businesses can apply for funding to assist in the installation of an EV charge point on their premises. The funding available is 75% of the total cost of the charge point and installation (including applicable VAT), up to a maximum of £15,000. There is limited funding available, and it will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
The Fund is being administered by Energy Saving Trust (EST) on behalf of VisitScotland, and the Scottish Government. Read the full criteria / guidance and apply for funding on the Energy Savings Trust website.
Sustainable Tourism Certification Scheme | open until March 2023 (or until all funding is used up)
As a result of the Sustainability Certification Scheme Fund, part of the Destination Net Zero programme, three sustainable certification programmes successfully secured a total of £60,000 to help businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 in a sustainable manner.
The Fund has been allocated to Green Tourism, Green Key and EarthCheck. The three scheme providers are now offering a £500 discount on their membership fees to those within the tourism industry looking to gain green certification. The discount means eligible tourism businesses will get membership for the first year either discounted or even free depending on the certification scheme’s fees. Take a look at the Green Certification Schemes.
The following projects have received net zero transition funding, delivered by HIE:
- 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 – the project includes 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.
As part of the programme, we launched the Hospitality Zero pilot project, working in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, and open to businesses within the Glasgow City region.
The cost of food waste generated by the hospitality and food service sector, corresponds to an average cost per outlet of £10,000 and this project aimed to encourage SME hospitality businesses to focus on food waste reduction, providing advice and support to achieve this.
The project helped to identify priority actions specific to the business to implement food waste reduction measures, many of them low or no cost measures.
Consumer concern over the environment and climate has doubled in the last decade and visitors are increasingly seeking out businesses and destinations with excellent green credentials. If you serve food as part of your offering to your customers, an area to make significant savings is by preventing food waste.
The pilot has now closed to participants. Should you have any queries, please contact the team on [email protected].
We're committed to working with the industry, our visitors, destinations and communities to create a long-lasting sustainable tourism destination, which will protect the environment and benefit visitors and residents alike.
As part of this commitment we coordinated the Destination Climate Action Plan pilot project, to support Scottish destinations to identify actions and develop a Climate Action Plan.
Working with the Travel Foundation, the project has helped Scottish tourism destinations build the conditions to create and implement their own climate action plans. It was open to all destinations in Scotland – destination organisations, local authorities and other partners involved in tourism strategy development and delivery.
Destinations could get involved in two ways:
- Introduction to Destination Climate Action Planning Workshops
- Extended Destination Climate Action Planning Support Pilot – three destinations were selected and all DMOs that applied were contacted on 3 February 2022.