Sustainable Tourism Action in Wales
Business Wales and Visit Wales have together launched a new business support scheme called ‘Sustainable Tourism Wales’. The new scheme provides advice and support on how to save money, promote your business using sustainability practices and realise your green ambitions.
Businesses in Wales who’ve made changes within five key areas to improve their sustainability, championing the scheme, working towards becoming Net Zero include Bluestone, Bryn Elltyd, The Roost, Anglesey Sea Zoo and The Vale. Measures of reduced impact sit within five strands – use of water, waste, travel supply chain and energy. Many businesses today are making the tourism green growth pledge and discerning tourists are favouring greener experiences too.
From cafes to glamping sites, the amount of water you use matters. Changes that make a difference include raising awareness to visitors on how to be more efficient with water use. Installing a water meter. Checking for leaks. Looking outside. Stopping dripping taps and looking at the equipment you use.
Reducing waste is beneficial whether you’re a large or microbusiness. Wasted food costs on average £10k per site each year with 75% of this food being suitable to eat. Changes can include assigning a ‘green team’ to identify different waste types (e.g. paper, food, glass, cardboard, textiles, electrical items, furniture), recycling more. Measuring everything, planning to reduce through portion management, minimising single use items such as stirrers, sachets, shampoo bottles and repairing and reusing items. Also, contacting your waste provider to ensure you’ve all the recycling services available to you and you are using them and checking suppliers – working with them to minimise the amount of packaging used.
Whether your business is a campsite, hotel or attraction, your visitors need to reach you somehow. It’s important to inform and educate team and visitors to encourage sustainable travel but how can you do this? Tips include pinpointing the route and showing various accessible footpaths and walking trails across the area. Encouraging your visitors to cycle to you if they live close. Less than 2% of all journeys are made by bike. Install bike storage space or highlight bike hire and equipment options to those staying. You could install electric vehicle charging points in your car park, highlight public transport options and set up car sharing/cycle to work schemes .
Ensuring a sustainable supply chain is key to delivering your businesses’ sustainable development because on average, supply chains produce 5 times the amount of carbon emissions than your business and is the reason why as buyers, sustainable purchasing practices should be adopted. Tips on how to do this include looking local, using local suppliers to reduce carbon footprint, creating a written policy to guide staff on how to choose suppliers covering all products such as food, beverages, uniforms and other consumables as well as services like construction, laundry or cleaning facilities. Also, collaborating by regularly informing suppliers of your eco and sustainability policies, shift to a circular business money, find suppliers who actively reduce materials, reuse and repair, share, lend, refurbish and remanufacture. Also avoid greenwashing where you make unsubstantiated claims on environmental impact.
Reducing energy use by optimising your systems (heating, ventilation and cooling systems use most of the energy used especially those offering accommodation). Even smallest changes can mean saving up to 20% on heating costs. Also, reduce draughts maintain lighting levels, improve building fabric and insulate appliances.
If unsure where to start on sustainability or to take it to the next level, resource packs with top tips/funding advice are available at Sustainable Tourism Wales.
For help with your tourism business, get in touch with a member of our team on Let’s Talk.