By Jon Proctor, CEO, Green Tourism

Embarking on a sustainable mission in any hospitality business can be daunting; luckily Green Tourism – the market leading sustainable tourism certification programme in the UK – is here to help with top tips to inspire you.  Starting with the kitchen, perhaps one of the biggest draws on resources offers the greatest opportunity to implement green standards and having a positive impact on you, your team, your customers…and your bills.

1 Green Team to the rescue Get the whole team involved and create a way of engaging them in terms of planning green initiatives and tracking how successful they are being – healthy competition could motivate and engage people!

2 Waste not, want not This can come down to careful planning when it comes to ordering, cutting portion sizes or adding a daily specials menu to utilise leftovers. Recycling is much more cost effective than sending waste to landfill, and it gives your staff a great opportunity to be creative.

3 Everyone loves local! Hiring local staff, sourcing local ingredients and working with local suppliers – it all has a huge effect on your carbon footprint and can create a unique selling proposition. Showcase the best of your region and don’t forget to shout about it to your customers.

4 The right appliances can save money Did you know an A+ appliance even saves a further 20% energy compared to standard A rated units? An investment in the right equipment can go a long way to saving on those expensive energy bills!

5 Cleaning doesn’t have to be toxic A clean kitchen makes for a happy chef so why not add to that a happy environment? The market on non-toxic cleaning products has increased dramatically in recent years so are easy to get hold of now more than ever.

Case Study – Hickory Food Edinburgh-based catering, venue and events management company Hickory Food is a perfect example of how a growing business is able to utilise a sustainable approach to gain great results. By adopting a few of the simple techniques outlined Hickory Food was able to increase the amount of waste recycled by over 8%, reduce water and energy consumption costs and enhance awareness and action among its staff on the importance of going green. The commitment of Hickory Food to sustainability and reducing it’s impact on the environment is now firmly embedded in the business and embraced by all of its team members. Achieving Green Tourism Gold status has not only had a positive impact on their internal teams, which everyone has played a role in, the accreditation has also helped the company to secure new business contracts with more and more companies wanting to work with a catering and venue partner who can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in business.

About Green Tourism Green Tourism is the go-to standard in sustainability across tourism and hospitality sectors and work with some of the top destinations in the UK to assess their sustainable practices, including The Savoy, Gleneagles, The May Fair Hotel, Jurys Inn and many more.