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Edinburgh venue creates ‘world-first’ sustainability programme

Managers at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) have created a sustainability programme, ‘Step Change’, which they say is a ‘world-first’ for the meetings and events industry.

From now on every event taking place at the Morrison Street venue will receive a detailed and tailored Event Impact Report, which will focuses on three areas: the environment, society, and the economy.

EICC CEO Marshall Dallas said: “Events in our venue impart knowledge, build relationships and inspire ideas that change the world.  At the same time, we recognise there are also inherent adverse impact associated with the events industry.  We consider it a moral imperative to place sustainability at the heart of every event we host and at every step of the process.  This new programme means our clients can be assured that their events will demonstrate best practice in sustainability.”

The venue recently hosted The Duke of Sussex and 200 guests at the Scotland Summit of Travalyst – a sustainable tourism initiative Founded by The Duke of Sussex and comprising some of the world’s leading travel brands – on Wednesday 26th February.

Speaking at the event, of Travalyst and its vision for the future, HRH The Duke of Sussex said: “We are a coalition of partners with a shared goal to transform the future of tourism and travel for everyone.”

He added: “We believe travel is a good thing. It is the heart of human experience, of cultural connections, and of new friendships.”

Touching on the challenge of reducing the environmental impact of tourism, he said: “We will not reach our goal of a more sustainable industry without on-the-ground experience and expertise, and this is why we’re here today.”

And he finished by noting: “There is a holistic ambition to Scotland’s intent that can be adopted across the UK, and even around the world. Scotland is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations worldwide and is at the forefront of a more sustainable approach.”

The Step Change programme includes a ‘Desk-to-Door’ initiative which sees the venue actively encouraging everyone travelling to EICC to choose the most sustainable option for their particular trip, with information provided to delegates and event organisers on the least carbon-intensive options available for all popular modes of transport.

Additionally, the EICC will mitigate the carbon impact of events through peatland restoration projects across Scotland, with a primary focus on The Flow Country in Caithness and Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands.  Degraded peatland is responsible for the release of large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and peatland restoration is, on average, four times more effective at mitigating carbon, in comparison to tree planting.

Dallas added: “We’re really impressed by the positive environmental impacts of the peatland restoration work taking place in the Scottish Highlands, and we’re very much looking forward to contributing to this project moving forward.”