At the G7 summit this week, Sir David Attenborough pressed global leaders to take unified action to tackle climate change. He used his platform to highlight two key issues: rising global temperatures and widening inequalities between our richest and poorest countries. We must all accept responsibility to do our bit to address these issues. Change must happen now, and it must happen unilaterally.

That’s why we’ve been working so hard at ensuring our events and all day-to-day operations are as green as they can be. Today, we’re pleased to announce that we have been awarded Green Tourism’s ‘Green Meetings’ accreditation for our corporate events. This seal of approval is a clear recognition of Hickory’s ongoing commitment to doing our bit to tackle climate change and champion sustainable practices within the tourism industry.

To meet the strict criteria to receive accreditation, we were assessed on three pillars: people, places, and planet.

PEOPLE

Our team are at the heart of everything we do. They are what make us what we are, and their talent is what sets us apart from the crowd. We’re proud to say that we don’t rely on agency staff. Not only does this mean we train our own staff, assuring high standards at every event, it means we can nurture new talent and feed them through our ‘Talent Pipeline’, providing our staff with the assistance and expertise required to take on supervisory positions.

PLACES

Whenever we can source products close to home, this is always our preferred option. Scotland has so much to offer in terms of high-quality, fresh produce. By opting to favour local produce versus goods from further afield, not only do we positively contribute towards the local economy, we reduce our carbon footprint and ensure freshness at the point of delivery – resulting in less food waste. You’ll often find our kitchen team out and about in Musselburgh foraging for the highest quality, wild ingredients. Our Green Team – tasked with making sure everything we do is as sustainable as possible – do a terrific job of positively impacting the local area and community. For example, they recently took part in a beach clean-up organised through the Marine Conservation Society.

PLANET

All our menus have been compiled with an environment-first approach. This means that you can have peace of mind that the attendees of your event will have a first-class experience while knowing environmental impact has been a top priority. We only work with suppliers that share our sustainable ethos. This is why we were thrilled to build a partnership with Cairns Farm Estate and the Hamilton family. Sustainability and locally sourced materials were front-and-centre during the £1.9m renovation of the estate. From repurposing horse stalls from the farm’s old stables to up-cycling an old grain silo to form an integral part of the venue, this project saved tons of material from going to landfill by incorporating these elements into the refurbishment. The venue itself is clad in beautiful Scots pine responsibly grown and harvested on-site, and the estate also boasts an ongoing woodland management programme – offering a haven for local wildlife and allowing the growth of native woodland species.

We’re also committed to developing a Climate Emergency Plan by May 2022 that will set out clear goals we are trying to achieve to combat climate change, and we’ll offer updates on our progress towards these goals annually. More on that here.