Hickory are committed to helping reduce the impact of our activities on the environment and as a symbol of this commitment last year we were delight to join the Green Tourism Business Scheme. With it being Scottish Tourism Week, there couldn’t be a better time to shout about what a fantastic organisation Green Tourism is and share how our Gold accreditation has benefited our business.

When we decided to take on the Green Tourism challenge, the first thing we had to do was to set up some guidelines. Knowing where we stood regarding the efficiency of our resources (electricity, gas and water) and waste management was essential to understand which issues we needed to tackle first.

Once we’d had a look at our current resource usage, we started putting measures in place to increase our sustainability. With waste, we now use central recycling points that include different types of recycling. This change, together with a staff awareness campaign, has allowed us to reduce the amount of waste to landfill by over a tonne during the first three months.

Over the last 9 months, we’ve been able to increase the amount of waste we’ve had recycled by over 8%. We’ve also considerably reduced our food waste levels, in this case though, by carefully planning by our Head Chefs when catering for events. The inevitable amounts of food waste that’s produced at our headquarters in Musselburgh is now processed by a local recycling company, who’ve used this to generate green electricity and bio-fertilizer for agricultural uses.

By monitoring and setting, a system for the efficiency of our resources, we’ve also reduced costs in areas such as water or energy consumption.

Our commitment to sustainability has not only benefited us and our employees, but also the local community, with planned activity such as beach clean ups. Following a strict procurement policy, we believe in always purchasing from local and fair trade sources whenever possible.

Our commitment to sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment is now firmly embedded in the business and embraced by all of our teams.  Winning Green Tourism Gold has not only had a positive impact on our internal teams, which everyone has played a role in, the accreditation has also helped us to secure new business contracts with more and more companies seeking to work with a catering and venue partner who can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in business.