Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and has long been a leader in life sciences, engineering, science, and technology research. The city has confirmed its vision to develop a strong circular and regenerative economy to position the city as one of the world’s most sustainable and resilient places to do business, live, and visit. This positioning is timely given the UN climate talks COP26 which will take place in Glasgow 2021.
Glasgow has partnered with international sustainability leader EarthCheck to assist the city to benchmark its environmental and social performance and to deliver higher standards of health and hygiene in a Covid-19 recovery environment. Based on the fundamental belief that ‘what gets measured, gets managed’ the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations program helps communities to measure and monitor their environmental economic, and social impact, and prepare and track that performance against their own targets and the performance of other destinations across the world.
Aileen Crawford, Head of Glasgow Convention Bureau said “Becoming an EarthCheck Certified destination was the obvious next step for this ‘Dear Green Place’, the old Scot’s translation of ‘Glasgow’, as the city currently ranks 4th on the Global Destination Sustainability Index of sustainable conference cities. Work is already underway to advance the council's efforts to decarbonise and be carbon neutral by 2030, including the introduction of a low emission zone for the city centre, a new local transport strategy and a circular economy route-map.
“We want to position Glasgow as an international destination for business, investment, and tourism but we recognise the need to take action to safeguard and care for the health and wellbeing of our citizens and our visitors and build confidence again in our great city”. Aileen continues, “The city chose the EarthCheck Destination Standard and EarthSafe programme, developed by EarthCheck to help the tourism and events industry meet the new health, wellness, and hygiene expectations now demanded in a Covid-19 renewal period.”
Stewart Moore the Founder and CEO for EarthCheck noted that “Hygiene, general visitor safety, cleanliness, and sustainability can be expected to be front and centre in the forward travel and leisure plans for all visitor markets as we move into a reset and recovery phase where travel restrictions and physical distancing is gradually relaxed.”
“Business operators now need to offer services and experiences in a consistent, safe, and sustainable manner which not only meets individual government regulations but the heightened expectations of travel and consumer markets.” Continued Moore.
The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations and EarthSafe program will provide Glasgow with a scientific framework to benchmark, certify, and continuously improve their environmental, cultural, social, and economic performance. Most importantly EarthCheck will also help the destination to navigate its way forward in a post Covid-19 tourism and travel environment.
Certification under EarthSafe is about embedding real, tangible assurance practices that can provide confidence and reassurance to visitors, operators, and the local community. It is recognised that part of Glasgow’s transition to a post Covid-19 environment is the need to bring the tourism industry back online and to create an environment which can help retain and sustain jobs and help build back business and consumer confidence under a recovery and regeneration agenda.
David Simmons, Emeritus Professor and Chairman of the not-for-profit EarthCheck Research Institute congratulated Glasgow saying, “Glasgow joins a select group of leading destinations across the world that are taking a holistic and strategic approach to destination management, planning, and marketing.”