We’re committed to being a force for good and in recent months we’ve been delighted to deliver sustainability training sessions for tourism businesses across the region.
Visit Dartmoor originally asked us to present our green credentials to a group of 50 businesses at Buckfast Abbey and a couple of months later, we went to Bovey Castle to deliver an interactive workshop to 60 businesses. Additional workshops are on their way.
The experience has been superb. Whilst The Cottages at Blackadon Farm have been showcased as a role model, we loved hearing what others are doing and taking their ideas on board too.
During the sessions we dispel thinking that being green is mainly about energy and recycling. In line with the Green Tourism accreditation programme, we talk about 15 different areas that cut across three main themes.
Once we get talking with other businesses, they soon realise that they are greener than they first thought!
The three themes we look at are people, places and planet.
People goals include looking at how we are communicating our initiatives; creating awareness with guests and the community; encouraging health and well being; and embracing inclusion, equality and diversity.
For the places section, we discuss being ambassadors for our destination; working with others to create experiences; promoting public transport; promoting local food and drink; and providing education on biodiversity.
Talking about the planet is when we see the animated conversations and most ideas. Discussions focus on energy use; water consumption; recycling, incineration and landfill waste disposal; carbon footprint; and chemical use.
Across the themes of people, places and planet, we encourage participants to select focus areas that they would like to make progress on before working with them on a pledge.
Our guests are also increasingly asking about what we do to be green and we love sharing ideas in the hope that they’ll take some ideas home with them.
When we became the first tourism business in the area to receive gold recognition in the Green Tourism programme that was supported by Destination Plymouth, we said that green is the new gold. We firmly believe it is.