The Hello team visited St Andrews a few weeks ago to see some old favourites and learn about new and exclusive experiences for groups. Here's what we did, where we stayed and what we learnt on our FAM trip.
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The hospitality industry isn’t all about scraping the plates, pressing the laundry or taking bookings...here's an insight into the Corporate Social Responsibility acknowledged by Scottish tourism providers...
So this week I want to do an exposé with a difference on our suppliers’ commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) following the results from our Going Green with Hello accreditation which awards key suppliers with an accreditation based on their commitment to “going green” with us.
Hello Scotland is a caring, generous and fair company and our environmental efforts have sofar resulted in benefits to the environment around us.
For example, we went tree planting, donated office goods to charity and supported our local community with fundraising events. But often it is these “behind the scenes” efforts that go unnoticed by a visitor to Scotland; so we aim to share the efforts and commitment to society and the local environment that our suppliers have undertaken.
We have recently launched formal accreditations for our suppliers who are committed to working together to making Scotland a more sustainable tourism destination. Be this through greener operations, using local produce or supporting the local community. We want to share the good work of our suppliers, so by putting a system in place to engage them we can effectively communicate to our stakeholders their efforts.
I was really interested by a lot of our responses so I wanted to share the feedback on our supplier’s initiatives in CSR. Interestingly, out of all our questions this key area got the largest positive response with 80% of our suppliers already having a commitment in this area of their business.
And even more interestingly, we were inspired by the initiatives taking place, so thought we would share some of them with you here…
The Beardmore Hotel and Conference Centre
"Our furniture is given to local charities. There was a one week where staff brought in clothes which was given to local charities. For further information please contact me."
The Entertainment Company
"Specialist help to local charities with reduced costs, assistance with planning and decor."
"We donate to Fareshare, an Edinburgh charity for the homeless. all diners given the chance to donate."
Company takes part in fundraising events.
Edinburgh Marriott Hotel
"We hold quarterly spirit to serve the community events. We have appointed school halls, community centres, raised money for local charities through social events and raffles plus associates have run marathons and pedal for Scotland. In addition we give approximately £5,000 per year in gifts and prizes to local charities and schools."
"Our organic waste is collecting by the cyrenians Charity and turned into compost. We donate all left over shampoos etc to a local drop in centre in Edinburgh, we also sponsor a local school, and provide work placements for barnardos work placement scheme
"Supporting Unicef (all Starwood hotels), Turnberry also support local charities."
Cameron House Hotel
"All items that the hotel no longer requires are donated to local schools or charities. Plus we have a staff fundraising event every month for the companies chosen charity."
The George Hotel
"Sustrans is our charity of choice. Cycle to work scheme and "Green" day out for staff annually."
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
"We prepare and give food the homeless at Christmas and we also have selected charities we work closely with throughout the year."
Glasgow Marriott Hotel
"Donate left over toiletries to local charities/organisations, fundraising events for local charities, 2 customer focus weeks a year where 1 day out of each is spent donating time to one of these charities - last year we spent a day gardening for Quarries."
"Not just environmentally but remembering that as one of the biggest landlords in the area we have responsibility for various community buildings and land. Aberlady Bay which became the first official Nature reserve in Britain in 1951 is owned by the estate. They also donated the land for the ROS to build an information centre there."
Finnich Malise Estate
"Not a policy as such but of course we feel responsible towards everyone who works in our business and on the estate. We have a scheme of land share in our walled garden where we give land free of charge for allotments to plant vegetables."
"Gave 2 computers to 'Computers for Africa' ".
"We recycle what we can including donating chairs to BLESMA, donated pictures to charities, liaise with local high school for "Operation Takeover" where students come to the Hydro, design and cook a themed meal and sell tickets for it; participate in "Bring Your Child to Work Day"; organise the local market monthly for 8 months; support CHAS and SSPCA among other initiatives."
"We are currently setting up a Charitable Foundation through which we seek to help registered Charities with a monthly contribution. As stated previously we are also recently registered with the Carbon Trust Foundation and are working with them looking at reducing our Carbon Footprint. We recycle our waste through Leep and have a weekly pickup."
Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh
"We work closely with Enable, as this is the staff chosen charity. Events include tree planting, litter picking and also a work placement within the hotel. We recently changed our pillows to a new brand, so all old ones were donated to various charities with accommodation - shelter etc.
We are close neighbours with the Salvation Army so have donated many amenities, such as soap, shower gel etc. Our staff set a rowing challenge for sports relief day to raise money, and previously had cake sales for Red Nose day."
Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club
"We have undertaken projects in the community, including tree planting. Have donated unwanted furniture to various charities and are currently trying to organise a beach clean up and litter pick up campaign."
"We presently donate to many local charities and organisations. We held a Relay for Life for Cancer Research 3 years ago and raised over Â£70k . We are keen to plant more trees on our land and are willing to take on other suitable activities in the near future."
We even got the chance to see some of these initiatives in action with the picture responses that we got from some of our suppliers earlier this week as part of our World Responsible Tourism Initiative, whereby we pledge to plant one tree for every “responsible tourism themed” photo we receive!... Take a look at some of them here.
Do you have any Green tourism or travel issues you'd like to discuss?