How can I reduce my indirect carbon emissions?

07 August 2008
How can I reduce my indirect carbon emissions?

"I'm trying to reduce my indirect carbon emissions. How can I lower the impact of travel by staff and guests?"

Direct emissions are mainly within your control, but you need to think harder about indirect emissions, such as how your guests and staff arrive. This includes encouraging the use of public or shared transport by making it that bit easier.

Visitors are more likely to use public transport to reach you if you offer to pick them up from the local railway station or ferry terminal - perhaps collaborate on this with other local operators to defray costs.

Experiment. Visitors might consider leaving the car at home if you put them in touch with local public transport services. Provide a link to Traveline from your website (www.traveline.org.uk) or on reservation confirmations. Consider packaging a rail-inclusive offer with your regional train operator, and perhaps you could promote local cycle hire or walking routes that start from your front door.

Could you set up a staff car-sharing scheme, perhaps boosted by an incentive from you? Or encourage them to use a bicycle for their journey, at least in summer? Check out the Sustrans website: www.sustrans.org.uk. Could you provide a coach geared to appropriate shift patterns, or change your shift start times to fit in with public transport?

And finally, city car clubs operate in many cities, including Edinburgh, Birmingham and Portsmouth. They could be attractive to guests or staff and are a good way to reduce congestion and emissions.

Environmental management is essential, but can also help you win additional business by providing a valuable point of differentiation from competition for discerning customers and CSR-conscious corporations.

Sue Crossman, project director, Scotland's Tourism Innovation Group - Sustainability

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