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.

“Becoming the UK’s first EarthCheck Certified destination will add value to the way in which we market Glasgow as a lifestyle destination to visit, work, live and bring up children,” said Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of the Council and City Convener for Culture, Vibrancy and International Co-operation. “Working with EarthCheck will help us to monitor and improve sustainability and promote our achievements, as well as learning more from the best in the world.”

Councillor McDonald said that becoming an EarthCheck Certified destination was an exciting opportunity for Glasgow as a destination renowned for its vibrant culture and innovative spirit.

“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”. He said “That is why we chose the EarthCheck Destination Standard and EarthSafe program which has been developed by EarthCheck to help the tourism and travel industry to 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.

“We aim to create an atmosphere in the city that attracts and sustains business, creative arts, and events,” continued Councillor McDonald. “We will be working with EarthCheck and other world-leading destinations to share ideas and learn how we can more effectively address key destination challenges associated with development, planning, and marketing.”

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.”