Sustainable Glasgow

Glasgow Sustainable Policy and Action Plan

Glasgow aspires to become one of Europe’s leading sustainable tourism destinations. The city has an overall goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and acknowledges the destination’s role in promoting and encouraging responsible tourism.

Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as inspiration, the city will focus on developing, measuring and reporting on the following actions.

The Tourism, Destination Marketing, Events and Convention Bureau team at Glasgow Life are working with partners, VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, as well as industry to develop and report on Sustainable Glasgow initiatives.

The People Make Glasgow Greener strategy sets out our plans and vision to see our city move from ‘steam, to green’. Read our Glasgow Sustainable Policy and Action Plan.

We are experiencing dynamic change and there is a need now for our tourism industry, government, public sector and communities to collectively respond, adapt and work together to deliver responsible, sustainable and managed growth for the future.

Sustainable Conference Destination

In August 2016, Glasgow became the first city in the UK to be included in a new sustainability ranking of leading international conference destinations. The Global Destination Sustainability Index aims to bring destinations together to benchmark and improve the social and environmental performance of their respective meetings industries by highlighting best practice and promoting responsible business tourism. Glasgow is currently ranked as number 4 in the world.

Glasgow Convention Bureau actively promotes greener options to conference organisers and works with industry to highlight and encourage businesses to implement environmentally friendly practices. The below documents provide industry with helpful summaries of how they can be more 'green'. 

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change - COP26

The Scottish Event Campus will host the UN Climate Change Conference 31 October to 12 November 2021. This is a globally significant event as the world comes together to address climate change. COP26 will be the biggest conference ever staged in Scotland, welcoming participants from all over the world. For more information on the conference visit the conference website.

If you are a business operating in Glasgow, keep up to date with COP26 plans and the impact on the city and your business via Get Ready Glasgow

Supporting your business:

There are many reasons to become more sustainable:

  • Increasing efficiency and reducing running costs 
  • Protecting and enhancing our environment and cultural heritage
  • Enhancing the visitor experience 
  • Ensuring legal compliance
  • Gaining market advantage

There are many actions that your business can benefit from quickly which are simple and cost little or nothing.

For more information on sustainable tourism, VisitScotland.org has a dedicated section of helpful resources including factsheets helping your business become more sustainable.

Plate Up for Glasgow 

Plate up for Glasgow is a hospitality industry led month-long campaign in the lead up to COP26. The campaign will look to encourage Glasgow based businesses within the food and drink sector to offer diners a zero-waste dining option throughout the campaign period. If you are a Glasgow based business looking to drive revenue, footfall and sustainability within the hospitality and food service sector visit the Plate Up for Glasgow website to find out more and register your interest.  

Green Tourism

Green Tourism's expert advice, eco-development programmes and internationally respected accreditation scheme have helped thousands of businesses adopt greener working practices, saving them money and making a real difference to the environment.

Find out if your business could achieve an award with Green Tourism's FREE 10 minute green check quiz.

Greater Glasgow Hotels Association - Green Tourism discount

Green Tourism is proud to be working with Glasgow Convention Bureau, Greater Glasgow Hoteliers Association, and Scottish Enterprise to showcase the City’s commitment to sustainability.

COP26 is expected to be the world’s most significant climate change event since the 2015 Paris Agreement. It will see up to 200 Heads of Government and up to 30,000 delegates meet in Glasgow to agree a new international climate change treaty.

With the City ranked 4th in the prestigious Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDSI) and with over 100 businesses proudly displaying their Green Tourism Award, Glasgow is already well positioned to welcome the thousands of environmentally aware delegates this year.

To further enhance Glasgow Hotel sector’s preparedness, Hotels in Greater Glasgow can now access half price Green Tourism membership and other future membership subsidies. This offer applies equally to long standing Green Tourism members, and to those just getting started in 2021. Read more information in the Green Tourism Sustainable Hospitality Certification pack or find contact details for Green Tourism on their website.

Zero Waste Scotland 

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where they can have the greatest impact on climate change. Their goal is to motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy. 

They have two main areas of business support: resource efficiency and circular economy:

Energy Efficient Business Support offers businesses free support to reduce costs by implementing resource efficiencies in energy, water, raw materials and waste management.

The Circular Economy Accelerator programme aims to increase the resource efficiency of Scottish SMEs, further develop and strengthen Scotland's circular economy, and support community-based organisations to build on existing local resources. 

Their Circular Economy Business Support Service delivers tailored, expert, one-to-one consultancy directly to small and medium sized businesses across all sectors in Scotland looking to develop circular business models. It’s designed to help companies explore more circular ways of doing business that can result in resource efficiencies, improved profitability, higher quality products, increased customer base and alternative supply chains for your business.