The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), one of Scotland’s leading visitor attractions, has achieved a Green Tourism Gold Award.
The internationally renowned institute for plant research and conservation has been awarded Gold status after scoring highly in all categories including innovation, energy savings and purchasing.
The Botanics is the largest of the 10 visitor attractions in Edinburgh which hold the coveted Green Tourism Gold Award.
Green Tourism recognition requires an independent assessment on how an organisation operates sustainably to meet the needs of the environment, local residents, businesses and visitors - both now and in the future. Its standards are respected for their stringency.
Welcoming news of the Gold Award, Director of Horticulture, Kevin Reid commented: “It is without doubt the commitment and dedication of RBGE staff that has helped us achieve the Green Tourism Gold Award. With a site of around 70 acres and numerous buildings, some which date back to the 1800s, we have had many challenges to overcome. We will continue to work across the board to underscore our commitment to sustainability and renewable energy.’’
He added: “Our intention is to be progressive. For instance, all recent capital projects have incorporated renewable technologies and over the next couple of years we will be changing to LED lighting to reduce our environmental impact.”
Stuart Park, Lead Assessor at Green Tourism, said: “The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is very worthy of the Green Tourism Gold award. The organisation brings many modern elements to older buildings while communicating the green message very effectively to thousands of visitors each year. The Edible Gardening Project teaches growing skills so even in a city centre you can make use of the space to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs. Supporting this is very good food provenance in the cafes and a shop that showcases some great Scottish crafts and art. The John Hope Gateway was purpose-built utilising green technology and renewable energy to reduce its footprint while the Botanic Cottage is a fantastic example of innovation when it comes to conservation - the cottage was painstakingly moved and rebuilt using original stone and other materials, with a modern twist utilising solar panels, an air source heat pump and ensuring access for all.
Congratulations to the team who are fully committed to sustainability giving visitors to the Garden a wonderful green experience.’’