By Karen Peattie

WITH world leaders heading to Glasgow for the UN’s climate change conference in November, Scottish hotels are upweighting efforts to ensure all official accommodation for guests, delegates and support staff at COP26 is as green as possible.

MCI Global, the official hotel partner for COP26 and the Greater Glasgow Hotel Association, are working with Fifty Shades Greener, one of the UK and Ireland’s leading green hospitality educators, as the official green training provider to all COP26 accommodation in Glasgow, Edinburgh and other areas of Scotland.

Fifty Shades Greener offers online training programmes that help hotels develop an effective green strategy with the goal of going carbon neutral. It works with businesses to teach them how to measure, manage and reduce their energy, water and waste consumption.

Having worked with several Irish hotels to become carbon neutral, the firms is confident Scottish hotels can achieve net zero too.

Hamish Sherlock, head of Fifty Shades Greener in the UK, said: “With over 166 accommodation providers registered with MCI Global, there is a lot of potential to make an impact on the nation’s carbon emissions.

“The UN climate summit aims to achieve global net zero by mid-century and thankfully many of Scotland’s hotels are already working to achieve this."

Mr Sherlock said training was designed for those taking their first steps towards becoming greener as well as those which are "already green leaders".

Co-chair of the Greater Glasgow Hotel Association and general manager at Novotel Glasgow, Janice Fisher, urged all hotels to take advantage of “this vital training”. She added: “We are currently enrolled on the programme and our team finds the training platform easy to use. We’re looking forward to seeing some significant savings too and after the year the hospitality industry has had it is certainly needed.”

Scotching the myth going carbon neutral is expensive, Mr Sherlock noted: “A large focus is on behavioural change which doesn’t cost a penny but can save a lot of pounds. By optimising the performance of equipment and training employees around energy use and energy-saving behaviours, we help develop systems and strategies that can be implemented by employees at all levels of the business.

“We focus on practical behavioural changes to help save energy and often even the seemingly simplest changes, like closing doors, can save potentially thousands of pounds every year and have a dramatic impact on carbon emissions.”