Big Interview: How travel and hospitality can move towards a greener future

Big Interview: How travel and hospitality can move towards a greener future

Britain is home to a wealth of innovative and forward-thinking businesses within the travel and hospitality sector who recognise the importance of moving towards a greener future. With 5.5 million small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the country, ScottishPower has launched new advice to support business leaders across the industry through this transition by adopting green technologies that are right for their needs, while also helping to improve their finances. From electric vehicle charging to solar energy solutions, we spoke to Mark Bowen, sales & marketing director at ScottishPower, to find out more

Firstly, why should businesses within the travel and hospitality sector be thinking about investing in green energy solutions? 

Today, businesses are facing plenty of pressures, not least how they are powered and how they are adopting more sustainable practices. For business leaders within the travel and hospitality sector it is more than just meeting their goals and reducing their carbon footprint, it is also about doing the right thing when making choices about their energy.  There’s pressure too from customers who closely scrutinise business’s green credentials as they increasingly demand stronger environmental credibility.  

As the first integrated UK energy company to generate 100% renewable electricity, we believe in making it easier for travel and hospitality leaders to meet their goals and reduce their carbon footprint by selecting a sustainable option when making energy choices. The ultimate mission is to help those within the industry from hotels to science centres support the UK’s goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. 

What sustainable energy solutions are available to businesses within the travel and hospitality sector to help them towards a greener future? 

There are several green energy solutions available, each with their own benefits, that travel and hospitality businesses can adopt to help them towards a more sustainable future. What to opt for really is dependent on the needs of the specific business. Solar panels can provide hotels, cinemas and museums with the opportunity to generate their own energy and become less vulnerable to fluctuating prices by utilising unused roof space or spare land.  

If you have an old heating system or one that is in need of repair, it might be the perfect time to consider switching to low carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps or e-boilers, that can reduce a business’s emissions and running costs. 

Becoming an electric vehicle charging host could also help business leaders within the travel and hospitality sector benefit from additional revenue - with the potential to become a customer’s first choice destination because they have the ability to charge their car as they enjoy a family holiday or absorb themselves within the culture of the local museum. With public EV charge points, businesses within the sector could unlock a new income stream with minimal hassle and at no cost to their business. We can support with covering the installation, ongoing maintenance and customer support while the travel and hospitality destination gets part of the revenue every time the charge point is used. 

A public charge point site requires two parking spaces per charge point with 24/7 public access to the site and a high daily stream of traffic, with no or limited parking restrictions in place. 

How can travel and hospitality businesses benefit from the new tourist trail of car charging points? 

This summer, we announced plans to work with tourist attractions across the country to create a new electric tourist trail of public charge points. Alongside our Whitelee Windfarm, one of the UK’s leading tourist attractions, Glasgow Science Centre, joined the trail and has been enjoying the benefits of green energy solutions. 

Glasgow Science Centre reached a major milestone in July with over 25,000 electric vehicle miles being charged by visitors at the leading tourist attraction – the equivalent to a journey around the world. Having partnered with ScottishPower to install the electric vehicle chargers ahead of COP26 in 2021, the chargers have remained available to members of the public when they visit the Glasgow attraction as a lasting legacy of the conference.  

The addition has also contributed to Glasgow Science Centre being awarded Green Key status, the first visitor attraction in Scotland and first science centre in the UK to receive the prestigious accolade which recognises excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. 

How can travel and hospitality businesses become a stop on the tourist trial and register their interest? 

There’s a lot of information out there, which can make it difficult to know where to start. So we’ve developed a useful guide to help business leaders take the first step in their adoption of green energy solutions and become a part of the tourist trial. Featuring short term wins to help take control of energy usage, to ensuring the green choices made are the most suitable for each business’s needs this  guide looks to take some of the pressure off and help those within travel and hospitality to move towards a greener future. Any business looking to read the full guide and find out more about seizing the opportunities of green energy solutions can visit our website.