THE EICC has announced a long-term partnership with RSPB Scotland, part of the RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, to support peatland restoration in Scotland. The initial 5-year partnership, which both organisations expect to be extended beyond the 5-year term, will see £1 for every conference delegate, and 50p for every dinner guest attendee go to RSPB Scotland. The EICC hopes that the initiative could contribute in the region of £300,000 during its first five years.
The partnership is part of the EICC’s commitment to mitigate operation impact associated with holding large scale events at the venue. Marshall Dallas, EICC CEO, said: “The climate crisis is something every organisation and business leader needs to address, and working towards the highest standards of sustainability in the industry is something we have been working hard on for the last few years. It matters deeply to us, to our clients who choose to bring their conferences and events to Edinburgh, and to the attendees of those events.”
“People, including many of our delegates, come to Scotland from across the world to experience the natural environment here, so it’s important for us to positively contribute. Last year, we hosted TED’s global Countdown Summit here, which drove home how pressing environmental concerns are, and we’re really pleased to announce the partnership with RSPB Scotland today, following months of talks about getting the initiative right for everyone concerned.”
More than 20 per cent of Scotland is covered by peat, a large proportion of the country’s water filters through the peatlands, and they hold most of Scotland’s carbon store. At the same time, it is estimated that around 80 per cent of the peatlands are in a degraded state.
Anne McCall, Director, RSPB Scotland, said: “While the majority of peatlands are located in the Highlands and Islands, people are often surprised at the close proximity of some peatland locations to our cities and towns. Peatlands provide a unique habitat for wildlife, and play an essential role in farming, crofting, and tourism. The partnership with the EICC is an important one in many ways, and we thank them for their commitment to support the restoration push over the years ahead.”
Aaron McKeen, the EICC’s Sustainability Programme Manager, added: “The plan is for this initiative to make a real positive impact, for projects including habitat restoration, and the funding will be ring-fenced along these lines. Going forward, we will also be working with RSPB Scotland on joint marketing activities, volunteering, and other awareness-raising events so we can make as much of an impression as possible around what is such a pressing issue for Scotland and its future generations.”