Formal commitment to Climate Action declared on Earth Day

Fiona Campbell (ASSC)

TODAY, as the world celebrates Earth Day, the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) is proud to announce a significant occasion at Perth Theatre. Welcoming over 100 self-catering operators, members, partners, and industry experts, this “Regional Gathering” not only marks Earth Day but also commemorates 45 years of the ASSC’s dedicated service to the tourism industry.

Under the theme “Navigating Change, Embracing Opportunity,” the afternoon promises to be a gathering of minds and a celebration of progress. Attendees will engage in networking opportunities, connecting with fellow operators, tourism professionals, and the ASSC team. With a diverse array of exhibitors showcasing eco-friendly products and services, attendees will have the chance to explore innovative solutions for sustainable tourism practices.

The event promises an impressive line-up of speakers, including Tiomóid Foley, VisitScotland’s Net Zero Manager, and Scott MacLean, Managing Director of Green Tourism. Highlighting pertinent and contentious topics such as the Scottish Government’s short-term let licensing and planning regulations, the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill, and the ban on wood burning stoves and fire pits in new properties, as well as the UK Government’s abolition of the Furnished Holiday Let tax regime, ASSC CEO Fiona Campbell will provide updates on key industry developments.

A highlight of the event will be a panel discussion “Leading Change: Empowering the Self-Catering Sector for Responsible Tourism and Climate Action.” Featuring Clare Winskill, Owner of Coruisk House and ASSC Chair, Gordon Drummond of award-winning eco-friendly Cairngorm Lodges and Bothies, David Lewington from Shire Energy Service, and Tiomóid Foley from VisitScotland, this aims to inspire actionable change within the industry.

In the midst of celebration and dialogue, the ASSC will formally declare its commitment to climate action, recognising the urgency of addressing climate change and its pivotal role in Scotland’s tourism industry: 

“Within one year from today, we commit to establishing baselines to guide us towards developing a measurable and reportable Climate Action Plan. Internally, we will assess and plan to reduce our operational carbon footprint, focusing on digital practices and travel. Externally, we will prioritise sustainable events and support our members and partners in their climate action journey by promoting eco-friendly solutions and providing climate action support and guidance.

“Our Climate Action goals will be guided by the principles of Sustainability, Achievability, and Meaningfulness, aiming not only to reduce environmental impact but also to nurture positive social outcomes within our community.

“Collaborating with partners and stakeholders will be essential for sharing best practices and disseminating relevant information, supporting our sector. Together, step-by-step, we embark on this journey to make tangible and impactful contributions toward combating climate change and building a sustainable future for Scotland’s Self-Catering Sector and in-line with Scotland’s Tourism Strategy: Outlook 2030”

As part of the commitment, the ASSC has submitted an application to the Glasgow Declaration.

Fiona Campbell, CEO of the ASSC, said:

“As we gather to celebrate Earth Day and reflect on 45 years of ASSC’s service to the tourism industry, we are delighted to formalise our commitment to climate action. By working towards a Climate Action Plan and upholding the principles of sustainability, achievability, and meaningfulness, we aim to lead the way towards a greener, more sustainable future for Scotland’s self-catering sector.”

Tiomóid Foley, VisitScotlands Net Zero Manager, Industry and Destination Development:

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the tourism industry and we are delighted to be working with the ASSC as they announce their plans to take climate action and commit to developing a plan to reach net zero.

“The ASSC positively influences the self-catering community and we are all on this journey together. Leading by example, acting on their emissions, and influencing their peers are vital ways for the ASSC to address broader sector emissions, and we support their proactive approach”.

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