VisitScotland Chief Executive chairs hospitality eco event

Dr Ifeyinwa Rita Kanu founder of IntelliDigest

EDINBURGH-based tech company, IntelliDigest, is set to host an event on the 9th March, chaired by Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive at VisitScotland, to help businesses in the hospitality sector to become more sustainable and reduce their carbon emissions, following ongoing support from Business Gateway Edinburgh and Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The aim of the event at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, organised by Ifeyinwa Rita Kanu founder of IntelliDigest, is to highlight the way new technologies can be used to measure and record energy and water consumption and waste management to help businesses become more sustainable, reduce their carbon emissions, embrace a circular economy, resulting in increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs.

Guest speakers include Martin-Vignerte Eman, Director at Bosch on The Evolving Tech for Good Landscape, Benedetta Cassinelli, CEO at Considerate Hoteliers on ‘How Data Science is Advancing Sustainability’ and Lloyd Hardy, Founder/Director at erp2 on ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’.

Others include Will Macpherson, General Manager at Marriott Courtyard by Edinburgh West, on actions taken to becoming a more sustainable business and Ian Macaulay, Director of Accommodation, Catering and Events at Edinburgh University on becoming a more sustainable catering provider.

Malcolm Roughead, CEO at VisitScotland said:

‘’When I took over the role of CEO back in 2010 I was championing the inclusion of sustainability in our Quality Assurance Scheme so it’s a no-brainer that if we want to continue to grow the visitor economy we need to protect for future generations those assets which make Scotland a must-visit destination.

“Sustainable communities are at the heart of tourism so we need to ensure that every part of Scotland benefits but in a managed way.

‘’We’re currently looking at how we can grow our internal success story around sustainability and then with partners across the whole industry look to ensuring that we address economic, social and environmental sustainability challenges and opportunities.”

Ifeyinwa, who has a PhD from Heriot Watt University in Civil Engineering and specialises in using data analysis, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and molecular biology, was one of the first women in Edinburgh to complete Business Gateway’s Women in Business Growth Programme, launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in 2019.  Ifeyinwa has continued to receive ongoing support from Business Gateway Edinburgh through 1-2-1 workshops, research, marketing and network building.

Ifeyinwa said: “As new technologies are allowing us to generate ever increasing amounts of data regarding energy and resource consumption and waste management, this event is an opportunity to discuss ways in which utilising this data will help businesses in the hospitality sector to become more sustainable.

“It will provide an opportunity to discuss how insights derived from advances in technology such as big data, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and molecular biology will enable an eco-friendlier hospitality service across different sectors such as hotels, restaurants, schools and universities and businesses through the inclusion of measurable and transparent sustainability ratings without necessarily costing the business more financially.

“Business Gateway Edinburgh has provided great support to understand our market, establish our growth strategy and connect us with relevant stakeholders to allow us to organise events like this, which we are hugely grateful for.

Susan Harkins, Head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said:

“We have been delighted to be able to continue to support Ifeyinwa at IntelliDigest over the last year in areas including business acceleration and marketing, and also with her forthcoming event to help businesses in the hospitality sector become more sustainable.

“This is another great example of one of our clients utilising the wide range of resources we have available at Business Gateway Edinburgh from workshops and 121 advisory support to digital and marketing consultancy, which we are delighted has helped her to make a huge impact in her business.”

The six-week Women in Business Growth Programme, currently in its third cohort, helps participants to develop skills in key areas including leadership strategy, company structures, presenting for investing, building networks and exploring new markets.

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