Three MEETinLEEDS accommodation and event venues have been accredited with Green Tourism Gold status.
Five University of Leeds buildings, including three conference venues and residences, were audited by the Green Business Tourism Scheme in August, and successfully retained their Gold level accreditation as recognisable sustainable businesses.
Henry Price Residences, Storm Jameson Court, and The Refectory were among the venues and residences audited against a set of criteria that covered reducing energy; saving water; efficient and eco-friendly waste disposal; ethical buying; staying local and seasonal; minimising food miles; promoting biodiversity; and adopting a smart sustainable outlook from top to bottom.
Ten residential and catering sites now hold the Gold level accreditation.
The awards certification programme recognises the commitment of tourism-facing businesses, which are actively working to become more sustainable. The Bronze/Silver/Gold awards are acknowledged worldwide as an indicator of good environmentally-friendly practices, and a great way of attracting further custom from increasing numbers of eco-minded clients or visitors.
The University of Leeds started working with Green Tourism in 2011, and ten residential and catering sites now hold the Gold level accreditation, scoring more than 80% in audits that are repeated every two years.
The audit reports highlighted many areas of good practice, including:
- The introduction of Blueprint Action Plans in both Residential Services and Catering Services, that enables the University to transition to a sustainable organisation.
- The work of both student and staff sustainability architects to help improve performance in University residential and catering operations.
- Support for the University’s Single-Use Plastics Free Pledge 2023, in that Catering Services has audited all of its suppliers, and replaced most of its plastic items.
- Support for the Clean Air Leeds Pledge, in that 58% of mileage was completed by electric vehicles in Residential Services (2019/20).
- Introduction of the ‘Too Good To Go’ app to reduce food wastage.
- Adopting a circular resource economy by recycling/re-use of food, clothing, beds & furniture, with various third sector charities.
- The introduction of new Doozy eco-vending machines across the campus.
- Achieving 3 Star Sustainable Restaurant Association accreditation, and
- Improvements made to biodiversity, both on campus and in locations around Leeds and the Aire Valley.
The next five sites will be re-assessed in late 2021, and we will see if they manage to continue the Gold Rush for Residential Services and Catering Services, in their management of sustainability at The University of Leeds.
Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented:
“Our Green Tourism accreditation continues to be an important benchmark on our journey towards a more sustainable way of doing business, and we are so very proud of our golds!
“Collaborating with the many committed and passionate teams here at the University we are glad to be able to boast of such an accolade within our venue and residential portfolio. The ongoing commitment to sustainability at the University of Leeds is something that we are very pleased to be able to share with our customers.”