The Assembly Rooms, which is considered to be one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious venues, has been presented with the highest accolade for environmental practice from sustainability certification programme Green Tourism.
The Council-owned Georgian venue, which is celebrating its 230th anniversary this year, was awarded a Gold accreditation – the top standard – by following a robust sustainable framework set out by the low carbon initiative.
It was recognised for its efforts across a wide range of criteria, including energy and water efficiency, waste management and community involvement, as well as its continued commitment to the sustainability agenda.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This Gold grading recognises our ongoing commitment to environmental quality and celebrates the efforts of everyone at the Assembly Rooms in striving for excellence in this crucial area of our business.
“We firmly believe in taking responsibility for our carbon footprint and are constantly pushing our venues in terms of sustainability to further develop our green credentials, proving that a fantastic building and great event doesn’t have to cost the earth.”
Green Tourism has been in operation since 1997 and is the largest and most established scheme of its type in the world.
Andrea Nicholas, Managing Director of Green Tourism, said: “We are working closely with companies across the UK, helping them take direct action to address their environmental impact. The Green Tourism programme provides an exciting opportunity to assess and reward an organisation’s efforts, and we’re pleased to support Assembly Rooms and its achievements.
“By allowing the historic venue to showcase these practices in a credible way with the display of a GOLD Green Tourism Award, we hope this will inspire others to accept their environmental responsibilities and play a part in developing Scotland as a sustainable tourism destination.”
The Assembly Rooms Edinburgh is also a member of the Green Arts Initiative and has signed up to Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficiency Pledge.
In 2016, it was selected to take part in a year-long sustainability project to reduce the energy consumption of Edinburgh’s public sector buildings which will see the iconic venue become a ‘living lab’.
The Enhance research project, which is run by the University of Edinburgh and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has taken up a 12-month residency at Assembly Rooms, as of October 2016, to help the venue further understand and reduce its energy usage.