Over thirty high profile London hotels and attractions have signed up to earn awards for their environmental credentials under the London Development Agency's Green Tourism for London scheme.
Applicants including the Ritz, the O2 Centre, London Zoo, the Royal Lancaster Hotel and the Cavendish have began to implement their own tailor made 'green action plans'.
The scheme, launched in Oct 2007, aims to help improve the environmental performance of the tourism industry and enable tourists to choose the greenest places to visit during their stay.
Businesses signing up to Green Tourism for London receive one-to-one advice about how they can reduce their energy and water bills, responsibly deal with their waste, and procure environmentally friendly products. Once the businesses are ready, an advisor returns to assess their progress and present them with a bronze, silver or gold award.
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said:
"It is welcome news that some of the main players in London's tourism industry have signed up to this scheme to go green. This is a win win opportunity, helping people identify organisations that are playing their part to save the planet, and helping businesses save money from reduced energy bills.
"The London Climate Change Action Plan, launched last year, shows that London can achieve a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions to avert catastrophic climate change. The only way we can achieve this ambitious target is by every individual and businesses taking action to become less wasteful. I hope other tourism businesses will follow the lead set today and help us make London a leading green destination."
Chief Executive of the LDA, Manny Lewis said:
"All of London's businesses have a responsibility to help prevent runaway climate change. In signing up to the Green Tourism for London scheme these hotels and attractions are not just doing their bit for the environment but are making huge savings in their energy and water costs. I would encourage all hotels across the capital to get assessed, earn their awards and help ensure London continues to lead the way in tackling global warming."
Visit London Chief Executive James Bidwell said:
"Climate change is perhaps the most critical issue facing the planet today and all industries have a part to play, in particular the tourism industry. Visit London, together with the LDA, is committed to minimising the capital's carbon footprint and the Green Tourism scheme provides critical assistance to London businesses. So far some of London's best known hotels and attractions have signed up to the scheme and I would urge others to follow."
Property Manager for the Cavendish Hotel, Peter Caddy said:
"Joining the Green Tourism for London scheme makes good business sense. It's not about paying 'lip service' to climate change concerns but about putting environmental sustainability at the heart of what we do. In implementing our green action plan, we have managed to cut costs, and remain ahead of the game in a competitive market."