VisitScotland tells us why Scotland should be your first choice for sustainable conference and event hosting.
Scotland is on track to become the first country in the UK to be Net Zero by 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the nations. Venues across the country have been investing significantly in their journey to change, implementing sustainable initiatives, and working hard to reduce their impact on the environment.
Scotland boasts a range of sustainable spaces making it an ideal location for collaborative meetings and impactful conferences, recognising the critical need to protect the environment and champion sustainable initiatives and procedures.
Surrounded by 18-acres of private woodland within the Cairngorms National Park, this 17th century mansion is one of Scotland’s finest exclusive-use venues. Candacraig is an award-winning pioneer in sustainability with numerous green initiatives including; team training in sustainable practices; a biomass boiler; LED light bulbs; Enjoy chemical free cleaning systems; a private well that supplies the hotel with naturally filtered water; all sanitary wastewater is processed onsite via anaerobic digestion; zero food waste policy, where leftovers are composted and food is distributed to staff and local food banks; the use of a kitchen garden; a corporate partnership with Scotland The Big Picture; and ongoing investment in the local community.
The venue has a wide variety of stylish private rooms and outdoor activities from world- class salmon or trout fishing to foraging walks and farm visits.
Nestled in 2,400 acres of countryside, Winton House is an exclusive-use venue which has an award-winning approach to sustainability. The biomass boiler is fuelled by sustainable woodchips from the estate’s timber and provides heating and hot water for the entire estate, saving approximately 100 tonnes of carbon a year. Its 850-acres of forestry are estimated to absorb around 2,500 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, which equates to the average carbon emissions produced by 250 households.
The estate boasts six flexible meeting spaces which can accommodate up to 130 delegates, with ample space for break-out sessions. It offers a range of team building activities, including clay pigeon shooting, falconry, and Winton Laser Tag.
Fairmont St Andrews
The 5-star resort earned Gold Status from Green Tourism due to its commitment to sustainability, including having zero- waste to landfill status. In 2018, Fairmont St Andrews introduced 20,000 native honeybees in its one-acre wildflower meadow and returned a large portion of the manicured lawns to native grasses. As the local bee population matured, more pollinators arrived on property, improving overall pollination and local ecological habitats.
As one of Scotland’s largest conference venues, it has experience of hosting a variety of business events including the G20 Summit.
Named as one of Britain’s top 5-star exclusive-use venues, Dundas Castle exudes historic grandeur. The castle has 325 sq. metres of solar panels to supplement its energy use, as well as a biomass boiler which is fuelled by locally sourced, recycled wood. All lights are LED and food is sourced locally and seasonally. The housekeeping equipment has been upgraded with smart technology to increase efficacy and reduce energy usage.
The Pavilion on the lawn is ideal for conferences with its floor-to-ceiling windows and access to the extensive grounds which can host teambuilding activities such as a mini highland games.
This luxury 5-star hotel, spa and golfing destination offers an inspirational blend of grand meeting spaces and reputable event management. The estate can host events for up to 300 delegates and has 15 versatile meetings spaces with world-class dining options.
Gleneagles was the UK’s first hotel to resurface its driveway with recycled plastic, reusing an equivalent of 60,000 plastic bottles. The estate has also installed beehives within its 850-acres which produce sweet blossom honey that is then used by both the kitchen and spa.
Kimpton Charlotte Square by IHG and InterContinental Edinburgh The George Both of these buzzing city-centre hotels deliver social sustainability through their partnership with local charity Springboard. To date, the hotels have offered 37 placements to disadvantaged people, providing them the opportunity to carve a career in hospitality. Both hotels also use in-house water filters and reusable glassware which so far have saved the equivalent of 132,682 water bottles.
InterContinental Edinburgh The George offers a grand, sophisticated setting for large events with The King’s Hall being its piece de resistance hosting up to 300 delegates.
Kimpton Charlotte Square is a vibrant setting for meetings and its six newly renovated event spaces can host conferences for up to 350 delegates.
Fyvie Castle by Nation Trust
Fyvie Castle is a magnificent 800-year-old fortress, and one of Scotland’s finest examples of Baronial architecture. Its Walled Garden is home to the largest collection of Scottish fruits and vegetables and Garden Tasting Tours are available on booking.
Fyvie is renowned for its lavish interiors and world-famous art collection and offers a magical setting for corporate events and conferences. Theatre- style meetings in the castle can seat up to 120 guests, while marquee events in the grounds by the picturesque loch can cater for over 1,000 delegates.
P&J Live, North Scotland’s largest event complex, has an impressive 48,000 sq. metres of multi-purpose event space including conference and exhibition halls which can host up to 5,000 delegates and a 15,000-capacity arena.
The venue has its own innovative energy centre which uses food and garden waste from around Aberdeen, which is then digested in an anaerobic plant into hydrogen gas which is used to heat, cool and power the venue and its on- site hotels. It also reuses around 98.8% of its materials on site and has achieved a BREEAM rating, one of the highest environmental standards possible.