Hospitality Specialist Heritage Portfolio Wins Three Gold GTBS Awards

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HERITAGE Portfolio, the bespoke hospitality specialist that operates some of Scotland’s most historic and prestigious venues, has won three Gold awards in the much-lauded Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), the national sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. It is one of only 11 companies operating within the corporate sector to achieve Gold status.

We have had to work in very close partnership with the management of each one to reach this stage, and our teamwork with each venue has led to inspiring ideas which they can implement throughout their operation – it is not restricted to the cafés.

Edinburgh-based Heritage Portfolio , which prides itself on its creative and inspirational approach to corporate and private hospitality plus its innovative use of seasonal and local produce, has won the Gold accolades for its cafés at The Modern Art Galleries, comprising of The Gallery of Modern Art and The Dean Gallery and The National Museum of Scotland. It already holds a Gold award for its main head office operation at the capital’s North Fort Street.

The Green Tourism scheme, originally developed in partnership with VisitScotland, is the only certification scheme validated by VisitBritain through the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT). Businesses opting to join Green Tourism are assessed by a qualified grading adviser against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas like energy and water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity.

Only those businesses that meet the required standard receive a Bronze, Silver, or Gold award based on their level of achievement. The current network of members is comprised of a wide range of business types, including accommodation providers, visitor attractions, corporate offices and others.

Kirsty Hepburn, business development manager at Heritage Portfolio, commented: “Achieving these GTBS awards is an extremely significant step forward for us with regards to our environmental credentials. In previous years, we were awarded three Silvers and one Bronze so to win three Golds is testament to our commitment to sustainability and the environment, and innovation within what is a hugely important area of our business”.

“What makes our performance particularly stand out is the fact that in our cafés at The Modern Art Galleries and The National Museum of Scotland, we have achieved the highest possible standards laid down under very stringent criteria in buildings that we do not own.

“We have had to work in very close partnership with the management of each one to reach this stage, and our teamwork with each venue has led to inspiring ideas which they can implement throughout their operation – it is not restricted to the cafés.”

Heritage Portfolio staff at all venues have undergone extensive training as part of the company’s strategy to increase environmental awareness and understanding within its 105-strong workforce. For example, in the cafes within The Modern Art Galleries it has always been our ethos to prepare all food from scratch in order to reduce the amount of preservatives and packaging that is required, and even fruit and vegetable delivery boxes are reused and recycled.

“From mayo to millionaire’s shortbread and soup to sticky toffee pudding, we make everything bar our bread in our own kitchens. Not only does this help cut our carbon footprint, it also creates a great team spirit and encourages our people to develop their skills – something which is absolutely crucial for us as a company going forward.”

“Each venue also has its own ‘Green Giant’ rep and alongside our policy of reducing our impact on the planet, we also want to get the best from our natural resources in terms of what we can produce in our country. We strive to use the freshest seasonal produce, local and regional as much as possible to enable our award-winning cooks to create menus featuring the tastiest, most flavoursome ingredients. We have forged close associations with suppliers in Scotland to ensure that we have access to the top-quality produce that gives our food a competitive edge.”

Heritage Portfolio retains the coveted Investor in People status and a number of its venues hold the familiar ‘green apple’ healthyliving award. “We have an extremely robust Corporate Social Responsibility agenda which has been further strengthened by winning these most recent GTBS awards,” added Hepburn.

For further information, contact Maureen Sillars – T: 0131 551 7777

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