Perthshire businesswoman and Environmental tourism champion Andrea Nicholas was yesterday part of a delegation honoured by Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate the contribution made by the rural community to life in Britain.
As the founder and Managing Director of the Green Tourism Business Scheme Andrea has been instrumental in helping to create the largest independently verified green accreditation scheme in the world.
Yesterday (Wed) the 48 year old businesswoman from Perth was among a number of representatives from charities and organisations supporting rural communities from across the UK to meet with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at a special reception at Windsor Castle.
“It was a lovely evening and it was a real honour to be invited to the reception at Windsor Castle as a representative of the Green Tourism Business Scheme,” said Andrea.
“With more than 2,300 members across the UK dedicated to building a sustainable future for the tourism industry I am proud that many of our methods and ideas are now being adopted or used to promote similar schemes in other countries as far apart as Canada, Sweden, Eire and New Zealand.
The GTBS, which was launched in conjunction with VisitScotland in 1997, is now the biggest independent accreditation body of its kind in the world with more than 2,000 members across every region of the UK.
The scheme provides consumers with an independent guide to hotels, bed & breakfasts, tourist attractions and visitor centres which are actively trying to help the environment.
Members are awarded a bronze, silver or gold grade based on more than 145 criteria, including the installation of efficient lighting and heating, the promotion of nature conservation, use of renewable energy, use of local produce and community involvement.
Independent family businesses and multi-national hotel chains operating in the UK are all graded in the same way with members reporting savings of up to more than £1million a year on energy and consumable costs.
The Queen, who has been a keen supporter of good environmental practices already has a GTBS Gold Award for Balmoral Castle.
For more information on the GTBS please visit www.green-business.co.uk or call Peppercorn PR on 0845 217 8757.