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Silver for Going Gold

Silver for Going Gold

When it comes to adopting best business practices, Torquay's Riviera International Conference Centre is one of the most outstanding in Britain and that's official.

For the Centre has become the first Conference &Leisure venue in Britain to gain the Silver status in a national Green Tourism Award that encourages companies across the country to change for the good.

As part of its New Year's Resolutions last January, the Centre committed to join the Green Tourism Business Scheme Award and after 28 weeks of seeing, eating and thinking green it has not only been awarded the Silver accolade but is well on its way to gaining the highest of the three levels: GOLD!

The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) has its headquarters in Scotland and is spearheaded in this region by South West Tourism which encourages as many businesses as possible to change for the good of the environment and themselves. It has already been taken up by over 150 firms and organisations throughout Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

The scheme encourages the use of practical environmental measures to enable businesses to reduce their environmental impact, improve the management of any resources they use such as energy and water and increase their marketing potential for a market place with an ever growing environmental conscience.

Congratulating the Riviera International Centre on its award, the sustainable tourism manager at South West Tourism, Neil Warren said: "The regional strategy Towards 2015 places sustainability at the core of tourism's future in the South West and the Riviera International Centre is setting an excellent example to the rest of the industry."

The Centre produced a portfolio of evidence which was presented to the Green Tourism Board. An assessor then spent an afternoon at the Centre to confirm the Green policies were being carried out.

The Centre's assistant conference bureau manager, Mary Dale who is coordinating the project, explained: "The assessors came from the GTBS headquarters in Scotland to inspect every aspect of our business. They spoke to our managers and team leaders and closely inspected us to ensure all their criteria was being met."

The Centre's managing director Barry Cole added: "We are delighted as gaining the Silver award came far quicker than we had ever hoped for. It is a real achievement for us. Companies have started to take their corporate and environmental responsibilities very seriously when booking conferences, with the image of their own carbon footprint casting a shadow over all their consciences. We can now respond positively to conference buyers and organisers about our own commitment."

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