This nationally recognised accolade was presented to the Arboretum team on Friday 19 January at The Big Tourism Conference, organised by Enjoy Staffordshire.
“From serving seasonal dishes cooked using locally sourced produce and homegrown herbs to creating new wildlife habitats across our 150-acre site, the National Memorial Arboretum team is continually seeking ways to ensure that we are improving the sustainability of our operations and reducing our impact on the environment,” said Mark Ellis, Arboretum Lead. “In just the last twelve months we have delivered our first-ever sustainability-led school holiday experiences, installed 250 solar panels on the roof of the Remembrance Centre, and achieved our third consecutive Green Flag award. This award of a Staffordshire Environmental Quality Mark recognises how we put sustainability at the heart of everything we do”.
The Staffordshire Environment Quality Mark award scheme is validated by VisitEngland, using scoreable criteria informed by the latest sustainable practices, and is structured around five categories; Business and Economy, Global Environment, Local Environment, People and Communities, and Special Qualities of your Local Area. After completing a self-assessment questionnaire and supplying data for a carbon audit, the Arboretum received an inspection visit to validate evidence before the application was considered by the awards panel.
“We know that we can further improve our sustainability credentials and use continuous improvement to ensure that the Arboretum will remain a leading force in safeguarding the natural environment,” continued Mark. “By advocating for ethical practices and providing learning opportunities focused on sustainable living, we can encourage and inspire visitors to care for our world.”