Funding and project opportunities available for ‘environment champions’

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Sustainable tourism charity, the Travel Foundation is seeking new partnerships with hotels that want to take their environmental commitments to the next stage.

The organisation, which has already worked with 695 accommodation providers globally on minimising environmental impacts and achieving cost savings through resource efficiency, is looking to develop a project that can demonstrate next steps towards best practice, and is offering up to £25,000 of match-funding to help.

The opportunity is open to large hotel chains serving the UK outbound tourism market, that are already implementing standard operational measures to reduce environmental impacts, and are interested in further improving their performance and becoming resource efficiency champions.

The Travel Foundation is particularly interested in project ideas focused on the roll-out of renewable energy technologies, including solar electricity and water heating, small-scale hydroelectricity, anaerobic digestion, ground-source heat pumps and rainwater harvesting, as well as other green innovations, such as utilising bicycles for staff errands, and investments in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

It is envisaged the successful applicant will work with the Travel Foundation to develop a pilot project to demonstrate the effectiveness of implementing such technologies, and building a business case that may ultimately result in a larger-scale roll out across the hotel chain.

As well as long term cost savings, it is expected the project would provide significant training and development opportunities to engage staff, as well as PR and marketing opportunities.

In addition, the Foundation is looking for broader ideas to help shape the future of its environment programme. To coincide with its 10th anniversary next year, the charity is developing a register of project concepts to draw on as funds become available.

Businesses and organisations are invited to submit concept notes for projects that could support the implementation of alternative or renewable technologies to reduce the impacts of climate change, or would support destinations in the protection and management of natural resources relevant to mass tourism.

Salli Felton, head of programmes at the Travel Foundation says: “We think this is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to environmental improvement and to show the tourism industry that greener is better. We hope the response from the industry will be positive and look forward to hearing their ideas.”

Full details of both opportunities are available from the Travel Foundation website: Funding opportunities with TF

Initial applications for the environment programme match-funding opportunity should be submitted by 5pm (GMT), 27 October 2012, while concept notes for future project ideas must be submitted by 5pm (GMT), 12 November 2012.

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