Glasgow has long been a leader in life sciences, engineering, science, and technology research and, as the city looks toward hosting the second week of the COP26 Climate Chance Conference, it also celebrates being awarded EarthCheck Benchmarked Community status, confirming the city's vision to develop a strong circular and regenerative economy.
As Scotland's cultural powerhouse, this benchmarking achievement marks a significant step for Glasgow on its way to becoming one of the world's most sustainable and resilient places to live, visit and do business.
In September 2020, Glasgow partnered with international sustainability leader EarthCheck to assist the city in benchmarking its environmental and social performance, and to deliver higher standards of health and hygiene in a COVID-19 recovery environment.
Based on the fundamental belief that 'what gets measured, gets managed' the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations programme helps communities to measure and monitor their environmental economic, and social impact, and prepare and track that performance against their own targets and the performance of other destinations across the world.
EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations has provided Glasgow with a scientific framework to benchmark, certify, and continuously improve its environmental, cultural, social, and economic performance. Most importantly, EarthCheck has also helped the city to navigate its way forward in a post COVID-19 tourism and travel environment.
CEO and Founder of EarthCheck, Mr Stewart Moore said "Congratulations to the City of Glasgow for achieving Bronze Benchmarked status under the EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations Certification program. Benchmarking provides an excellent starting point for Glasgow to continue on its sustainability journey."
Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, Chair of Glasgow Life, and City Convener for Culture, Vibrancy and International Co-operation, said:
"We are incredibly proud of becoming the first UK city to achieve EarthCheck's Benchmarked Community status, and even more so to announce this while the city hosts COP26.
"As a small city with huge ambition, the EarthCheck Destination Standard plays a key role in helping us to position Glasgow as an international destination for business, investment, and tourism. By achieving the Benchmark status, we've shown that we're more than prepared to take action to safeguard and care for the health and wellbeing of our citizens and visitors, and to continue to rebuild confidence in our special city.
"This first step is just the beginning in Glasgow's journey to achieving EarthCheck Destination Certification, and will allow us to measure and benchmark our city's footprint, meaning we can quickly identify issues and areas which require improvement."
With twelve of the city's assessed EarthCheck indicators either at or above the Baseline level, and ten of these either at or above Best Practice Level, the next step for the city is to continue to work towards achieving EarthCheck Certified status.
Certification under EarthSafe is about embedding real, tangible assurance practices which can provide confidence and reassurance to visitors, operators, and the local community. It is recognised that part of Glasgow's transition to a post COVID-19 environment is the need to bring the tourism industry back online and to create an environment which can help retain and sustain jobs and help build back business and consumer confidence under a recovery and regeneration agenda.