To achieve gold status, we were assessed under 15 different categories including energy saving, waste minimisation, health and wellbeing, awareness and community and achieved a total score of 83%.
As well as receiving a Gold Award, the high score means we are among the best performing Green Tourism members globally.
“We are thrilled to have retained the Gold Award from Green Tourism,” said Heather Carter, Managing Director Blenheim Palace Visitor Attraction.
“The award recognises best practice under three categories: People, Place and Planet. It means that across all aspects of the business Blenheim achieves the highest standards of sustainability and has a strong and broad environmental ethos,” she added.
Assessors noted there was excellent knowledge and awareness of all aspects of sustainability on show throughout, strong commitment to supporting vibrant local communities and effective promotion of the destination area and how to enjoy it responsibly.
The report also found we have an ‘excellent commitment to ensuring it is welcoming and accessible to all’.
Green Tourism Chief Executive Andrea Nicholas commented: “Blenheim Palace has been a member of Green Tourism since 2008.
“In this time, they have gone from strength to strength, improving in every assessment with new green initiatives and sustainability projects.
“They have never lost their zeal and commitment to running a large multi-faceted business in the most sustainable manner possible,” she added.
As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are encouraging visitors to travel in an environmentally friendly way and save 30% on entry.
Visitors who are unable to travel in a low emission way can still take part in our green agenda by offsetting their carbon with a £5 donation. This carbon offsetting cost will go towards the extensive tree planting scheme on our Estate.
We have also been making changes in our shop and cafe to help reduce single use plastic. Many of the souvenirs on offer are now locally sourced and produced sustainably using materials such as wheat fibre, bamboo and recycled plastics.
Additionally, no plastic water bottles are sold onsite; visitors can either refill their own reusable bottles or enjoy our very own award-winning mineral water in glass bottles, which are made up of 80% recycled glass and bottled onsite.
We are already converting our fleet to electric vehicles, insulating roofs and switching to LED lighting as well as focusing efforts on green renewable energy projects including biomass, solar and hydro power.
These efforts align with our commitment to becoming carbon neutral on Scopes 1 - 3 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol across all operations by 2027 and, beyond that, to remove 230,000 tonnes CO2e from the atmosphere by 2050.
The Green Tourism Awards are acknowledged worldwide as an indicator of good environmentally-friendly practice, and are seen as a hallmark of ‘green quality’.