Edinburgh conference venue partners with nature charity to support peatland restoration

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) is partnering with bird charity RSPB Scotland to support peatland restoration in Scotland.

The initial five-year agreement, which both organisations expect to be extended, will see £1 for every conference delegate, and 50p for every dinner guest attendee, go to RSPB Scotland. The EICC hopes that the initiative could contribute in the region of £300,000 during its first five years.

The partnership is part of the capital venue’s commitment to mitigate the operational impact associated with hosting large scale events.

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Chief executive Marshall Dallas said: “The climate crisis is something every organisation and business leader needs to address, and working towards the highest standards of sustainability in the industry is something we have been working hard on for the last few years.

“It matters deeply to us, to our clients who choose to bring their conferences and events to Edinburgh, and to the attendees of those events.

People, including many of our delegates, come to Scotland from across the world to experience the natural environment here, so it’s important for us to positively contribute.

“Last year, we hosted TED’s global Countdown Summit here, which drove home how pressing environmental concerns are, and we’re really pleased to announce the partnership with RSPB Scotland following months of talks about getting the initiative right for everyone concerned.”

More than 20 per cent of Scotland is covered by peat, a large proportion of the country’s water filters through the peatlands, and they hold most of Scotland’s carbon store. At the same time, it is estimated that around 80 per cent of the peatlands are in a degraded state.

Seonaid Mason of RSPB, and Marshall Dallas and Aaron McKeen of the EICC. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Anne McCall, director, RSPB Scotland, part of the RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, added: “While the majority of peatlands are located in the Highlands and Islands, people are often surprised at the close proximity of some peatland locations to our cities and towns.

“Peatlands provide a unique habitat for wildlife, and play an essential role in farming, crofting, and tourism. The partnership with the EICC is an important one in many ways, and we thank them for their commitment to support the restoration push over the years ahead.”

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