Seabirds-and-Seals - The Original Noss Boat Tours

Green Tourism Gold Award…Leading The Way Into 2024 – 07.03.2024




The 2024 season is getting off to a fantastic start…from ‘Service Excellence’ to Green Tourism ‘Gold Awards’.  We are over the moon to receive such awards alongside our Visit Scotland Prestigious 5-Star Accolade as well as our double Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards  2023 for ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ & ‘Inclusive Tourism’.  We are proud to be promoting Shetland’s Tourism sector and will continue to keep doing what we do best.  We are currently working on another new addition to the business which we hope to announce soon. 

We were last assessed by Green Tourism in early 2023 when we were delighted to be awarded ‘Silver’.  We have worked hard over this past year on our sustainability practices with an aim to achieve ‘Gold’ and delighted to say we have achieved the highest standard of sustainability.  This award is in recognition of our solid commitment to sustainability, we have evidenced that we have a strong and broad environmental ethos by providing excellent examples of best practices.  This is a very important journey for us on becoming a more sustainable tourism business. 

Green Tourism is a world-leading sustainability accreditation partner, they recognise and support eco-friendly achievements of tourism businesses with their internationally respected accreditation programme.   Achieving a Green Tourism award means that our sustainability practices have been assessed and verified by a credible partner.  Green Tourism has assessed our business against 15 sustainability criteria grouped under the pillars of People, Places and Planet.

Green Tourism Bronze/Silver/Gold awards are acknowledge worldwide as an indicator of good environmentally-friendly practice, and are a great way of progressing on a green journey as well as acting as a hallmark of ‘green quality’, attracting custom from increasing numbers of eco-minded visitors.

Overall Feedback From Green Tourism

“Seabirds and Seals have done an excellent job in achieving Gold following on from their Second GreenCheck assessment. They have displayed excellent understanding of sustainability and awareness of opportunities and challenges associated with running a responsible business. The team have shown great commitment and are embracing sustainability throughout the business, as evidenced by the several examples of green best practice within the business. The areas they are strong in are Community, Health and Wellbeing, and Destination. The key are of focus going forward should be on Carbon. I have added some applicable actions to the action plan. Overall, Seabirds and Seals have shown an amazing commitment to green issues and are obviously eager to do as much as possible to be sustainable and not only reduce their impact on but also improve the environment around them”.

Moving forward, Marie Leask, our Sustainable Tourism Advocate, will monitor our sustainable performance and advise the business on how we can implement further improvements.    

Thank you so much to all at Green Tourism – we really value your input and all the support given by the extremely friendly team to help us through the assessment process. 

We are supported in our sustainability practices, and in our improvement journey by the world-leading sustainability accreditation partner, Green Tourism. Achieving a Green Tourism award means that our sustainability practices have been assessed and verified by a credible partner. It shows that we have an ongoing commitment:

• to sustainability standards and practices
• to work responsibly, ethically, and sustainably
• to contribute to our community
• to reduce our impact on the environment, and
• to be accessible and inclusive to all visitors and staff.

Green Tourism has assessed our business against 15 sustainability criteria grouped under the pillars of People, Places and Planet. These consider the social, economic, and environmental actions we undertake, providing a holistic assessment of our sustainability performance.

Our Main highlights

We were assessed and rated by Green Tourism’s Technical Team, who are trained to IMEA standards.  Green Tourism also helped us to highlight our areas of sustainability strength.

At our last assessment our sustainability highlights included: a 97% score in Community for our strong commitment to support vibrant local communities. 

Our second highlight was to achieve 97% in Health & Well-being for our very strong performance in all areas of protecting and supporting staff and customer health and wellbeing. 

Our third highlight was to achieve 95% in Destination for excellent promotion of our destination area and how to enjoy it. 

Other highlights include:

Experiences  for our outstanding knowledge of local area and how to enjoy it responsibly.

Equality, Diversity, & Inclusivity  for our excellent commitment to ensuring we are welcoming and accessible to all.

Communication – for great examples of how to use our green story and policies along with social media to highlight our commitment to sustainability.

We’re so proud to have achieved these excellent scores under the Green Tourism pillar of People / Places / Planet which are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What Do The Green Tourism Gradings Mean?

Green Tourism provides an overall grading of Gold, Silver, or Bronze depending on the overall score achieved across the comprehensive criteria.


Typically, an entry-level business, who are in the early stages of its green journey but has shown great commitment to making its business work more sustainably and is currently implementing a range of measures related to the 15 goals across all three pillars of People, Places and Planet.


Typically, a business that falls under this category can demonstrate good practice across our three pillars of People, Places and Planet, but has an action plan of best practice improvements that will enhance the sustainability practices within the business. 


A business that achieves the highest standards of sustainability has a strong and broad environmental ethos and can provide excellent examples of best practice throughout the majority of the three pillars of People, Places and Planet. It has made significant changes to its working practices and continues to review and maintain them.

Of those businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry that put themselves forward for Green Tourism’s third-party verification, around one-third achieve bronze, one-third silver, and one-third bronze. Our grading at the last assessment early 2023 was Silver.

Our Next Assessment

Our next assessment will take place early 2025 when we aim to achieve a Green Tourism Gold award again.