The EQM is one of only four sustainable tourism schemes in the country to be validated by VisitEngland for its contribution to the environment and local economy. A recent independent audit confirmed its standards were still up to the mark.
Businesses entitled to display the EQM logo must:
- put pride in the Peak District at the heart of their operations
- actively help care for the Peak District environment and heritage
- safeguard natural resources
- invest in the wellbeing of their staff, local communities and the wider global community
- work together with EQM businesses in other sectors, and use and promote their products and services.
Its high standards were demonstrated recently when no fewer than three EQM holders won silver in VisitEngland’s national Excellence Awards 2012 – they were Fischers’ hotel and restaurant at Baslow Hall, Hoe Grange holiday accommodation at Brassington, and Wheeldon Trees Farm holiday cottages at Earl Sterndale.
Bill Purvis, who manages the EQM scheme, said: “We were thrilled at the outcome of the VisitEngland audit. It’s great for EQM to be punching its weight alongside national projects such as the Green Tourism Business Scheme.”
Jason Freezer, sustainability lead for VisitEngland, said: “The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark promotes sustainability practices with innovative criteria that promote the sense of place and follow the customer journey. The scheme and the team involved are to be commended for their approaches that help ensure businesses in the Peak District are working to keep the area a beautiful and special place to visit and enjoy.”
The three other national schemes validated by VisitEngland are the Green Tourism Business Scheme, the Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification Programme (STEP) and British Standard 8901 – the mark of a well-run sustainable event.
The Peak District EQM scheme is run by the Environmental Quality Mark Community Interest Company on behalf of the Peak District National Park Authority.