80 shops in the city receive the Biosphere Committed label, which accredits their commitment to sustainable practices
Gijón/Xixón held today an emblematic event in favour of sustainability: the awarding of Biosphere Committed labels to businesses committed to sustainable practices. The event took place at the Gijón Aquarium and was attended by the Deputy Mayoress of Gijón/Xixón and Councillor for Economy, Employment, Tourism and Innovation, Ángela Pumariega, and the manager of the Union of Traders of the Principality of Asturias, Carmen Moreno.
The sustainability awareness project is part of the Plan for Commerce in Tourist Areas 'Shopping in Gijón/Xixón', which has European funding, Next Generation, through the Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience, and is aimed at those businesses that are located in the area of high tourist influx. The project is being developed by the City Council of Gijón/Xixón, through Visita Gijón/Xixón, and counts on the Unión de Comerciantes del Principado de Asturias as a collaborating entity, which has played a key role not only in the success of this programme, but also in the "Shopping in Gijón" project as a whole.
This project, aimed at boosting the city's small businesses to make them more attractive to local customers and visitors and to promote sustainable practices, has had a strong impact on the business community, raising awareness and sensitising 330 of the 409 businesses in the geographical area to their commitment to sustainability.
As part of this initiative, 80 businesses have embraced the commitment to obtain Biosphere certification in sustainability, highlighting their dedication to contributing to a more responsible and environmentally friendly tourism.
"In a joint effort to promote a positive transformation in the commercial fabric, these establishments have embraced the vision of a more sustainable Gijón/Xixón, immersing themselves in a series of concrete actions aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)", explains Ángela Pumariega. "This project demonstrates the commitment and enthusiasm of the commercial fabric of Gijón/Xixón to embrace sustainable practices. The surpassing of our initial objectives reflects the interest and determination of our traders to be leaders in tourism sustainability," she adds.
"The Asturias Traders' Union, which has been involved from the definition of the programme until now in its development, is satisfied with these results that show, on the one hand, the commitment to sustainability of the city's commerce, which carries out many more sustainable actions than it makes visible, also serving as a model for customers, and on the other hand, that public-private cooperation between the association and the City Council is effective in defining programmes that meet the needs of businesses and connect with the social values of citizens", says Carmen Moreno.
Awareness-raising strategies included face-to-face visits, telephone contacts and dissemination actions. Several face-to-face events were held to introduce the project, attract the attention of traders and facilitate their access to the programme.
The programme has led to the adoption of tangible measures to promote more environmentally friendly business practices. These initiatives include specialised trainings and webinars accessible to the general public, hosted on this website.
The trainings offered have provided retailers with key tools to implement sustainable strategies in their businesses, from reducing energy consumption to responsible waste management and the promotion of eco-friendly products. By participating in these sessions, businesses are not only raising their commitment to sustainability, but are also preparing for certification as sustainable businesses, a valuable recognition of their efforts to build a more conscious future.
The synergy between the institutional level and the commitment of the retailers has been key to these achievements, demonstrating the potential of collaboration in building a more sustainable future for Gijón/Xixón.