Scottish businesses urged to get green and boost their bottom line

date13 March 2018

Businesses in Scotland are being urged to act now to embrace the economic opportunity of sustainability by the VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.

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The leading environmental awards underlined the need for urgent action to address the environmental challenges currently faced as well as highlighting the potential business benefits which this can deliver.

New research from the leading environmental awards, which officially launch today (13 March 2018), found that 81% of previous finalists and winners who had already implemented environmental improvements had also seen significant financial benefits with 44% saving more than £10,000 and 17% saving over £50,000 in a year.

As well as saving money and enhancing their environmental performance, businesses employing sustainable practices are reaping the benefits of an engaged workforce, positive working culture and improved competitiveness as well as contributing towards a better economy and society as a whole.

This is something that organisers want to bring to the attention of Scotland’s businesses through the annual awards which aim to recognise and reward businesses that are championing sustainability by identifying ways to tackle the impact on the planet by reducing consumption on its resources. This could be anything from increasing recycling and waste management to reducing utility consumption.

Commenting, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, said:

“The Scottish Government has a clear vision for a low carbon Scotland. We want to build a country which trains, attracts, and retains the businesses and the innovators who will shape the low carbon transition. We have been proud partners of VIBES for almost 20 years, and events such as this are important for the celebrating the positive connections which exist between our environment and economy.”

Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, added:

“The scale of environmental challenges facing humanity is enormous, with a real urgency to act.  The successful businesses of tomorrow will be those who embrace the economic opportunity of sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.

“Each year the Scottish Government and SEPA backed VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards present a national platform to showcase Scottish business leadership.  But more than that, the awards benefit not only the environment, but the bottom line of organisations showing vision on sustainability.”

Applications for the 2018 awards officially open today (Tuesday 13 March) and will close at 5pm on the 27 April 2018. This year there are nine award categories; Management Large, Management SME, Green Team, Sustainable and Active Travel, Circular Economy, Environmental Product or Service, Innovation, Hydro Nation Water Innovation and a Micro Business Award.

A Climate Adaptation commendation is also being introduced this year, in partnership with Adaptation Scotland, and will reward a business that has demonstrated managing climate related risks or has created a product or service to help society adapt.

Organisations already recognising the importance of incorporating sustainable practices into their everyday operations include Glenmorangie, BAE Systems, Albert Bartlett, AMEY and Mitsubishi Electric to name a few. These businesses join more than 100 others who have received a VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Award to date, illustrating the diversity of companies that are contributing to Scotland’s sustainable development.

Dr Peter Nelson, Operations Director at The Glenmorangie Company, said “The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards are really helping to set the pace of the sustainable agenda in Scotland. Winning the Hydro Nation Award in 2017 was not only great recognition for us but has also opened up access to a great network of companies and organisations all working towards a common goal: making Scotland a leader in environmental enhancement.”

Businesses interested in finding out more about the free awards will have the opportunity to hear from previous winners at a series of regional information events. The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards roadshows will take place across Scotland from 14 March until 18 April 2018. The first of these events is being held tomorrow (14March) at IoD’s offices in Edinburgh.

The 2018 Awards will be held on 14 November at The Radisson Hotel, Glasgow. Award sponsors to date include Adaptation Scotland, Energy Saving Trust, Greenvale AP, Scottish Government, ScottishPower and University of Stirling Management School.

For more information on VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards or to obtain an application form, please visit To request your attendance at one of the events, please register through Eventbrite or email


 Notes to editors

VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards is a strategic partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Government, Scottish Water, Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Zero Waste Scotland and Energy Saving Trust. The Awards are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bright Green Business, Quality Scotland and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The Awards are accredited by the RSA Environment Awards Accreditation Scheme.

Details of the regional events include:

  • 13 March 2018: 6-8pm. Scottish Parliament - Celebration Event and launch of 2018 Awards
  • 14 March 2018: 5-7pm. Edinburgh, IoD (Charlotte Square - Edinburgh EH2 4DR)
  • 22 March 2018: 8-10:30am. Fife, DoubleTree Hilton Queensferry Crossing (St Margaret’s Head, North Queensferry, KY11 1HP)
  • 22 March 2018: 4-6pm. Glasgow, ScottishPower (320 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5AD)
  • 10 April 2018: 4-6pm. Inverness, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (An Lòchran, Inverness Campus, Inverness IV2 5NB)
  • 11 April 2018: 3-5pm. Aberdeen, EC-OG (Davidson House, Aberdeen Innovation Park, Balgownie Road, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB22 8GT)
  • 16 April 2018: 3-5pm. Scottish Borders, Greenvale AP (Craigswalls, Duns TD11 3PZ)
  • 18 April 2018: 4-6pm. Perth, Glaze and Save (Unit 9 Mercian Buildings Shore Road, Perth PH2 8BD)

Issued on behalf of VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards by The BIG Partnership