Scottish businesses hailed for environmental innovation and sustainability in final of VIBES Awards

  19 October 2021
Four Scottish companies from sectors as diverse as construction and horticulture have scooped Outstanding Achievement Awards in recognition of their commitment to tackling environmental impacts and reducing carbon emissions.

The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards were presented by Scottish Government Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work Richard Lochhead at a ceremony today (Tuesday 19 October).

The winners were deemed exemplars of good environmental practice at a time when tackling climate change has never been more urgent. As customers demand more from businesses in terms of environmental performance and global events like COP26 put climate change at the top of the political and media agenda, the VIBES Awards are showcasing how Scotland’s businesses are driving change.

The winners are:

  • The Ethical Dairy in Gatehouse of Fleet is the first commercial dairy in the UK to use the cow with calf method, where calves are kept with their mothers to suckle. It uses natural systems to produce organic cheeses and luxury ice cream, offering a sustainable alternative to intensive dairy farming.

  • Motherwell based ACS Clothing provides fulfilment services for the fashion industry but with a focus on extending the lives of garments through rental services and refurbishing returned clothing to make it fit for resale. The company aims to reach net zero by 2030 and has made significant progress to date.

  • Brewster Bros. provides recycling services for the construction industry at its plant in Livingston. Not only is the company helping the sector tackle waste, but it has also reduced its own environmental impact by using renewable energy sources, improving biodiversity on site and significantly reducing water

  • Shetland company Polycrub began life as a small community project that has grown into a highly profitable business using waste pipes from fish farming to make high strength polytunnels that can withstand the harshest of weather conditions.

Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work Richard Lochhead, said:

“With COP26 being held in Glasgow later this month, I am delighted to announce the winners of this year’s VIBES Outstanding Achievement Award, and celebrate all the positive actions businesses across Scotland are taking to reach net zero.

“It is important that we recognise and celebrate businesses who are supporting our economy, our environment and creating a positive social impact. I hope the businesses showcased here today help to inspire others, as business action is crucial to achieving a just transition to our net zero future.”

The VIBES Awards are a partnership between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland and NatureScot. The Outstanding Achievement winners were selected from a shortlist of 12 Good Practice Award recipients following a rigorous judging process conducted by a multi-agency panel.  

Jo Green, Chief Officer, Green Recovery, at SEPA and one of the final panel judges, comments:

“Businesses have a significant role to play in tackling the climate challenges we face, from providing customers with sustainable solutions to addressing their own operational impacts on the environment. What our winners demonstrate is that not only is this possible, but it is also in fact profitable.

“The principles of the VIBES Awards link closely with SEPA’s ambitious ‘One Planet Prosperity’ strategy. Through collaboration, innovation and ambition businesses and communities can thrive within the resources of our planet.”

VIBES chair Gillian Bruce comments:

“Our worthy winners clearly demonstrated the business case for reducing their environmental footprint, showing not only a positive economic impact but social benefits too. Working towards net zero carbon emissions is a challenging but necessary journey. We hope they can inspire and encourage other organisations to examine their own business models and start to reap the many benefits of operating more sustainably.”

For more information on the VIBES Awards visit www.vibes.org.uk

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

 The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards recognise and reward organisations that have demonstrated significant business benefits from good environmental practice. In the year that COP26 is coming to Glasgow, the 2021 Awards also celebrate the actions and achievements of businesses towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions.

The VIBES Awards are a partnership between SEPA, The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland and NatureScot.

They are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors (IoD), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Bright Green Business, Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the Scotch Whisky Association.

The 12 businesses shortlisted for the Outstanding Achievement Award were:

  • European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Orkney - the world’s first facility for demonstrating and testing wave and tidal energy converters in the sea which is carrying out pioneering work in the area of green hydrogen technology.

  • Glaze and Save, Perth - magnetic secondary glazing and draughtproofing specialists. Bespoke magnetic glazing turns single glazed into double glazed windows without replacement or redecoration, saving energy while reducing waste.

  • MacArthur GreenGlasgow is supporting projects that are beneficial to the environment, mostly in the areas of renewable energy, transmission networks, and nature conservation guidance.

  • Renewable Parts Ltd, Lochgilphead and Renfrewshire - taking a circular approach to its operations retrofitting and repairing wind turbines throughout the UK.

  • The Ethical Dairy, Gatehouse of Fleet, is harnessing natural systems for ecological, sustainability and animal welfare gains.

  • Adelphi Distillery Ltd, Glenbeg, Argyll has a low carbon approach for production of whisky including using renewable energy powered stills and a circular economy methodology for waste.

  • The Polycrub Company, Shetland, works with the aquaculture industry to reuse and recycle waste pipes. These are incorporated into a material that can withstand winds of 120 miles an hour allowing the growth of fresh produce in otherwise hostile environments.

  • Scottish Sea FarmsMull, has implemented a number of measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels which have reduced both carbon emissions and operating costs.

  • WEEE Scotland Ltd, Glasgow is a recycling and repair established on the principles of a circular economy that uses creative thinking and innovation to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste. 

  • Brewster Brothers Ltd, Livingston, has a recycling plant that turns construction, demolition and excavation waste into industry standard recycled aggregates and other recycled products to sell back into the sector.

  • Tennent Caledonian, Glasgow, has invested in a sustainability programme and have significantly reduced energy and water use and emissions.

  • ACS Clothing LtdMotherwell, provides the fashion industry with a circular approach that eliminates waste and pollution while providing retailers with additional revenue.

Good practice case studies will be prepared for each of the Outstanding Achievement Award winners, and these will be published on the VIBES website www.vibes.org.uk