The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant

VIBES Award: Management SME

Sponsored by: Centre for Sustainable Practice and Living


  • Clear vision - Scottish, Seasonal, Sustainable
  • Past holders of the Green Tourism gold star rating
  • Past holders of 3 Star in the Sustainable restaurant association
  • Past winner of Scottish Sustainable Events award
  • Packaging redesigned to reduce waste
  • Use of local supply chain where possible
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) carried out on any large purchasing decisions
  • Annual saving from waste reduction of £7,200

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant are located at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. The Cafe has been sustainably aware since opening in 2009 with a clear vision - Scottish, Seasonal, Sustainable.

The VIBES Management Award recognises businesses whose management systems deliver continuous improvement in environmental performance. The category is aimed at businesses that are taking a holistic approach to environmental improvement and can demonstrate the associated economic and social benefits that have been achieved.

The judges recognised the strong sustainability ethos of the restaurant and noted that it is very proactive in spreading the message of eating local food in season which has been produced in an ethically and environmentally sound manner.

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant have benefited from minimising waste, portion control and training to reduce kitchen wastage, providing an annual business saving of £7,200 per year.

The company have developed a suite of KPIs to track trends based on per cover. The targets are set to reduce costs and carbon footprint. These included:

  • To reduce water usage by 6% by 2017
  • To reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2017
  • To reduce all waste by 4% by 2017

The judges were impressed with the wide range of environmental benefits achieved by The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant, these included:

  • Work with suppliers to reduce waste.
  • Kitchen staff trained to use all elements of produce by use in complimentary dishes – staff are sent out to suppliers to ensure a full understanding of the production costs to ensure that produce is treated with respect and waste is limited.
  • Use car share rather than own transport – LCA carried out on purchase of EVehicle indicated that Enterprise car club was more sustainable option.
  • Network suppliers to ensure that deliveries are coordinated

The judges were also impressed with the staff engagement and understanding of sustainability and how this impacts on the business. The Executive Chef is tasked with identifying 2 new sustainable suppliers each month (many of these suppliers are 1 person businesses who are given their first commercial order by the restaurant and are then supported in their development by the green team and management of the restaurant).

Carina Contini, Director of The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant (Centotre Ltd) said: “We are honoured to have been recognised at this year’s VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards. Being commended in the Scottish Environment Business Award is a real testament to the hard work and commitment from everyone at The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant towards reducing our impact on the environment. We are proud to take our place amongst many excellent companies working hard to deliver a sustainable future and hope it inspires more organisations to make a difference.

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