15 November 2018

Businesses in Scotland are continuing to step up to increasing environmental challenges: 10 Scottish companies were rewarded for their commitment to sustainability at the VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.

Those awarded include; Aqualution Systems Ltd, Beyond Green, Clearwater Controls Ltd, Devro (Scotland) Ltd, Hickory, Peel Tech Ltd, Scottish Leather Group Limited, Spruce Carpets Limited, The James Hutton Institute and Xanthella. Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service and DSM Nutritional Products (UK) Limited also received commendation at the award ceremony held at Radisson Blu in Glasgow and attended by more than 400 business figures.

The announcement follows a rigorous judging process, where each of the 43 finalists were visited by a team of judges to assess their environmental processes.

The 10 businesses awarded, which represent a range of sectors and sizes, demonstrated challenging their everyday working practices to embrace the economic opportunity of sustainability with all reaping the wider associated benefits including increased resource efficiency, resilience, competitiveness as well as a positive working culture.

The businesses were awarded under a range of categories including; management (large and small), circular economy, environmental product or service, hydro nation water innovation, green team, innovation, sustainable and active travel and micro business - highlighting the diverse ways businesses can implement best practice in their daily activity.

This included everything from repurposing donated carpet for re-sale to the development of a safe disinfectant which can be used across multiple sectors from farming and food to pharmaceuticals.

The awards also demonstrated how even small changes can have a big difference, for example adopting active travel practices that reduce both reliance on cars and carbon emissions to implementing management programmes that empower staff to make more sustainable choices.

One of the biggest threats to humanity is climate change and in light of this, a Climate Adaptation Award was also introduced this year in partnership with Adaptation Scotland to reward a business that demonstrates managing climate related risks. This was awarded to The James Hutton Institute for its innovative work on the International Barley Hub, an ambitious development to create a world-leading centre to translate excellence in barley research and innovation into economic, social and environmental benefits. Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service also received commendation in this category.

Commenting, Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, said: “The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards celebrate business leadership in sustainable environmental investment, and are an excellent opportunity to recognise and reward companies for going beyond ‘business as usual’ and driving sustainable growth through innovation.

The most successful businesses in the future will be those that are not just compliant, but which are also low carbon, low material use, low water use and low waste, and which see environmental excellence as an opportunity. This is at the core of SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity regulatory strategy.

“It is very encouraging to see the diverse range of businesses, small and large, which are taking important steps to reduce their impact on the environment and which understand how environmental excellence can also benefit their bottom line. I would like to congratulate each of this year’s winning businesses and organisations, and hope that others will be inspired to follow in their footsteps.”

Each of the 2018 VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards winners is now eligible to enter the next European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) which is open to winners and runners up of RSA Accredited award schemes. VIBES is the only Scottish based RSA Accredited award scheme.

Sponsoring the awards this year was: Adaptation Scotland, Chivas Brothers Pernod Ricard, Climate-KIC through ECCI, Energy Saving Trust, Farne Salmon and Trout, Glenmorangie, Greenvale AP, Mabbett, NetRegs, Scottish Government, ScottishPower, University of Stirling Management School, Vegware and Wave.

The full list of VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards 2018 winners are as follows:

  • Management Large (over 250 employees) – Sponsored by Glenmorangie: Scottish Leather Group Limited (Winner) - DSM Nutritional Products (UK) Limited (Commended)
  • Management SME (under 250 employees) – Sponsored by Stirling University Management School: Hickory (Winner)
  • Environmental Product or Service – Sponsored by NetRegs: Clearwater Controls Ltd (Winner)
  • Innovation – Sponsored by ScottishPower: Xanthella (Winner)
  • Circular Economy – Sponsored by Chivas Brothers Pernod Riccard: Spruce Carpets Limited (Winner)
  • Hydro Nation Water Innovation – Sponsored by Scottish Government: Aqualution Systems Ltd (Winner)
  • Sustainable and Active Travel – Sponsored by Energy Saving Trust: Beyond Green (Winner)
  • Green Team – Sponsored by Wave: Devro (Scotland) Ltd (Winner)
  • Climate Change Adaptation – Sponsored by Adaptation Scotland:The James Hutton Institute (Winner) - Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service (Commendation)
  • Micro Business – Sponsored by Climate KIC through ECCI: Peel Tech Ltd (Winner)


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