Two companies based in Edinburgh’s West End walked away with two out of the twelve awards yesterday at the VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards this week.
The Scottish Salmon Company and Vegware were rewarded for their commitment to sustainability at the awards ceremony held at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Glasgow Central on Thursday.
The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) were awarded the Partnership Scotland Award, sponsored by The Glenmorangie Group, which celebrated the multi-sector partnership between their business, Pure Energy Centre, Community Energy Scotland and the local authority of the Isle of Lewis, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Wastewater, product and gasses are re-used in a number of ways, including as fuel for the council’s bin lorry.
Vegware design and manufacture plant-based compostable packaging for use in the food service industry and they won the Service Scotland Award, sponsored by The Business Partnership for their ‘Close the loop’ and ‘Composting Collective’ services which ensures that used containers can be collected and composted for local farms. So far, they have composted over 182 tonnes of used Vegware packaging, equivalent to over 15 million coffee cups.
Over 400 business figures attended the prestigious VIBES Awards to celebrate the achievements of innovative Scottish businesses which are demonstrating vision in implementing environmental best practice.
Twelve awards were presented on the day recognising the focus and efforts of a range of companies including Diageo, Vegware and FINDRA in helping to meet Scotland’s ambition to be a world leader on tackling climate change and inspiring others to follow their lead.
Winners came from across the country and from a range of industry sectors including packaging, textiles, renewables, whisky and entertainment.
The 2019 event marked twenty years of VIBES, which over the years has recognised 220 businesses for their commitment to sustainability within their sector.
The announcement of the winners follows a rigorous judging process which included a written application, three rounds of judging panels and a site visit for each of the 36 shortlisted businesses, to assess their environmental processes.
Business Minister, Jamie Hepburn MSP, said: “There is a global climate emergency and we all need to be part of the solution. Scotland has by far the most ambitious and stringent climate legislation of any country in the world and business will play a critical role in the transition to a net-zero society.
“It is important that we recognise the business leaders who are committed to developing innovative, ambitious and environmentally sustainable solutions while seizing the economic opportunities our net-zero transition presents, and I am proud to have presented the ‘Best of VIBES’ award this year, helping celebrate VIBES’ 20th anniversary.”
Commenting, Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, said: “The scale of the environmental challenge facing humanity, from climate change to plastics in our oceans, is enormous, with a real urgency to act. 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.”
Craig Anderson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, said: “Winning the Partnership Scotland category of the VIBES awards not only recognises the commitment and expertise of the OHLEH project partners, but also is a great example of local collaboration which could act as a blueprint for national best practice, not just by the salmon farming industry but across many other sectors.”
Lucy Frankel, Environmental and Communications Director at Vegware said: “We are proud to be recognised by the VIBES awards in the Service Scotland category. This accolade shows it is possible to develop services that offer both environmental and business benefits, allowing participants to contribute to a sustainable Scotland.”
Each of the 2019 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.