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Highland firms get final chance to be VIBES Scottish Environment Business Award winners

By Calum MacLeod

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The 2022 VIBES Awards are looking for innovative businesses to share their success stories.
The 2022 VIBES Awards are looking for innovative businesses to share their success stories.

Highland businesses championing environmental practice and products have until April 29 to apply to showcase their eco-excellence to be in with a chance of securing a prestigious VIBES Scottish Environment Business Award.

The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards are a partnership between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland and NatureScot.

More than 2500 applications have been received since the awards began in 1999. Since then, more than 270 businesses of all sizes with a green ethos, who have identified ways to tackle the impact on the planet by reducing consumption on its resources, have been recognised. This has included products and services which increase recycling, facilitate active travel, reduce the use of raw materials by adopting a more circular approach and many more.

Two new categories have been introduced for VIBES 2022:

The Nature Rich Scotland Award – open to businesses being proactive in protecting or enhancing nature and connecting people with wildlife.

The Energy Transition Scotland Award – open to businesses demonstrating decarbonisation and a significant change in the ways they use or produce energy to minimise their impact on the environment.

There will be awards in 12 categories at VIBES 2022.

Last year, Brewster Bros was a VIBES Outstanding Achievement Award winner. The firm specialises in sustainable resource management for the construction industry at their Livingston recycling plant by processing construction, demolition and excavation (CDE) waste into industry standard recycled aggregates and other recycled products, which are then sold back to the construction industry.

Brewster Bros impressed the judges with their commitment to a circular business model and their drive to change behaviours within the construction sector.

Scott Brewster, managing director of Brewster Bros, said: "We run our plant on a renewable energy tariff and so far, we have managed to recycle 90 per cent of our process water. We also fuel our HGVs on hydrotreated vegetable oil rather than traditional diesel and operate a 'backload' system to ensure as few empty lorry loads as possible enter/exit our facility. 80 per cent of our vehicle movements are loaded which results in 1000 tonnes of CO2 savings per year.

"We are passionate and committed to continual improvement, working with partners to identify new opportunities and develop learning. We would like to thank the VIBES judging panel for recognising our efforts in reducing our environmental impact. The application process highlighted our environmental good practice to our staff and uncovered further room for improvement.”

All VIBES applicants receive tailored feedback and guidance and signposted to further free help, where appropriate. More information on this can be found on the VIBES website.

Bob Downes, chairman of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, said: “Many firms are showing that environmental innovation and best practice can also bring economic benefits, which is helping highlight Scotland as a leader in climate change action.

“Every business can play a role in leading Scotland to net zero. The VIBES awards recognise those businesses that are leading the transition to a net zero emissions economy through innovation, partnerships, circular economy, adaptation and a commitment to making the environment a key factor in decision making.

“Creative and pioneering organisations will be those who champion best practice and create sustainable goods, products and services through leadership, innovation and ambition, making a positive environmental impact protecting our planet for future generations.

“If your business fits that bill, there is still time for you to showcase how you are achieving your environmental business goals ahead of April’s submissions deadline.”

Finalists will be announced in June 2022. To obtain an application form please contact vibes@sepa.org.uk . Businesses have until 5pm on April 29 2022 to submit their free application.

For more informant on VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards, please visit www.vibes.org.uk/.

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