Scotland’s businesses are being encouraged to become world leaders in sustainability and embrace the economic opportunities that environmental changes can bring.
The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards (VIBES) is celebrating its 20th year and is calling on Scottish businesses to play their part in protecting our planet for future generations.
Since they began in 1999, the VIBES Awards have recognised more than 150 businesses that have taken significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment, often saving money in the process.
This has included everything from increasing recycling and facilitating active travel to reducing waste and the use of raw materials.
Previous VIBES winners include compostable packaging producer Vegware, baker Paterson Arran, Scotch whisky brand Glenmorangie and energy supplier ScottishPower.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “We are all aware of the urgent environmental issues affecting our planet, and businesses across Scotland have a vital role to play in helping to safeguard it for future generations.
“I look forward to the VIBES Awards celebrating those businesses that are leading on developing sustainable solutions and environmental practices while embracing a vibrant and innovative circular economy.”
In Scotland alone, there is an estimated £1 billion benefit for circular economy businesses in key cities and regions, according to recent reports from Zero Waste Scotland.
On a global level, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission estimated that at least $12 trillion (US) of market opportunities and 380 million jobs could be created by 2030 if sustainable development goals were adopted in food and agriculture, cities, energy, health and wellbeing.
The VIBES Awards are run by SEPA in partnership with The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Water and Zero Waste Scotland.
This year’s award categories are:
Leadership Scotland, Innovating Scotland, Product Scotland, Service Scotland, Hydro Nation Scotland, Circular Scotland, Moving Scotland, Adapting Scotland, Engaging Scotland, Partnership Scotland and Small Business Scotland.
The 20th anniversary awards ceremony will be held on 14 November at Doubletree by Hilton in Glasgow.
Award sponsors to date include Adaptation Scotland, Mabbett & Associates Ltd, Scottish Government, ScottishPower, The Glenmorangie Company and headline sponsor, Chivas Brothers Pernod Ricard.
Businesses in Scotland have already seen an impact first hand on the risks associated with climate change, when food producers and whisky distillers were faced with water scarcity last summer.
Recent studies have shown that we only have 12 years to avert a climate change disaster and that by 2050, 1.8m people in West Central Scotland will be affected as a result of climate changes.
Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, added: “The scale of environmental challenges facing humanity is enormous and there is a real urgency to act in light of what science is showing us.
“Businesses have a responsibility and it’s empowering to see so many organisations no longer viewing climate adaptation and environmental performance as a burden and cost but as an economic opportunity - it is these businesses that will thrive.
“As the VIBES Awards have shown, many businesses in Scotland are doing great work and SEPA’s own figures reinforce this, with the environmental compliance of Scottish regulated businesses exceeding 90% for a third year running, however, we cannot rest on our laurels. We want to help Scottish businesses respond to these environmental challenges and reap the benefit and as we enter the 20th year of VIBES, we hope to inspire others to instigate change.”
In 2018, more than 400 businesses attended the awards ceremony in Glasgow’s Radisson Blu.
Businesses have until 5pm on 10 May 2019 to submit their free VIBES application.
For an application form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply
All award categories are open to any Scottish based business or social enterprise that contribute to the sustainable development of Scotland.
The application process is split into three stages:
Stage 1 - Application form is a one page summary designed to draw out information particular to each award category and to enable the judging panel to assess your application. Please find application forms per category below.
Stage 2 - Applications scoring highest in stage 1 will be shortlisted and invited to provide further information in stage 2 of the process.
Stage 3 - Applications scoring highest in stage 2 will be selected as finalists and will receive a judging site visit