{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"business","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/loganair-takes-off-with-new-german-connection-1-4845634","id":"1.4845634","articleHeadline": "Loganair takes off with new German connection","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545192000000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish carrier Loganair is spreading its wings with the launch of its first ever service to Germany.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845633.1545138523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Managing director Jonathan Hinkles says new route marks 'significant milestone' for the airline. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The airline said today that it was commencing daily flights connecting Glasgow with Dusseldorf from 31 March using its newly-acquired Embraer 145 jet aircraft.

Current operator Eurowings is discontinuing its service, which will end on the previous day, with Loganair electing to take on the route.

The Scots carrier said it had been able to secure access to Germany’s third largest airport despite “stiff competition” from intercontinental airlines for scarce runway slots.

Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s managing director, said: “Our new Dusseldorf route is Loganair’s first foray into Germany, heralding another significant milestone for the airline as our reach extends into continental Europe.

“We’re now able to carry passengers further and faster since adding Embraer 145 jets into the fleet.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845633.1545138523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845633.1545138523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Managing director Jonathan Hinkles says new route marks 'significant milestone' for the airline. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Managing director Jonathan Hinkles says new route marks 'significant milestone' for the airline. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845633.1545138523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/green-investment-group-buys-share-of-210m-energy-from-waste-plant-1-4845891","id":"1.4845891","articleHeadline": "Green Investment Group buys share of £210m energy-from-waste plant","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545154090000 ,"articleLead": "

An Edinburgh-based green energy investor has secured a stake in a £210 million facility that will convert 216,000 tonnes of Scottish waste into green energy each year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845890.1545154607!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Grangemouth plant will convert the equivalent of around 20 per cent of Scotland's total landfilled household waste into energy. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Green Investment Group (GIG), together with energy-from-waste owner and operator Covanta Energy, has completed the acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in the Earls Gate Energy Centre (EGEC) in Grangemouth.

A combined heat and power project, EGEC will covert 216,000 tonnes of waste, the equivalent of around 20 per cent of Scotland’s total landfilled household waste, into energy, producing 79 gigawatt hours (GWh) of green electricity and 81GWh of heat in the form of steam each year.

Edinburgh-based Brockwell Energy owns the remaining 50 per cent stake in the project, which has a total value of approximately £210m.

EGEC will become a source of green, low-cost energy for businesses located at Earls Road, such as chemical manufacturer and site service provider CalaChem, which has entered into a long-term energy supply agreement for the offtake of electricity and steam produced by EGEC.

This is expected to reduce CalaChem’s annual carbon consumption by the same amount as taking 17,000 cars off the road for a year. The remaining electricity will be exported to the grid.

EGEC marks the first investment in Scotland by GIG, formerly Green Investment Bank, since the company’s privatisation by Macquarie Group last year.

Construction on the site is due to start in 2019 and it is expected to be operational by late 2021, creating up to 500 jobs during construction.

Edward Northam, head of GIG Europe, said: “For the first time ever, 2017 saw Scotland recycle more waste than it sent to landfill. This is a fantastic achievement, but there remains a lack of capacity in Scotland’s waste management system to unlock the value to businesses and households from converting residual waste into low-carbon energy. The Earls Gate facility will play a major role in changing that.

“Earls Gate is our 19th investment in Scotland to date, and we’re delighted it will help secure a reliable, low-cost, green heat and power supply for local industry, further supporting the decarbonisation of the Scottish economy.”

The facility is expected to make a significant contribution to the local authority’s ability to achieve Scotland’s biodegradable municipal waste landfill ban, which is due to come into effect from January 2021.

Previous GIG projects to support Scotland’s decarbonisation include an energy-from-waste plant in Millerhill, Edinburgh, and a heat and power plant in Craigellachie, Moray.

Matthew Mulcahy, Covanta’s executive vice president and head of corporate development, said: “The project is well-structured with long-term contracts on both waste and energy and will provide critical sustainable waste disposal capacity in Scotland.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845890.1545154607!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845890.1545154607!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Grangemouth plant will convert the equivalent of around 20 per cent of Scotland's total landfilled household waste into energy. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Grangemouth plant will convert the equivalent of around 20 per cent of Scotland's total landfilled household waste into energy. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845890.1545154607!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/copernicus-secures-fresh-deal-to-deliver-raf-aircraft-training-1-4845739","id":"1.4845739","articleHeadline": "Copernicus secures fresh deal to deliver RAF aircraft training","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545152704000 ,"articleLead": "

Moray-based aircraft training firm Copernicus Technology has won a fresh Ministry of Defence contract to support aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845738.1545145304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Michelle Sanders, P-8A program leader and MOD defence equipment and support; wing commander James Hanson; Roo Hornby, business development director at Copernicus Technology; Giles Huby, managing director at Copernicus Technology. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The company, which employs a team of ex-RAF personnel, has delivered a visual recognition training syllabus to senior representatives of the RAF Poseidon MRA Mk1 programme and has now won a second deal to deliver a training management system for the programme’s aircraft.

Copernicus business development director Roo Hornby said: “We are incredibly proud to have won another contract to support the RAF Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, close to our headquarters in Moray.

“The training management system we and our partners are delivering will play an essential role in the analysis, design and delivery of training to ensure all staff operating and supporting the aircraft exploit it to its full potential whilst operating to the highest standards of safety and assurance.”

Copernicus provides test equipment and data analysis services to the aerospace, defence and rail sectors, with customers in the UK, mainland Europe and the US.

Michelle Sanders, senior Ministry of Defence team leader responsible for the delivery of the RAF Poseidon fleet, said: “The expertise and agility of small businesses such as Copernicus Technology are essential to the success of these large capability programmes.

“It is also excellent to see businesses local to RAF Lossiemouth playing such a key role in the future of the region.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845738.1545145304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845738.1545145304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left: Michelle Sanders, P-8A program leader and MOD defence equipment and support; wing commander James Hanson; Roo Hornby, business development director at Copernicus Technology; Giles Huby, managing director at Copernicus Technology. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left: Michelle Sanders, P-8A program leader and MOD defence equipment and support; wing commander James Hanson; Roo Hornby, business development director at Copernicus Technology; Giles Huby, managing director at Copernicus Technology. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845738.1545145304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/rbs-names-katie-murray-as-new-finance-chief-1-4845801","id":"1.4845801","articleHeadline": "RBS names Katie Murray as new finance chief","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545150081000 ,"articleLead": "

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has appointed Katie Murray as executive director and chief financial officer (CFO), with effect from 1 January.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845800.1545150077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Murray has been serving as interim CFO since Ewen Stevenson left RBS at the end of September. Picture: Gus Campbell"} ,"articleBody": "

Murray, who was appointed interim CFO when Ewen Stevenson left the bank at the end of September, joined RBS as director of finance in 2015.

She will also be appointed as executive director and CFO on the boards of NatWest Holdings, The Royal Bank of Scotland, National Westminster Bank and Ulster Bank.

RBS chairman Howard Davies said the appointment followed a “successful” spell as interim CFO during which Murray had “already contributed significantly” to RBS.

Murray added: “I am delighted to take up this role and look forward to working with my colleagues across RBS as we continue to build a bank that is simple and safe for customers, produces positive returns for shareholders and makes a major contribution to the UK economy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845800.1545150077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845800.1545150077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Murray has been serving as interim CFO since Ewen Stevenson left RBS at the end of September. Picture: Gus Campbell","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Murray has been serving as interim CFO since Ewen Stevenson left RBS at the end of September. Picture: Gus Campbell","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845800.1545150077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/oil-industry-veteran-takes-chair-after-enermech-deal-is-sealed-1-4845684","id":"1.4845684","articleHeadline": "Oil industry veteran takes chair after EnerMech deal is sealed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545145200000 ,"articleLead": "

Mechanical and electrical services specialist EnerMech has named oil industry veteran John Kennedy as its chairman following the completion of the Aberdeen-headquartered group’s sale to Carlyle Group.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845683.1545141135!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Created in 2008, the Aberdeen group employs some 3,500 staff across 40 locations. Picture: Simon Price"} ,"articleBody": "

Kennedy has been appointed chair, with Joost Dröge and Bob Maguire, both managing directors and partners at Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP), and Philippe Boisseau joining the board as non-executive directors.

EnerMech announced in October that it had signed definitive agreements to be acquired by Nasdaq-listed Carlyle Group from Lime Rock Partners for a substantial undisclosed sum.

Created in 2008, the Aberdeen group employs some 3,500 staff across 40 locations, in the UK, Norway, the Middle East, Caspian, Asia, Africa, Australia and Americas. It works on large-scale projects across the oil and gas, liquefied natural gas, renewables, defence, power, infrastructure and petrochemicals sectors.

Spanning a 40-year career in oilfield services, Kennedy has held senior executive positions with Brown & Root, Halliburton and rig manufacturer Lamprell.

In 2006, he led the buy-out of Vetco International from ABB and he was chairman of Wellstream Holdings when it successfully completed an initial public offering (IPO) in 2007 and three years later when the business was acquired by GE in a £800 million deal.

Doug Duguid, chief executive of EnerMech, said: “I am delighted we are able to mark the official completion of the Carlyle Group’s acquisition of EnerMech with important non-executive appointments of the highest calibre.

“John Kennedy’s experience in the upstream sector and successful corporate track record will add a breadth of expertise and knowledge which will shape the next chapter of EnerMech’s growth strategy.

“EnerMech is in an excellent position to consolidate our presence in our existing markets whilst pushing forward in exploiting new geographic and sector opportunities.”

In September, the firm revealed annual accounts for the year to December 2017 with revenues of £361m and underlying profits of £43.6m, and forecast that 2018 revenues were expected to reach £430m with earnings in the region of £59m.

Equity for the Carlyle investment is coming come from CIEP, a fund that invests in the global oil and gas sector outside North America. Credit Suisse, Lloyds and DNB have underwritten the all-senior rated loan financing the deal.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845683.1545141135!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845683.1545141135!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Created in 2008, the Aberdeen group employs some 3,500 staff across 40 locations. Picture: Simon Price","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Created in 2008, the Aberdeen group employs some 3,500 staff across 40 locations. Picture: Simon Price","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845683.1545141135!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/bgf-in-highlands-first-with-5m-care-home-investment-1-4845728","id":"1.4845728","articleHeadline": "BGF in Highlands first with £5m care home investment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545144233000 ,"articleLead": "

Parklands Group, one of the largest care home providers in the north of Scotland, has secured a £5 million investment to accelerate its growth.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845727.1545144229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ron Taylor and Keith Barclay at a proposed site in Inverness. Picture: Trevor Martin"} ,"articleBody": "

Set up in 1993, in Buckie, by Ron Taylor, the group provides residential care for older people at eight care homes across Moray and the Highlands – the most recent being its newly opened Lynemore home in Grantown-on-Spey.

The investment marks BGF’s first in the Highlands and Moray, having invested more than £200m across 27 businesses in Scotland since 2011. BGF was formerly known by the full name, Business Growth Fund.

The growth capital will be used to support the building of a £4m 40-bed care home in Fortrose and a £6.5m “care hub” in Inverness, comprising a 48-bed care home and 16 assisted living suites.

Ron Taylor, managing director at Parklands, said: “This investment by BGF, one of the world’s leading growth investors, is a major vote of confidence in Parklands. It will help fund our next stage of expansion and enhance the quality of care provision in the Highlands.

“By 2020, we will have invested around £16m on new and expanded care homes, facilities that are much needed in the Highlands.

“Our investment will create hundreds of jobs in the region and deliver a significant boost to the wider economy. It will also ensure that older people can continue to live in their local community, keeping families closer together.”

Keith Barclay, an investor at BGF, said: “We’re really pleased to have made our first investment in a business based in the Highlands and Moray.

“It is a really important part of the country for BGF as there are some great businesses here and we hope it will be the first of many.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845727.1545144229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845727.1545144229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ron Taylor and Keith Barclay at a proposed site in Inverness. Picture: Trevor Martin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ron Taylor and Keith Barclay at a proposed site in Inverness. Picture: Trevor Martin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845727.1545144229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/management/censis-appoints-tech-stalwart-as-new-chief-executive-1-4845503","id":"1.4845503","articleHeadline": "Censis appoints tech stalwart as new chief executive","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545133397000 ,"articleLead": "

Censis, the Glasgow-based innovation centre for sensing, imaging systems, and internet of things (IoT) technologies, has appointed tech stalwart Paul Winstanley as its new chief executive.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845502.1545133393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Winstalney (left) will succeed Ian Reid (right) as chief executive at Censis. Picture: McAteer Photograph"} ,"articleBody": "

Winstanley, who has previously held senior positions at tech organisations in the US and the UK, will take up the role from current chief Ian Reid in January.

A former research scientist with the Ministry of Defence, Winstanley rose through the ranks to become chief executive and president of defence tech firm Qinetiq’s North American operation in 2007.

Since 2010, he has held a series of board and non-executive appointments at organisations such as the UK Defence Solutions Centre, Reliance High Technology, and BHR Group. In 2012, he co-founded big data consultancy Alazen, where he was chief executive.

Reid is standing down after five years of leading Censis, which was recently award £9.25 million in funding from its funding partners the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise for its second five-year phase.

Winstanley said: “This is an exciting time to join Censis as the team embarks on its second phase with a reinvigorated focus and energy.

“Ian has done an excellent job of making Censis the go-to innovation partner for businesses of all sizes in Scotland and I look forward to building on that solid foundation.”

Reid added: “Paul is the ideal person to take Censis forward in phase two and I wish him and all of the team the very best for the future.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845502.1545133393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845502.1545133393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Winstalney (left) will succeed Ian Reid (right) as chief executive at Censis. Picture: McAteer Photograph","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Winstalney (left) will succeed Ian Reid (right) as chief executive at Censis. Picture: McAteer Photograph","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845502.1545133393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/wood-powers-up-with-sellafield-nuclear-work-1-4845415","id":"1.4845415","articleHeadline": "Wood powers up with Sellafield nuclear work","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545125379000 ,"articleLead": "

Wood, the Aberdeen-headquartered energy and engineering services giant, has continued its strong run of contract wins with a $66 million (£52m) deal to supply kit for the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845414.1545125375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An operator pictured in one of the control rooms at the Sellafield site. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The major ten-year contract will be seen as a further endorsement of the group’s acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler, which was undertaken last year and has led to strong revenue synergies.

Wood said its latest deal covers all stages of system design, manufacture and assembly of equipment, obsolescence management and maintenance support to project work and decommissioning carried out by the company that oversees Sellafield.

The contract was secured by a joint approach from nuclear and automation and controls specialists within Wood, which operates in more than 60 countries and employs some 60,000 people globally.

Bob MacDonald, chief executive of Wood Specialist Technical Solutions, said: “We are looking forward to working with Sellafield Limited and demonstrating the strength and depth of controls integration expertise across the whole of Wood, bringing together our nuclear expertise with our automation and controls capability.

“Securing this important framework is proof of the rationale for acquiring Amec Foster Wheeler 12 months ago and a good revenue synergy. We could not have won this contract as separate businesses.

“Our aim is to provide Sellafield with long-term supply chain capability and capacity, implementing standardised solutions, building innovation into design and delivery, managing obsolescence, and reducing lifecycle costs.”

Last week, Wood said it was on course to meet full-year forecasts after returning to growth in 2018 while unveiling a new US contract.

However, shares came under pressure after the group cautioned that the recent volatility in commodity prices may “impact confidence and the pace of contract awards” within its oil and gas business.

Releasing a trading update, Wood said that full-year revenue was expected to be in the region of $10.9 billion (£8.7bn) to $11.1bn, up more than 10 per cent from the previous year, while full-year underyling earnings were likely to come in at $620m to $630m.

The firm noted that its positive trading momentum had continued with its full-year results set to demonstrate “good organic revenue growth”. It added that it had delivered a stronger second half, reflecting its traditional bias towards the latter part of the year, boosted by the phasing of cost savings, projects and the wider market recovery.

Wood told investors: “Looking to 2019, the outlook remains generally favourable across our industrial end markets. Although our medium-term outlook remains positive, in oil and gas recent volatility in commodity prices may impact confidence and the pace of contract awards.”

The FTSE 250-listed group also said it had been awarded a major contract to deliver engineering, procurement and construction services on a “world-class” plastics manufacturing facility on the US Gulf Coast. It noted: “This is a strategic and significant contract to Wood.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845414.1545125375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845414.1545125375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An operator pictured in one of the control rooms at the Sellafield site. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An operator pictured in one of the control rooms at the Sellafield site. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845414.1545125375!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/peppa-pig-awarded-super-brand-status-by-e-commerce-giant-tmall-1-4845263","id":"1.4845263","articleHeadline": "Peppa Pig awarded ‘super brand’ status by e-commerce giant Tmall","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545112554000 ,"articleLead": "

Peppa Pig has been recognised as a “super brand” by Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845262.1545064969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "George, Tmall cat, and Peppa Pig at Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, in celebration of Peppa Pig recently being named a 'super brand' by the world's biggest e-commerce platform, TMall. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The animated TV star has been chosen for the first “Super Brand Day” promotion of 2019, receiving top placement on the Tmall homepage and targeted marketing campaigns.

According to research firm Analysys, Tmall was the largest business to consumer platform in China in terms of gross merchandise value in 2017.

Mike Hu, president of fast-moving consumer goods at Tmall, said: “Since its launch three years ago in China, Peppa Pig has become a beloved brand for families.

To celebrate naming Peppa Pig as one of our super brands, it seemed only fitting to travel to the home of Peppa Pig to commemorate the start of our partnership.

We are thrilled to give the more than 600 million annual active consumers on our China marketplaces the opportunity to enjoy special discounts and promotions on Peppa Pig merchandise.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845262.1545064969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845262.1545064969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "George, Tmall cat, and Peppa Pig at Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, in celebration of Peppa Pig recently being named a 'super brand' by the world's biggest e-commerce platform, TMall. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "George, Tmall cat, and Peppa Pig at Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, in celebration of Peppa Pig recently being named a 'super brand' by the world's biggest e-commerce platform, TMall. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845262.1545064969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/comment-make-a-social-cause-part-of-your-2019-business-plan-1-4845117","id":"1.4845117","articleHeadline": "Comment: Make a social cause part of your 2019 business plan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545112547000 ,"articleLead": "

Has 2018 been the year that your business reaped the benefits of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme? If not, I hope I can convince you that 2019 is the year to make a change because all businesses – large or small - can really benefit from connecting with charities.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845116.1545054190!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Studies have shown a strong correlation between CSR and increased productivity, says McGrath. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

CSR provides a welcome focus for employee fundraising, it demonstrates the values that your business holds dear to the wider community, and allows you to form wider links and partnerships that can only benefit businesses long-term.

As our thoughts turn to starting the New Year on the right business footing, one resolution that I would urge you to consider is to include a CSR programme within next year’s business plan. It truly need not take much effort, but I can guarantee you that it will be worth it and you will make a big difference to those in need. Indeed, your support may be the turning point that someone needs to get back on their feet.

From organising mini-fundraisers to releasing your staff for an afternoon of volunteering, your corporate outlay need only stretch to a few pounds or hours here and there.

At Scotland’s largest homelessness charity, we’ve seen first-hand how a little can go a long way. As we approach the bitter Scottish winter, it’s a particularly vulnerable time for people experiencing homelessness. In Scotland alone, 34,972 people registered as homeless last year, and this figure does not include those who are sleeping rough outside the system. For anyone living and working in Glasgow and Edinburgh, you will have seen, like us, the increasing number of people living on the streets in our cities.

Of course, the best place for these individuals is to be is in a warm and safe indoor environment. Which is why the Simon Community has launched its “Stay Warm, Stay Safe” campaign. This campaign encourages people to call our dedicated freephone numbers if you are worried about anyone who appears to be sleeping rough or on the streets. We can deploy our dedicated street teams, who are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of hypothermia. They carry specialist equipment and know how to respond if someone is at risk.

It’s equally important that we take a preventative approach to combat the challenges homeless people face in the winter months. We need potentially life-saving items to give to people in urgent need. That’s where our second campaign comes in. The “Twelve Days of Giving” campaign allows individuals and businesses to order essentials directly through Amazon – such as sleeping bags, thermal clothing, hats, gloves, scarves and toiletries. These vital items are despatched directly to Simon Community Scotland and we distribute them to vulnerable homeless people throughout Scotland. Already we have received more than 500 gifts to help those in need.

Your donations will be warmly welcomed. Visit our website to find out how your business can help and, if you do make a donation, please take a moment to publicise it on social and other channels. This will hopefully inspire other businesses and remind the wider public that we, and other charities, are looking for help.

The value to businesses of CSR is well documented. Studies have shown a strong correlation between CSR, increased workforce morale and productivity. All this leads to better financial performance and a stronger bottom line.

As we approach the final days of 2018, I’d like to invite you to take a few moments to consider how your business could get involved. Even better, ask your employees for suggestions. Giving back can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be, and a little goes a long way. The important thing is to get your business started on the CSR path. I hope you will do so in 2019.

- Lorraine McGrath, CEO of Simon Community Scotland and Streetwork Edinburgh

" ,"byline": {"email": "businessdesk@scotsman.com" ,"author": "LORRAINE MCGRATH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845116.1545054190!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845116.1545054190!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Studies have shown a strong correlation between CSR and increased productivity, says McGrath. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Studies have shown a strong correlation between CSR and increased productivity, says McGrath. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845116.1545054190!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/fintech-firm-gets-fresh-boost-from-scottish-equity-partners-1-4845320","id":"1.4845320","articleHeadline": "Fintech firm gets fresh boost from Scottish Equity Partners","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545112513000 ,"articleLead": "

Credit fintech provider TotallyMoney has agreed £29 million of funding from Elliott Advisors and existing investor Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845319.1545071288!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The TotallyMoney management team. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The investment will be used to accelerate customer acquisition, build out the London-based firm’s technology platform and “provide better credit for UK consumers”.

David Sneddon, a partner at SEP, said: “Our continuing support of TotallyMoney reflects our belief in the high growth potential of its data driven approach.

“Its technology-led products are creating strong competitive advantage, and this investment will ensure that the company remains at the forefront of a fairer credit market for consumers.”

Richard Monahan of Elliott added: “Credit intermediation is evolving rapidly and TotallyMoney is driving this change with its best-in-class technology platform and embedded position in the consumer finance ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to partner with SEP and the management team to significantly scale the business.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "s.reid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845319.1545071288!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845319.1545071288!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The TotallyMoney management team. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The TotallyMoney management team. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845319.1545071288!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/removal-of-supermarket-checkout-snacks-could-help-tackle-obesity-study-suggests-1-4845942","id":"1.4845942","articleHeadline": "Removal of supermarket checkout snacks could help tackle obesity, study suggests","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545163678000 ,"articleLead": "

Shoppers at supermarkets which removed sweets and crisps from checkouts purchased almost a fifth less of the unhealthy products, a study has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845941.1545163675!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Research has found that shoppers are picking up less confectionery since the policy was introduced. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

Researchers at British universities found 17 per cent fewer small packages of sugary confectionery, chocolate and crisps were bought and taken home from supermarkets after they introduced policies to limit unhealthy foods at the tills.

A “dramatic reduction” in the number of purchases of unhealthy food eaten “on the go” was also revealed in the study, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care Policy Research Programme.

Shoppers made 76 per cent fewer purchases of sugary confectionery, chocolate and crisps from supermarkets with the policies, it was observed.

Six of the nine major supermarkets introduced checkout food policies between 2013 and 2017, according to the research, which anonymised the data.

Dr Jean Adams, from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge, who led the study, said: “It may seem obvious that removing unhealthy food options from the checkout would reduce the amount that people buy, but it is evidence such as this that helps build the case for government interventions to improve unhealthy behaviours.

“One such intervention might be to introduce nutritional standards for checkout food as suggested in the Government’s recent childhood obesity plan.

“Such a government-led policy might prove attractive to supermarkets as it would provide a level playing field across the sector.”

A team of researchers at the universities of Cambridge, Stirling and Newcastle analysed data from Kantar Worldpanel’s Consumer panel for food, beverages and household products.

They looked at the purchases of more than 30,000 UK households during the 12 months before and after the supermarkets introduced checkout food policies.

They also analysed data from 7,500 shoppers who bought “on-the-go” food from supermarkets with and without the policies between 2016 and 2017.

The researchers were unable to prove definitively the drop in purchases was due to the policies because the study was not a randomised control trial.

Dr Katrine Ejlerskov, one of the study’s authors, said: “Our findings suggest that, by removing sweets and crisps from the checkout, supermarkets can have a positive influence on the types of purchases their shoppers make.

“This would be a relatively simple intervention with the potential to encourage healthier eating.

“Many of these purchases may have been impulse buys.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845941.1545163675!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845941.1545163675!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Research has found that shoppers are picking up less confectionery since the policy was introduced. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Research has found that shoppers are picking up less confectionery since the policy was introduced. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845941.1545163675!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/regions/dundee-tayside/msps-seal-deal-to-transform-and-safeguard-future-of-dundee-michelin-plant-1-4845920","id":"1.4845920","articleHeadline": "MSPs seal deal to transform and safeguard future of Dundee Michelin plant","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545160743000 ,"articleLead": "

Michelin has made a deal with Scottish Ministers to “transform” their Dundee tyre factory in an effort to secure a future in low carbon transport and manufacturing.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845919.1545160738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A deal has been struck that will transform the Michelin plant. Picture: Michal Wachucik/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

It was announced in November the plant, which employs 845 workers, would cease production by mid-2020.

The joint commitment will see the French firm work with Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and other strategic partners to help protect jobs at the site.

READ MORE: Hundreds of jobs under threat at Michelin Dundee due to drop in demand

Focus will be on trying to secure a long-term future in manufacturing, remanufacturing, recycling and low carbon transport.

Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “I welcome Michelin’s formal commitment to work in partnership to develop the next phase of their presence in Scotland, including the skills and the capacity of their workforce and the transformation of the site.

“This agreement confirms our shared aim to secure a long-term future for the site and to generate significant employment there.

“The Scottish Government will continue to do everything in its power to support the repurposing of the site.”

The Michelin Dundee Action Group, comprising key public and private sector stakeholders, has met on three occasions since the closure announcement to find a sustainable future for the site and its employees.

An alliance was then formed to lead the development and delivery of a Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc.

Membership includes Michelin, Scottish Government, UK Government, Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council, Skills Development Scotland, Transport Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Futures Trust.

Despite the memorandum of understanding being signed on Monday, union bosses have warned “significant” job losses will still go ahead.

Marc Jackson, Unite convener at Michelin Dundee, said: “We are pleased that a number of viable proposals designed to repurpose the site are being given significant political and financial support.

“Michelin could have walked away after their announcement but the company have listened, which must be acknowledged.

“However, the reality is that a significant number of jobs will be lost.

“Unite throughout this process is determined to get the best deal for every employee on site whether it is for those who wish to leave or those who wish to find new employment on site.

“Delivering these objectives is our priority.”

Councillor John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, added: “We are clear that a lot of hard work lies ahead, but with the ongoing commitment of Michelin to Dundee, and the support of all the agencies involved, we have created a strong platform upon which to build a sustainable future for the site.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845919.1545160738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845919.1545160738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A deal has been struck that will transform the Michelin plant. Picture: Michal Wachucik/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A deal has been struck that will transform the Michelin plant. Picture: Michal Wachucik/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845919.1545160738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/ofcom-mobile-phone-coverage-far-worse-in-scotland-than-in-england-1-4845741","id":"1.4845741","articleHeadline": "Ofcom: Mobile phone coverage ‘far worse’ in Scotland than in England","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545146025000 ,"articleLead": "

Mobile phone coverage is “far worse” in Scotland than it is in England, despite customers having to pay out just as much, according to the UK’s communications regulator.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845740.1545146021!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mobile phone coverage in Scotland is 'far worse' than in England, Ofcom has said."} ,"articleBody": "

A report published by Ofcom indicates only 38% of the country can get good 4G services from all operators - while 82% of England is covered.

READ MORE: Watch: Scots star Gerard Butler directs school nativity play

The Scottish Government are aiming to deliver superfast broadband to every home and business by 2021.

READ MORE: Brexit: Would an independent Scotland face a hard border with England?

The number of Scottish premises able to access a superfast connection has increased from 87% in 2017 to 92% this year.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the UK Government and Ofcom to take stronger action to improve Scottish mobile coverage.

Andrew McRae, the FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “Consumers and businesses in Scotland are paying as much for their mobile phones as counterparts elsewhere in the UK for a service, which this report illustrates, is far worse.

“While it is good to see Ofcom note that this is unsatisfactory, we need to see action from them, the UK Government and mobile operators to address this long-standing problem.

“On the other hand, this publication also underlines that Scotland is making good progress on superfast broadband provision, though we still lag both England and Wales.

“We strongly support the Scottish Government’s ambition on this front, though we would underline that expectations amongst communities and firms are very high and they must deliver.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat Rural Economy and Connectivity Spokesman, Mike Rumbles, said: “You must keep your fingers crossed when driving home this Christmas that you aren’t caught in a 4G blackspot. As we rely increasingly on our mobiles, it is becoming a safety issue to have our rural countryside a 4G not-spot.

“The Scottish Government has made a lot of promises but has yet to deliver any meaningful change and it must speed up the glacial pace it has been taking to try to reach 100% superfast broadband coverage. It is our rural areas, which have been left to be provided for last.

“Reliable coverage of 4G and Superfast broadband is an investment into the future. The Scottish Government must get serious and provide rural areas with the coverage we all expect.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845740.1545146021!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845740.1545146021!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mobile phone coverage in Scotland is 'far worse' than in England, Ofcom has said.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mobile phone coverage in Scotland is 'far worse' than in England, Ofcom has said.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845740.1545146021!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/david-watt-partnership-culture-pays-in-celebrating-scotland-s-heritage-and-rich-diversity-1-4844976","id":"1.4844976","articleHeadline": "David Watt: Partnership culture pays in celebrating Scotland’s heritage and rich diversity","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545113444000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government has recently been consulting on a new draft culture strategy for Scotland. Underpinning this new draft strategy is the idea that there is “no one story of culture in or from Scotland and each individual and community contributes to and shapes their own culture, and society more broadly.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4844974.1545043449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drake Music School of Edinburgh and PreSonus Audio Electronics provided equipment and funded rehearsals for the world's first disabled youth orchestra, supported by the Culture & Business Fund Scotland"} ,"articleBody": "

It is envisaged that this new ­strategy will align with a revised Scottish Government National Performance Framework including a new national outcome that “we are creative and our vibrant and diverse cultures are expressed and enjoyed widely”.

One key indicator of Scotland’s cultural diversity is the huge ­variety of languages spoken in Scottish homes, calculated to be 158 in 2017. A key strength of Scottish society lies in our rich and varied culture, ­heritage, landscapes, languages, ­traditions and creativity. Places and people underpin culture in Scotland and younger generations inherit ­traditions that they simultaneously steward and make their own.

At the same time, as urban ­areas become busier and even more diverse, this creates issues of ­integration and people’s sense of belonging.

With the advent of new technology and the loosening of ­traditional local community ties, social isolation is a growing ­challenge, particularly in rural areas, for disabled and older ­people and for newcomers to ­Scotland including refugees. Nurturing culture in all its many and varied forms can play a crucial role in addressing the ­challenges and exploiting the ­opportunities thrown up by an increasingly diverse modern ­Scotland.

The range of culture and business partnerships supported by the Culture & Business Fund Scotland (CBFS) provides a perfect illustration of that diversity.

Launched in April last year, the CBFS programme is managed by Arts & Business Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government via ­Creative Scotland and aims to encourage ­closer collaboration between ­business, arts and heritage by match funding business sponsorship of ­cultural projects.

Enabled by the CBFS, a partnership between Drake Music Scotland and PreSonus Audio Electronics provided equipment and funded rehearsals for the world’s first disabled youth orchestra.

Through the programme, ­independent social care provider Edinburgh Homecare partnered with the Edinburgh Iranian Festival to help fund a special showcase of ­Iranian animation at this year’s Festival.

Many partnerships have focused explicitly on promoting diversity and inclusion. At the heart of a partnership between accountancy group KPMG and Scottish ­Ballet was an opportunity to work with a local school in a deprived area of Glasgow, giving its pupils a unique opportunity to access and experience the arts.

The National Theatre of Scotland’s partnership with the Scottish ­Salmon Company has taken a world class ­theatre experience into schools in some of the most remote parts of Scotland, directly benefiting the ­families of company staff who live and work in those ­communities.

Elsewhere, debt advisers Richmond Oaks have partnered with the ­Scottish Youth Theatre’s National Ensemble to enable a Scotland-wide summer tour of VENT, a ­specially written anthology of plays with themes that are connected to ­mental health.

CBFS partnerships have been ­equally diverse in the different types of cultural activity they have ­supported.

In the arts, this has included ­everything from film, theatre and dance to music, literature and the visual arts while almost one in four of those projects funded by the CBFS during its first year have included a specific heritage focus.

It’s significant and entirely right that the new draft culture strategy for Scotland should recognise our cultural landscape as a melting pot of ideas that is constantly evolving.

In line with that strategy, by ­promoting inclusion and diversity in cultural endeavour, programmes such as the Culture & Business Fund Scotland are helping to ensure that Scotland’s cultural offering continues to evolve in new and exciting ways.

David Watt is chief executive of Arts & Business Scotland.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Watt"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4844974.1545043449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4844974.1545043449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Drake Music School of Edinburgh and PreSonus Audio Electronics provided equipment and funded rehearsals for the world's first disabled youth orchestra, supported by the Culture & Business Fund Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drake Music School of Edinburgh and PreSonus Audio Electronics provided equipment and funded rehearsals for the world's first disabled youth orchestra, supported by the Culture & Business Fund Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4844974.1545043449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4844975.1545043451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4844975.1545043451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Watt is Chief Executive of Arts & Business Scotland.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Watt is Chief Executive of Arts & Business Scotland.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4844975.1545043451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/duncan-thorp-waste-not-want-not-give-reuse-and-recycling-the-green-light-1-4844973","id":"1.4844973","articleHeadline": "Duncan Thorp: Waste not, want not – give reuse and recycling the green light","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545113376000 ,"articleLead": "

Increasing numbers of ­businesses are beginning to look at their impact on the natural environment. Waste ­recycling and saving energy have become the standard for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It’s a win-win for the environment as well as for the bottom line.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4844972.1545043328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Duncan Thorp, policy and communications manager, Social Enterprise Scotland."} ,"articleBody": "

Social enterprise businesses are leading the way in many respects. Some place environmental impact at the heart of their wider work, while others exist to fulfil a specific ­environmental mission.

These green social enterprises are diverse. From recycling, to gifts and furniture, community energy, regeneration and connecting with the natural environment, there are lots of great examples across Scotland.

Social enterprises like The Ecology Centre in Fife have holiday and ­weekend activities to explore ­conservation and nature while Instinctively Wild reconnects ­people of all ages through nature, with bespoke outdoor programmes.

Spruce Carpets sells high-quality affordable flooring, with donations from the carpet industry and ­Glasgow Wood Recycling sells ­garden and indoor furniture made from reclaimed timber, both ­reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

Changeworks in Edinburgh offers energy advice and household and business waste services. ILM ­Highland works in waste electrical recycling and reuse for the Highland area.

These and many more trade in great consumer products and services at competitive prices, while also ­offering positive social and environmental impact.

The recent winner of Environmental Social Enterprise 2018 at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland was Point and Sandwick Trust in the Western Isles, with their ­ambitious windfarm project, the shortlist including sustainable transport ­consultancy, Transport Planning & Engineering and others. The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards recently recognised a number of Scottish green businesses, including social enterprises.

There are different ways for green businesses to learn from each other. Through Social Enterprise Scotland membership, the community repair, reuse and recycle charity Community Resources ­Network Scotland (CRNS) and ­Community Energy Scotland, help communities drive forward green energy.

All this activity feeds in to the idea of a circular economy, something that’s gained in popularity within government and industry. It’s about designing waste out of industrial processes and reusing as much as possible. ­Certainly it’s an ideal fit with the social enterprise and co-operative movements, as well as initiatives driving forward fair work, the real living wage, tax justice and fair trade.

As the festive season approaches we should be even more conscious about our environmental impact and the need to reduce waste, particularly when it comes to food and gifts.

As consumers we’re increasingly discovering how to shop with a charitable and ethical heart. From fair trade to social enterprise and local community and charity shops, there are many ways to make a positive impact.

Whether you’re a high street shopper, a local council or a ­business owner looking at your supply chain, choose the green social enterprise option where you can and help make a real ­difference.

Duncan Thorp, policy and communications manager, Social Enterprise Scotland.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Duncan Thorp"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4844972.1545043328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4844972.1545043328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Duncan Thorp, policy and communications manager, Social Enterprise Scotland.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Duncan Thorp, policy and communications manager, Social Enterprise Scotland.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4844972.1545043328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/david-buchanan-cook-complaints-can-increase-the-stress-that-caused-them-in-the-first-place-1-4843878","id":"1.4843878","articleHeadline": "David Buchanan-Cook: Complaints can increase the stress that caused them in the first place","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545113121000 ,"articleLead": "

Christmas is often an ­unintended bearer of stress. It’s that time of year when otherwise innocuous factors can ­collide and accumulate to ­create a ­situation which many of us find ­difficult to endure.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4843877.1544723181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Buchanan-Cook is Head of Strategic Insight at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission"} ,"articleBody": "

The “accepted” ­festive activities of present selecting and buying, the general media-enforced seasonal ­jollity, and the prospect of the ­protracted proximity of relatives with whom we may or may not get along, can be stressful enough.

For lawyers, that can be coupled with accentuated pressures to meet client expectations over the festive period. There’s also that unspoken professional responsibility to “clear the decks” before the holidays. Sometimes this can result in the proverbial straw which breaks the camel’s back.

At the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), we often see stress – whether professional or ­personal, or indeed both, as one tends to feed off the other – as the root cause of complaints against members of the legal profession.

It’s in times of unaccustomed stress that otherwise meticulous lawyers can find themselves in trouble. They forget to return client telephone calls, fail to attend pre-arranged meetings, defy otherwise acknowledged logic and agree to courses of action which in the cold light of day they would consider ill-advised, or miss critically important court-imposed deadlines.

Where things then go awry for the client (who will often be experiencing some form of stress in their own life) complaints can arise. This causes a double whammy for the solicitor where the stress of ­having a complaint can exacerbate that ­pre-existing and underlying stressful predicament.

As part of my role, I am privileged to be able to speak to, and more importantly listen to, members of the legal profession across Scotland. One theme which frequently recurs is the huge adverse personal impact a ­complaint can create.

Under the current process, the most serious conduct complaints can take up to three years to be determined. It’s perfectly understandable, therefore, how that “threat” of potential strike-off, the potential that your career could be taken away from you, can seriously affect the mental and physical wellbeing of a legal practitioner.

It’s not impossible to imagine how the stress imposed by this can cause emotional distractions which can lead to additional oversights which, in themselves, can lead to further complaints. Certainly, the impact of complaints upon those complained about is not to be underestimated. A recent discussion paper by ­Carolyn Hirst and Chris Gill (from Queen Margaret and Glasgow universities respectively) explores that impact and the ways in which this should be addressed.

From the SLCC’s perspective, this is something which we will be ­factoring in to the best practice advice which we provide to the legal profession in terms of complaint handling.

There is, I think, an easily-forgotten duty of care on the part of law firms to support those against whom ­complaints have been made – particularly where those complaints strike at the professional and/or ethical standing of the person concerned. It can feel an isolated, and at times abandoned, position to be in. Luckily for the legal profession there is an excellent ­charity called LawCare which provides free and anonymous support. The Law Society of Scotland also provides support through its wellbeing initiative. I would strongly urge anyone in the ­profession who personally feels the adverse impact of stress, whether complaint-related or not, to get in touch with these organisations for support.

David Buchanan-Cook is head of strategic insight at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Buchanan-Cook"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4843877.1544723181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4843877.1544723181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Buchanan-Cook is Head of Strategic Insight at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Buchanan-Cook is Head of Strategic Insight at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4843877.1544723181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/kate-fergusson-giving-others-a-helping-hand-is-not-just-for-christmas-1-4843880","id":"1.4843880","articleHeadline": "Kate Fergusson: Giving others a helping hand is not just for Christmas","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545112886000 ,"articleLead": "

This season of goodwill brings out the best in ­people and evidence is all around us when you consider the huge number of charitable initiatives which come to the fore in December in support of those who most need a helping hand.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4843879.1544723225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kate Fergusson is Head of Responsible Business, Pinsent Masons LLP"} ,"articleBody": "

At Pinsent Masons, we share this sentiment throughout the year and central to our corporate ethos is a commitment to carry out business responsibly when dealing with ­clients, suppliers, our own people and the local and global communities in which we operate.

Starfish, our community investment programme, is focused on inspiring young lives. Its name was inspired by a story based on the writings of Loren Eiseley. The underlying message of Eiseley’s ­globally admired work is that, while recognising we can’t bring about complete social change by ourselves, the smallest positive action can have a beneficial impact on somebody, somewhere.

Through Starfish, we are committed to raising young peoples’ aspirations and breaking down the barriers that may prevent them from fulfilling their potential. Our support is aimed at those most in need, so we partner with schools in areas of social deprivation where academic attainment is lower than average, and work with charities and organisations to help young people build the skills and ­confidence they need for the future.

We support projects associated with education, employability and enterprise, determining the ­perceived level of need and the ­disadvantage we are trying to address. Once we adopt a project, we will provide funding, but Starfish is not just about charitable giving – as important is how our people can engage in the local community in a way in which their skills are used to make a long-term difference.

In Aberdeen, Pinsent Masons’ staff have for some years supported Transition Extreme, a social enterprise which uses urban sports such as skateboarding, high ropes and wall climbing, to help children and young people make positive life transitions. Children from a local primary school are also regular visitors to our Queen’s Road office where they ­benefit from a work experience initiative which opens their eyes and minds to potential career opportunities.

Our Edinburgh staff have similarly engaged with a local primary school with volunteers taking part in FRAN – Fun With Reading and Numbers – which supports youngsters in improving numeracy and literacy skills. Another project, with the charity Tomorrow’s People, saw Pinsent Masons’ staff working with socially-excluded young people to improve their CVs and their employability prospects. Feedback from young people and staff on both initiatives has been extremely positive and our volunteers found both very rewarding.

Various sporting activities ­provide accessible routes to ­connecting with communities and in Glasgow we work closely with SportInspired, a charity which uses sport to tackle apathy, anti-social behaviour and obesity. Aside from providing funding, our volunteers help out at sports days for several schools which showcase urban sports such as BMX and parkour, basketball and football. Each school decides on which sport they like best and SportInspired follows up with an eight-week coaching programme where experts help raise skills ­levels and encourage children to get involved. Glasgow colleagues also give up time to support a numeracy and literacy project in a local school.

Other initiatives supported by all three of our Scottish offices include the annual Kiltwalk which allows participants to walk six, 14 or 26 miles in aid of charities which benefit young people.

Globally, Pinsent Masons supports WE Charity which partners with communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to implement a five-pillar development model focused on education, clean water and sanitation, health, alternative income and livelihood and agriculture and food security. In September, staff from our Scottish offices joined UK and international colleagues in cycling 25,000 miles (equivalent to round the world) to raise funds for WE and nominated Scottish charities.

Doing business responsibly and investing in our local communities represents a unique opportunity to collaborate with our peers, clients and suppliers, to share skills and resources and make a difference to the lives of ­hundreds of young people. Whilst we are proud of the impact our volunteers make, we recognise that we can achieve much more when we work together and look forward to continuing the good work of Starfish in 2019.

Kate Fergusson is head of responsible business, Pinsent Masons LLP.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kate Fergusson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4843879.1544723225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4843879.1544723225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kate Fergusson is Head of Responsible Business, Pinsent Masons LLP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kate Fergusson is Head of Responsible Business, Pinsent Masons LLP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4843879.1544723225!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/mark-hamilton-oh-the-banter-but-it-could-land-your-firm-in-trouble-1-4843873","id":"1.4843873","articleHeadline": "Mark Hamilton: Oh, the banter! But it could land your firm in trouble","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545112817000 ,"articleLead": "

‘It was only banter’ is too often used as a defence in many walks of life, with the country’s employment tribunals proving no ­different.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4843872.1544723097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Hamilton is a partner at Dentons."} ,"articleBody": "

Although it might seem a ­clichéd and ultimately flimsy defence against accusations of workplace harassment, the recent case of Evans v Xactly ­Corporation Ltd shows context is key, and demonstrates that a culture of banter could potentially help an employer defend a harassment claim.

Mr Evans had been employed as a sales rep at the London office of US-based IT company Xactly for just under a year. He was ­dismissed for poor performance, having failed to make a single sale. After his dismissal, he brought a number of claims including ­discrimination and victimisation on the grounds of disability and race under the Equality Act.

Mr Evans reported that he had been the victim of a sustained campaign of name-calling by his colleagues, who referred to him, among other things, as “fat Yoda”, “salad dodger”, “fat ginger pikey” and the fictional dwarf “Gimli” from The Lord of the Rings.

The ET found against Mr Evans, ruling that he was dismissed because of poor performance and not for any ­discriminatory reason, a decision Mr Evans subsequently appealed to the Employment Appeal ­Tribunal (EAT).

To be successful in a claim of harassment, a claimant must be able to relate their treatment to a relevant protected characteristic (such as race, religion, sex, disability etc). More specifically, the Equality Act defines harassment as “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or ­offensive environment for that individual”.

Mr Evans attempted to link his claims to the fact that he suffered from type 1 diabetes and had an underactive thyroid (a disability which he blamed for his weight) and his connections to the ­traveller community, who are legally defined as an ethnic group and so protected against race ­discrimination.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. It may seem ­surprising that the use of such offensive terms were not considered to amount to harassment, especially given Mr Evans’ health conditions and connection with the traveller community. However, a closer look at the facts shows us how the EAT reached its ­decision.

The name-calling took place in the context of what was termed a “culture of banter” in which Mr Evans was an active participant. Mr Evans himself repeatedly referred to an Irish colleague as a “fat Paddy”, as part of a wider conversation the tribunal labelled “indiscriminatingly inappropriate”. Mr Evans also mocked a female member of staff’s weight, calling her a “pudding” while ­trying to “hug and cuddle” her.

Important in the EAT’s decision-making process was the fact the colleague who made the “fat ginger pikey” comment did not actually know Mr Evans had links to the traveller community. The EAT also commented that Mr Evans did not react at the time, as would have been expected had he actually been offended. Similarly, none of Mr Evans’ colleagues thought he was fat and he was unable to ­provide sufficient evidence that his medical conditions caused him to put on weight.

Although the EAT found in the employer’s favour, the outcome was very fact-specific. It does not give the green light for employers to ignore potential discriminatory comments in the workplace.

If an employer finds itself before a tribunal, it should be able to say that it took all the reasonable steps it could to prevent ­harassment or discrimination. This would include putting in place a policy prohibiting offensive name-calling, in combination with training to ensure all staff understand what is considered acceptable behaviour. Managers should also be ready to intervene if the behaviour could become a concern.

Of particular interest is that part of Mr Evans’ claim was based on his colleagues references to his weight. There is nothing discriminatory as far as the law is concerned about calling someone “fat”, as weight is not a protected characteristic in and of itself.

However, had Mr Evans been able to link his weight to his health conditions, he might very well have succeeded. This demonstrates how a seemingly innocuous (although nevertheless offensive) comment about someone’s weight could potentially be considered discriminatory.

Mark Hamilton is a partner at Dentons.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Mark Hamilton"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4843872.1544723097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4843872.1544723097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mark Hamilton is a partner at Dentons.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Hamilton is a partner at Dentons.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4843872.1544723097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/mary-church-donald-trump-and-eu-lead-world-astray-on-climate-change-1-4845146","id":"1.4845146","articleHeadline": "Mary Church: Donald Trump and EU lead world astray on climate change","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545112800000 ,"articleLead": "

The world is failing to take the necssary action over climate change at what is perhaps the most important crossroads in the history of humanity, writes Mary Church.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845145.1545055654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Did COP24 president Michal Kurtyka's 'jump for joy' mask a lack of real action? (Picture: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

Katowice might go down in history as the longest UN climate talks ever, opening a day early and finishing a whole day late, but it will also surely be remembered – if there is anyone left alive to read the history books – as the conference that failed, despite the extra time, to act on the basis of science and respond appropriately.

Because, an appropriate response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s terrifying warning of only two months ago that we have merely a decade to avoid truly catastrophic warming would be to require an absolutely massive increase in efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Such an effort would look like a minimum average reduction of 12 per cent a year across the EU, and comparable cuts in developed countries around the world – along with the provision of hundreds of billions in climate finance to the global south.

To put this in context – Scotland is amongst a handful of countries with the strongest climate change targets in the industrialised world, and yet our legislation requires only three per cent a year; something we have struggled to achieve more than once. Meanwhile our well-intentioned Climate Justice Fund amounts to barely a drop in the ocean of the finance needed.

Instead, what we saw at the talks in Poland, known as COP24, was an effort led by the US to fundamentally deny the science of climate change, and to reinterpret the Paris Agreement in determining how it should be implemented.

The US is the only country in the world that has not endorsed the findings of an IPCC special report, Global Warming of 1.5C. And, backed by an unholy trinity of big oil and gas producing nations – Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait – it ensured that the Paris Agreement processes designed to ramp up climate action would not integrate the latest science.

READ MORE: Insight: 2018, a bellwether year for global climate change disaster

The US also led efforts to erode the principle of equity – or common but differentiated responsibility – that is core to the Paris Agreement, recognising the historical responsibility and greater capacity of nations in the rich, industrialised West to shoulder the burden of action to tackle the climate crisis. With Trump at the helm, it’s easy to point to the US as the villain of the piece. But what of the EU as a negotiating bloc and other so-called progressive forces? In what was part a misguided attempt to create space for the US to come back into the Paris Agreement (during the four years it takes to actually leave), the EU and other developed countries either supported or hid behind the US in watering down the Paris Rulebook and any mandate for increased action. In part, the EU’s behaviour in these talks is due to its member states’ refusal to confront the need for deep systemic changes worldwide as the only answer to the climate crisis.

The story of rising emissions and an emerging climate crisis over the last 250 years is also the story of a struggle for improved living and working conditions on the one hand, and on the other, of powerful interests – whether nation states or corporations – growing rich at the expense of others.

READ MORE: Joyce McMillan: Why politicians are failing to tackle climate change

If standards of living have improved in many parts of the world, inequalities within countries are growing. Reliance on neoliberal market-led solutions is not working: either in terms of improving people’s standards of living and well-being, or in terms of driving down emissions. The failure of governments to address the root causes of the multiple crises afflicting both global north and south – poverty, lack of access to energy, polluted air and water, inadequate transport, unemployment or precarious work, increasing mental health problems and isolation – is driving voters into the arms of opportunistic, self-serving extremists who offer simple, if violent, answers. Trump, Erdogan in Turkey, Duarte in The Philippines, many of the politicians who argued for Brexit, and now Bolsonaro in Brazil. Their lies are as easy to swallow as the mantras of centrists, left and right, who are unable to see beyond business as usual, unable to break free from the corporate fossil fuel interests that dominate in the corridors of power.

We are at perhaps the most important crossroads in the history of humanity: to respond effectively to the climate crisis, or not, and face a slow, painful extinction. Almost all governments, including our own, at devolved and UK level, talk the talk of acknowledging the crisis and responding accordingly. But responses to date have, for the most part, simply shifted our emissions to China and other growing emitters who produce much of what we continue to consume. Global emissions continue to rise and show little sign of peaking.

There is no more time to waste tinkering at the edges of a global economic system that has both caused and failed to address the climate crisis. It is time for deep, systemic changes to the way we produce food and what we eat, to the way we produce and consume energy, to the way we travel, to how our clothes are produced, and how quickly we discard them, to our work-life balance, to what is recognised as work and how it is rewarded; ultimately to what is recognised as ‘success’ and what people aspire to, reconnecting with what makes us human. To get to that place we need an honest and open dialogue across society about how to create a system that puts people before profits. We need a just transition to a fossil-free economy, where public goods are democratically owned. These are big asks! But if we act together we can make them happen. We have to make them happen – our very survival and the survival of future generations depends on it.

Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland, spent the last two weeks at the UN climate conference in Katowice

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Mary Church"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845145.1545055654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845145.1545055654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Did COP24 president Michal Kurtyka's 'jump for joy' mask a lack of real action? (Picture: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Did COP24 president Michal Kurtyka's 'jump for joy' mask a lack of real action? (Picture: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845145.1545055654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/science-must-be-put-above-the-politics-of-fishing-jonny-hughes-1-4845345","id":"1.4845345","articleHeadline": "Science must be put above the politics of fishing – Jonny Hughes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545112800000 ,"articleLead": "

The annual round of EU fishing negotiations that concludes today in Brussels is a much less fractious affair than it was a decade ago. Nowadays ministers from EU member states are more likely to listen to scientists on the total allowable catches for different fish species, writes Jonny Hughes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4832457.1545075396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fish and chips are synonymous with eating habits in these islands"} ,"articleBody": "

This is something we should all welcome given that the fish in our seas are a common resource. They are owned by no one but the responsibility of everyone – not just those to whom we grant rights to fish.

The history of over-exploitation of fish stocks in Scottish waters is a well-documented tragedy. Herring provided tens of thousands of jobs in Scotland and was the principal source of protein for millions of people in Britain before the fish began to disappear in the 1960s. The North Sea herring fishery suffered a total collapse and had completely closed down by 1978.

History almost repeated itself with North Sea cod when stocks dwindled to just 36,000 tonnes in 2006 from over 270,000 tonnes in the early 1970s. This time the collapse was averted thanks to a recovery plan which included closing key spawning areas to fishing, real-time closures to protect aggregations, limiting days at sea and testing less damaging fishing nets. By 2017, the Marine Stewardship Council had certified North Sea cod as sustainable.

READ MORE: Five families control 33% of Scottish fishing rights

This is good progress but we remain a long way from a return to healthy and productive seas. Only a quarter of fish and shellfish stocks in the EU are in good health as measured by fishing mortality and reproductive capacity. Compare that to the 19th century when a single boat could catch a tonne of halibut on the Dogger Bank in one day. Such bounteous times are unlikely to ever return and, whilst the recent story of recovery is more promising in the north-east Atlantic and Baltic Sea, the situation remains desperate in the Mediterranean and Black Seas where almost every commercial species is in critical condition.

Whatever happens now with Brexit, Scotland and the rest of the UK will need to continue to talk with our neighbours. Fish will always swim between political boundaries so negotiations on who can catch what, how much, when and where will always be needed, whether we are in the Common Fisheries Policy or not.

Climate change is impacting where fish spawn and gather so future agreements will also need to consider the rapidly shifting marine ecosystem. Squid, anchovies and blue-fin tuna are all moving into UK waters in response to seas warming by an extraordinary 0.5 degrees Celsius per decade.

READ MORE: Scottish Tories warn Theresa May over post-Brexit fishing rights

To effectively manage our fisheries in a sustainable manner that benefits our environment and economy, as well as fishing communities, we need action in a number of areas, including developing a well-managed network of Marine Protected Areas that safeguards the often fragile habitats used by spawning fish.

We also need to increase efforts to monitor fishing boats to ensure they comply with rules; take decisions on the management of fisheries based on robust evidence and within environmental limits; and ensure the impacts of fishing activities on the environment are taken into account. As we move into a period of ecological and political uncertainty, it is vital that we continue to put science above the febrile politics of fishing. Only through a strong network of protected areas and by ensuring allowances are based on strong evidence will we be able to ensure a steady supply of fish for our tables.

Jonny Hughes is chief executive of the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Follow him on Twitter @JonnyEcology.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jonny Hughes"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4832457.1545075396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4832457.1545075396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fish and chips are synonymous with eating habits in these islands","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fish and chips are synonymous with eating habits in these islands","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4832457.1545075396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/mansion-owner-told-to-stop-renting-out-scottish-house-for-parties-1-4845352","id":"1.4845352","articleHeadline": "Mansion owner told to stop renting out Scottish house for parties","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545076048000 ,"articleLead": "

A businessman has been ordered to stop renting out his luxury mansion for hen nights after neighbours complained about noise.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845351.1545076044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Businessman Michael Cameron. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

Michael Cameron, 57, took bookings for up to 30 guests per night at his nine-bedroomed home in West Linton, Peebleshire.

The property includes a gym, hot tubs, cinema room, games room and also offers a private chauffeur service. He specialised in hen party bookings but also accepted guests for birthdays and special events.

Pictures uploaded to an unofficial Facebook page set up by revellers show them enjoying hot tubs and posing with giant inflatable penises.

Mr Cameron had accepted 35 bookings in 2017 with a maximum cost of £8,000 for a week’s booking.

But neighbours had contacted police and council officials to complain about noise coming from parties.

Scottish Borders Council investigated the claims and issued an enforcement notice ordering Mr Cameron to stop renting the house to guests.

He protested, claiming he had been letting for at least ten years without incident and has now appealed to the Scottish Government in a bid to have the order overturned.

His lawyers have written to the government outlining his appeal.

They said: “The notice says that the use of the property for short-term visitor stays ‘is having a detrimental impact on residential amenity’. Mr Cameron had been made aware of neighbour complaints and so reasonably assumed that if he addressed the causes of activities giving rise to those complaints he could reassure the council he was taking the matter seriously and minimising the impact of the behaviour complained of.”

They added: “He was therefore surprised to receive the notice when he knew that he was already actively engaging with the council and taking all reasonable measures to deal with the issues raised by those who were complaining.”

Mr Cameron said he had made plans to remove two hot tubs from the rear of the house and move a barbecue area in a bid to combat disturbance.

He also said he would install a night “duty officer” to help monitor noise levels and provide concerned neighbours with a direct contact line to voice complaints.

Police Scotland said they had been called to the property in the summer. A reporter will issue a decision at a later date.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Bart Dickson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845351.1545076044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845351.1545076044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Businessman Michael Cameron. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Businessman Michael Cameron. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845351.1545076044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/baxters-profits-rise-as-american-arm-posts-rapid-growth-1-4845272","id":"1.4845272","articleHeadline": "Baxters profits rise as American arm posts rapid growth","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545066794000 ,"articleLead": "

Baxters Food Group has posted a rise in annual profits after revenues climbed on the back of strong growth in the US.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845271.1545066791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Executive chairman Audrey Baxter in front of a Francis Boag painting commissioned to celebrate the company's 150th anniversary. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The iconic family-run firm, which celebrated its 150th anniversary this year, reported a 10 per cent jump in gross profits, excluding exceptional items, to £109.3 million for the year ended 31 March.

Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) at the Edinburgh-headquartered company rose 15 per cent to £34.3m, while group revenues increased by 14 per cent to £338.3m.

Revenues in the US market, where Baxters acquired military rations provider Wornick Foods in 2014, rose to $259.2m (£205m), marking a 25 per cent increase year-on-year and accounting for around 60 per cent of total turnover.

Speaking to The Scotsman, executive chairman Audrey Baxter attributed this performance to a combination of a “buoyant” US economy and the growing market for own brand goods.

Due to an increase in emergency relief work in the US following severe hurricanes in 2017, the division provided almost nine million units of emergency meals over a concentrated period of three months.

Baxters’ Canadian operations, the sale of which it completed in May, also provided “significant profitable growth” following a recent transformation plan. Baxter said its recent sale has allowed the company to “shore up its balance sheet”.

Baxter, who is the fourth generation of the family to lead the company, said she was pleased with a “confident” set of results, but that a difficult European market and continued Brexit uncertainty posed concerns.

She said: “Europe is a difficult marketplace, but we’ve gone constant. We’re feeling very positive about where we can go with our Polish business, and we’re looking at central Europe in our strategy as well.”

However, she said the British food industry urgently needs clarity regarding the Brexit process, as the business indicated it would have no choice but to start stockpiling goods in the coming months.

She said: “Brexit is a serious matter for the food industry. To make a robust [business] plan you have to be quite clear on the impacts of all factors that affect the capability of the business. With Brexit we really do not have that clarity.

“We’re well aware that we are in difficult times here in the UK and I think businesses need some help from the politicians and need some direction.”

Mike McGill, chief financial officer, added: “This uncertainty may require us to build raw material stock resources in advance of 30 March. Commitment of significant sums of money to purchasing materials that may ultimately prove to be unnecessary is not an efficient use of the group’s capital resources, but nonetheless essential.”

The Moray-founded group, which employs more than 1,500 people, moved its headquarters to Edinburgh earlier this year.

" ,"byline": {"email": "hannah.burley@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "HANNAH BURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845271.1545066791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845271.1545066791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Executive chairman Audrey Baxter in front of a Francis Boag painting commissioned to celebrate the company's 150th anniversary. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Executive chairman Audrey Baxter in front of a Francis Boag painting commissioned to celebrate the company's 150th anniversary. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845271.1545066791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/comment-new-lenders-that-look-past-debt-can-help-scots-onto-the-housing-ladder-1-4845269","id":"1.4845269","articleHeadline": "Comment: New lenders that look past debt can help Scots onto the housing ladder","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545065798000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s a sad fact that people emerging from debt and bankruptcy problems struggle to get onto, or in many cases back onto, the property ladder.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845268.1545065794!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dean is predicting that new lenders could help up to a fifth more Scots put their debt problems firmly behind them and turn home ownership into a reality. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Thousands of people who have put their financial problems behind them find themselves locked out of the housing market, despite a vast improvement in their finances and concrete evidence that they are once again able to meet a repayment plan and live on a fixed budget.

But things are starting to change. In recent months there has been a transformation in the Scottish lending market, one we’re predicting could help a fifth more Scots put their debt problems firmly behind them and turn home ownership into a reality.

The reason for this is the arrival, north of the border, of a raft of new mortgage lenders that assess borrowers in a different way to a traditional bank or building society. These lenders don’t rely on computer-generated credit scores, which invariably result in instant rejections for people with historical credit issues, but look at each application manually. It’s a key difference that people with poor credit histories have been crying out for.

Magellan Homeloans is the latest lender to set up shop in Scotland built on the philosophy that sensible budgeting can be proved by people who were once in debt, and should be rewarded — even if their credit score is still a little bruised.

This isn’t a return to the sub-prime, irresponsible lending of the past, but a new way of lending that drills down into the detail of personal circumstances rather than relying on an algorithm that spits out a black and white response.It is affordability-based but applies a bit of common sense. For example, even prospective borrowers who have emerged from debt management programmes, bankruptcy or Protected Trust Deeds as little as 12 months previously can be considered for a mortgage, with rates starting from 2.99 per cent.

The rationale is that debt management solutions, such as Protected Trust Deeds, highlight something fundamental that must be taken into account when underwriting a loan: these would-be borrowers can meet set repayments. That, after all, is part of the intention of these solutions, as they play a role in helping people back into good habits and put them in a position where they are ready to re-enter the regular banking and borrowing system.

Given that 2,500 people were discharged from a Protected Trust Deed between July and September, according to Scotland’s insolvency service, the Accountant In Bankruptcy, the arrival of these lenders offers hope to a significant demographic.

We believe the arrival of these lenders in Scotland could see the number of people buying property rise as much as 20 per cent next year, and herald a new era of financial inclusion.

- Peter Dean, chairman and financial and personal debt solutions expert, Your Mortgage Expert

" ,"byline": {"email": "businessdesk@scotsman.com" ,"author": "PETER DEAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845268.1545065794!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845268.1545065794!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dean is predicting that new lenders could help up to a fifth more Scots put their debt problems firmly behind them and turn home ownership into a reality. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dean is predicting that new lenders could help up to a fifth more Scots put their debt problems firmly behind them and turn home ownership into a reality. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845268.1545065794!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/planned-strike-by-gatwick-airport-workers-called-off-1-4845049","id":"1.4845049","articleHeadline": "Planned strike by Gatwick Airport workers called off","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1545063900000 ,"articleLead": "

A planned strike by workers at Gatwick Airport who help passengers with disabilities has been called off after a new pay offer.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845247.1545063896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gatwick Airport. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Members of Unite employed by logistics firm Wilson James were due to take action for 48 hours from Friday.

The union said workers will receive an additional £1 an hour as well as sick pay for those who do not currently receive it.

READ MORE: Edinburgh-bound flight forced to make emergency landing in Manchester

Workers are being urged to accept the deal in a ballot.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “The hard-working staff who are dedicated to assisting passengers who require special assistance at Gatwick airport have been undervalued for far too long. This deal begins to address this.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4845247.1545063896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4845247.1545063896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gatwick Airport. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gatwick Airport. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4845247.1545063896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}