Almost 200 businesses in Scotland are competing to showcase their environmental credentials in the 2019 VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.
A record number of entries has been received for the competition, which first ran in 1999 and is now celebrating its 20th year. Locations across Scotland from Orkney to Ayr are represented in the submissions.
“This year’s entries are drawn from a wide range of industries and include companies refurbishing wind turbine components, a manufacturer of plant-based catering disposables, a lighting tower for roadworks projects that is carbon-free at the point of delivery and a company that creates sustainable active wear,” says Bob Downes, chair of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and head of the VIBES judging panel.
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“What they all have in common is a commitment to reducing the impact of consumer and commercial activity on the environment through seeking new and innovative ways to deliver goods and services.”
The VIBES Awards are run by SEPA in partnership with The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Water and Zero Waste Scotland.
Since their inception, the awards have recognised more than 150 businesses that have taken significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment, often saving money in the process. This has included everything from increasing recycling and facilitating active travel to reducing waste and the use of raw materials.
Previous VIBES winners have included Spruce Carpets, a Glasgow-based social enterprise that specialises in refurbishing and re-using textile floor coverings; Peel Tech, a Fife-based micro business that has develop a system to minimise food waste from potato processors such as fish and chip shops and Aberdeen-based EC-OG, whose Subsea Power Hub harnesses the power of ocean currents to create electricity.
The judges have seen particularly high levels of entries in both the Innovating Scotland Award and Circular Scotland Award categories, highlighting the forward- thinking approaches being implemented by businesses to help protect the environment for future generations.
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“The scale of environmental challenges facing humanity is enormous and there is a real urgency to act in light of what science is showing us,” Downes adds.
“Businesses have a responsibility and it’s empowering to see so many organisations no longer viewing climate adaptation and environmental performance as a burden and cost but as an economic opportunity - it is these businesses that will thrive.”
As part of this year’s VIBES at 20 celebrations, a special Best of VIBES Award will recognise a past winner which has demonstrate their continuous improvement and contribution to Scotland’s sustainable development.
The 10 shortlisted businesses include – Aqualution Systems, Castle Group Scotland, Chivas Brothers, CMS Window Systems, Emtelle UK, Farne Salmon, Paterson Arran, The Bay Fish and Chips, The Deep Project - The Glenmorangie Company and Vegware.
The Best of VIBES winner will be chosen by public vote. To read about all ten shortlisted companies and place your vote, please visit http://www.vibes.org.uk/case-studies/