VIBES Award: Circular Economy


  • First fully licensed soil treatment site in Scotland
  • Treatment of contaminated soils for re-use rather than disposal to landfill
  • Range of treatment techniques
  • Staff are enthusiastic about the business and passionate about the need for soil treatment to provide an environmental solution to contaminated land
  • The company make excellent use of social media and provide free advice via their website
  • Over 10,000 tonnes of waste have been diverted from landfill and recycled into landfill cover and road hard standing material, reducing the requirement of virgin material for these uses
  • Significant savings compared to high rate landfill are achievable through bioremediation. This is a saving to the customer and a revenue stream for Soilutions. An estimated £700k has been saved through diversion from landfill
Sponsored by: Zero Waste Scotland
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Edinburgh based Soilutions Ltd specialise in the remediation of contaminated soils and waters, the eradication of invasive weeds and also operate a soil treatment centre where they are removing the need for the disposal of contaminated materials to  landfill.   Through remediating contaminated soils and water Soilutions recover and reuse natural resources, replacing the need for virgin materials in construction.

The Circular Economy Award is for businesses whose product or service demonstrates the business and environmental benefits of a closed loop approach.

The VIBES Judges felt that Soilutions stood out in this area, the treatment and re-use of contaminated soils is an important step to creating a circular economy.

The VIBES site visit Judges (representatives from SEPA, Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise) felt that Soilutions have demonstrated excellent commitment to sustainability and successfully integrate this into their business objectives.  It is clear that all the staff are enthusiastic about their business and the goal of treating soils so that they are returned back into the system rather than placed in landfill.

The soil treatment site developed at the Torphin Landfill site, West Lothian, was the first of its kind in Scotland. Soilutions work in partnership with the site owner, Levenseat, and various universities to develop a range of soil and water treatment techniques. The judges felt that the treatment had great potential within the circular economy concept by returning soils back into use as construction material.

The company was accredited with ISO 14001 in 2005 and have an integrated environmental management system. Environmental impacts are reduced through minimising the disposal of wastes and working with the supply chain to embed sustainability through procurement of goods and services to meet or exceed sustainability targets.

Soilutions have a structured e-marketing strategy, which includes the provision of expert advice via the website. This advice is provided free of charge and includes booklets on soil remediation, classification of soils and oils spills. This marketing strategy has assisted Soilutions in becoming a successful and respected voice in the contaminated land arena.

The company estimate that the e-marketing strategy coupled with the development and implementation of an integrated environmental management system has allowed the company to tender and win more contracts than they had previously.

The company has ambitious plans for the future and have recently engaged with SDI and undertaken an International Strategy Workshop to identify key markets outside Scotland. Negotiations with potential customers in India and Latvia are ongoing. The expectation is that any contracts won overseas will be design led and as such will not require extensive and carbon costly travel.

The ethos identified by the team at Soilutions demonstrates that embedding sustainability into every day operations leads to a positive knock-on effect for the circular economy both locally and internationally.

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John Curran, Managing Director of Soilutions said; “We are delighted to be recognised for our environmental achievements through this VIBES Award.  At Soilutions we are committed to sustainability, from the projects we manage to the way we run our business.  It is great to have this focus recognised by the VIBES judges.