VIBES Award: Management SME


  • Electricity per tonne of production down 10% 2015 - 2017
  • Recycling rate up from 92.3% in 2015 to 96.4% in 2016
  • Electricity per tonne in 2017 is down 6% compared to 2016
  • Overall energy per tonne (gas + electricity) is down 40% since 2006
Sponsored by: Centre for Sustainable Practice and Living
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Paterson Arran was founded in 1895 by a husband and wife team and has today become renowned for its shortbread, biscuits and oatcakes. Located in Livingston, West Lothian, the company’s master bakers combine traditional methods with today's technology and resources to make the popular products. Its success is built on a simple formula: quality food from clean, sustainable ingredients.

The VIBES Management Award recognises businesses whose management systems deliver continuous improvement in environmental performance. The category is aimed at businesses that are taking a holistic approach to environmental improvement and can demonstrate the associated economic and social benefits that have been achieved. The judges recognised that recommendations from the previous VIBES award site visit had been taken into account and felt that Paterson Arran were worthy winners of the Management award.

Paterson Arran are to be commended for their deeply ingrained culture of continuous environmental improvement. The company has annual SMART targets for waste, water and energy. The judges were impressed with the wide range of initiatives implemented to reduce energy use, water and waste, with challenging targets set and achieved and data calculated and analysed both in absolute terms and per unit of output (per tonne of product).

The company has an Environmental Committee featuring all levels of staff. This has given the shop floor a platform to voice their ideas on environmental issues, and has helped them communicate their environmental message right through the company. The environmental committee carry out a monthly environmental audit of waste, water and energy use. This audit is led by the Environmental and Hygiene Officer and supported by a rotating member of the committee in order to give each member exposure and training on how to complete an audit.

The results of the audit are transferred to spreadsheets and communicated via the noticeboard on a monthly basis. Any anomalies are highlighted at meetings and monthly briefings.

The company has recently invested in and installed the ‘Stevens Traceability System’. Although it was originally installed for traceability reasons, they have expanded the software to include waste monitoring. This is being embedded throughout the site and generates data in order to analyse waste streams, trends and anomalies. The extent of this data helps to provide evidence regarding the investment of equipment.

It was recognised that Paterson Arran work closely with its supply chain to identify potential improvements, including with its plastic film supplier and its sugar supplier.

Paterson Arran have reduced their water consumption by 17% between 2015 and 2016 and 31% between 2006 and 2017. Between 2015 and 2016, they also reduced their absolute water consumption by 11%, their electricity per tonne of production by 10% and general waste from 51 tonnes to 38 tonnes. The judges felt it was clear that the company has benefitted from cost savings as a result of their commitment.

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Adam Wilson, Quality, Safety, Health & Environmental Manager at Paterson Arran Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised at this year’s VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards. Winning the Management Award is real testament to several years of hard work and commitment from everyone at Paterson Arran in developing our Environmental Management System and reducing our impact on the environment. We are proud of our achievements and honoured to take our place amongst many other excellent companies who are working hard to deliver a sustainable future for Scotland."