VIBES Award: Hydro Nation Scotland


  • Environmental monitoring in place for water, waste, energy and carbon, working towards ISO 140001 accreditation.
  • Reduced the operational business miles undertaken by staff by 41,057 since 1999 (down to 30,484 from 71,541), despite an increase in geographical coverage from 1,600sqkm to 10,000sqkm.
  • Initiative to promote the development of 10,000 rain gardens across Scotland, have developed their own at site, which is used as a demonstration.
  • Created a matrix overlaying social deprivation, health issues and greening opportunities to allow them to develop projects that will provide the most environmental and social gain.
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Green Action Trust, based in Shotts, is an environmental regeneration charity, working with a wide range of stakeholders including local authorities, regional partnerships, landowners, environmental groups and local communities. They are responsible for the delivery of the Central Scotland Green Network, the largest green infrastructure project in Europe. They work with partners on a range of projects to support biodiversity, climate adaptation and community engagement. They have an aim of becoming Net Zero by 2030.

They are winners of the Hydro Nation Scotland award because of the work they have done on managing their own rain water and grey water and for the 10,000 Raingardens for Scotland project, which they lead on. Green Action Trust have developed a raingarden around their own premises in Shotts to demonstrate the principles and benefits of sustainable surface water management and grey water utilisation. Raingardens include specially designed features, which capture and store rainfall and help to reduce the likelihood or severity of floods in our urban areas. They have the additional benefits of being wildlife friendly, can reduce pollution, and provide attractive places for people to visit.

The Hydro Nation Scotland Award recognises businesses, partnerships and collaborations that have developed innovative products, practices or services in the area of water treatment and water technology, which have resulted in increased sustainability.

Green Action Trust provided considerable evidence on their leadership role in developing the 10,000 Raingardens for Scotland. It was initially under the Scottish Green Infrastructure Forum, but it is now one of Green Action Trust’s main projects. They manage the project website and collating information on existing raingardens. They are leading on the development of support materials and manuals.

Green Action Trust also demonstrated how simple actions are an important part of sustainable water management and use. They replaced the showers with energy efficient models, and water saving showerheads and installed water boilers instead of kettles to reduce the unnecessary use and boiling of water for hot drinks.

The judges were impressed with how Green Action .Trust had taken a known concept – sustainable urban drainage - and refined it to be ‘rainwater gardens’. Green Action Trust are showing significant leadership, demonstrating sustainability in action and widening the knowledge bank. Judges also highlighted how the ethos of sustainability and environmental management can be seen throughout the company structure and projects.

We are delighted to have been successful at this year’s VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards as the winner of the Hydro Nation Scotland award. Green Action Trust strives to be a leading environmental organisation in its internal practices and external operations, and we are proud that the hard work of all our staff has been recognised this wayEmilie Wadsworth, Operations Director