28 August 2013

The VIBES Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to industry leaders who have dedicated their careers to the pursuit of environmental excellence within their business sectors and beyond.

Last year, the Lifelong Achievement Award went to Peter Lederer, Chairman of the Gleneagles Hotel.  Peter reflects on his experience below:

“One of the highlights of 2012 for Gleneagles and for me was the pleasure of receiving the VIBES Lifetime Achievement Award in Glasgow.

Sitting at lunch listening to so many inspiring people and outstanding projects and then being called on to receive this award was truly special. It was special because I know how hard many people have worked at Gleneagles, answering my challenge a few years ago. We are blessed, as one of our predecessors built Gleneagles in one of the finest locations in the world. Everything we do, however, has an impact on our environment. What can we do to minimise that impact and present Gleneagles in the best possible way to our successors?

The team immediately broke down this challenge into five key areas – our guests, our staff, our suppliers, energy and waste. The creativity, passion and commitment demonstrated not only their love of Gleneagles but their personal beliefs and values.

Our guests have donated thousands of pounds to Perthshire Big Tree Country, which has allowed them to initiate new, exciting projects as well as accelerate existing ones.

Our staff have been the stars.

They have looked at every area of our business asking what we need to stop doing, start doing or change. Hundreds of ideas, some simple and immediate, some requiring work for medium term implementation and some challenging but achievable projects for the longer term. To ensure consistency and growing support, all new staff are taught the environmental commitments and standards expected during their employment, which in turn leads to fresh thinking and new ideas.

Much work and dialogue with all our suppliers and contractors has led to a new understanding and commitment to adhere to Gleneagles’ standards. How can suppliers help us meet our aspirations and how can we help them improve? We now use every opportunity to tie purchasing policy, environmental standards and health and safety standards together so that we can agree, manage and measure performance of our supply relationships. An example of this is the excellent work our food and beverage team and our chefs have done is sourcing local suppliers, working with them to grow their business and meet our targets. A definite win win.

Waste is a real issue in the luxury hospitality business. On one hand our guests expect certain standards and products; on the other these can be wasteful and damaging. Education, communication and hard work have led to a reduction of waste to landfill of over 40% and we are on target for this to zero in the next 6 months.

Similarly, energy is an enormous cost for a huge building and estate not designed for efficiency in the 1920s! However, again, good progress with much work to do in the areas of innovation and education. So, another hectic year since the VIBES ceremony and an even busier year ahead for the fantastic Gleneagles’ team.”

 This year we want to hear your suggestions of who should be considered for the Lifetime Achievement Award 2013. If you know someone that you think deserves to be recognised for their individual contribution to driving down carbon emissions from their business, please e-mail vibes@thebusinesspartnership.org.uk with your suggestion or tweet us at @VibesAwards using #VIBEScot

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