03 July 2013

— Energy Minister Fergus Ewing highlights the vital role water plays in Scotland’s economy —

— Entry deadline extended for Scotland’s leading sustainable business awards —

Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing is urging businesses to get recognised for their work towards developing the country’s water resources as Scotland’s leading environmental awards scheme announces an extension to its entry deadline.

The Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland Awards (VIBES), aims to recognise businesses of all sizes and sectors employing environmental best practice in their day-to-day activity to cut down on resource use, increase sustainability, improve reputation and benefit the company’s bottom-line.

This year, the Scottish Government is supporting the VIBES Hydro Nation Award, which recognises businesses that have proven expertise in maximising the economic benefit of water resources in Scotland and/or internationally.

Research shows that only three per cent of the world’s water is fresh and is distributed unevenly across the globe. In response to this and the issue of limited access to clean water and sanitation in other countries around the world, the Scottish Parliament recently passed the Water Resources (Scotland) Act 2013 with unanimous support.

The Act looks to seize opportunities to improve how Scotland uses water for economic gain, environmental improvement and social benefit. It also looks to promote Scotland as a ‘Hydro Nation’ and set an example to the rest of the world.

Mr Ewing said: “The sustainable management of environmental resources represents a win- win for business, reducing costs and enhancing value of products and services. The VIBES Awards celebrate businesses who are already winners.

This year the Scottish Government is sponsoring the new Hydro Nation Award which highlights the crucial role water plays in our economy and how good stewardship of this critical resource can deliver on all the aspects of value, for business, the environment and society at large.

Scotland is fortunate to have a plentiful and carefully managed supply of water but in a world of increasing water scarcity and climate uncertainty we must raise our game even further and play a leading role when it comes to managing our water resource.” 

The Hydro Nation Award is aimed at businesses operating in Scotland that can demonstrate how their usage, products or water services have brought environmental improvement and business benefits.

VIBES is free for businesses operating in Scotland to enter and today VIBES has announced that the deadline for entries has been extended to 5pm on Friday 12 July.

George Ellen, from Scottish Water and member of the VIBES steering group explains: “Water is absolutely key to our national identity, from our reservoirs and lochs to the lifesource of some of our most iconic industries, such as the Scotch whisky sector.

Managing our water resource with imagination is crucial to our future success and a key component of the transition to a low carbon economy. We are delighted to have the Scottish Government’s support.

Now that we have extended the VIBES entry deadline, we look forward to seeing more entries for the VIBES Hydro Nation Award and more of the exemplar work of Scottish businesses in this area.

There are a total of ten award categories for businesses to apply for this year, including the VIBES Hydro Nation Award and the new Circular Economy Award.

VIBES is a strategic partnership between Bright Green Business, Energy Saving Trust, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Government, Scottish Water and Zero Waste Scotland.

The partnership allows for a rigorousjudging process and the awards are accredited by the RSA Environment Awards Accreditation Scheme.

The Scottish Government will be sponsoring the Energy Award and the Hydro Nation Award.

ScottishPower and the Energy Saving Trust have returned to sponsor the Environmental and Clean Technology and Transport Award this year. In addition, previous winners Enviroco and Mainetti will sponsor this year’s Waste and Resources Award and the Management (large) Award.

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Twitter: @VibesAwards #VIBEScot

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