12 September 2014

Twenty-four of Scotland’s most environmentally friendly organisations have been shortlisted for the Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Awards 2014. The businesses range in size and across sectors, from drinks giant Diageo and ship builder BAE Systems, to bespoke tour operator Mercat Tours and eco-service providers, Plan Bee.

The prestigious awards recognise the commitment, actions and achievements of Scottish companies, operating in a variety of sectors, in reducing their impact on the environment.

This year’s VIBES shortlist includes a diverse range of companies from across Scotland and the winners of all eight categories will be announced at a special ceremony taking place on 27 November 2014 at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.

Gillian Bruce, Chair of VIBES, commented: “The VIBES Awards recognise companies which have taken significant steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment. We have received a diverse and high caliber range of entries from businesses of all sizes and sectors from across Scotland.

Our shortlisted companies have impressed the judges with their sustainable practices and dedication to the environment and we look forward to celebrating each of them at the awards ceremony on 27 November.

Awards will be presented for Management (SME and Large), Environmental Product or Service, Transport, Co-operation, Hydro-Nation, and Circular Economy. The best entry to any category from a company with less than 10 employees will win the Micro Business Award.

Sponsoring the event and award categories this year are Business Stream, Albert Bartlett and Sons Ltd, ScottishPower, Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland, Lothian Buses Ltd. and NetRegs. The University of Stirling Management School is a venue sponsor.

 The VIBES Awards are a strategic partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Government, Scottish Water, Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Zero Waste Scotland, Energy Saving Trust and the 2020 Climate Group. The Awards are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses and Bright Green Business.

Regular updates on the VIBES Awards 2014 will be posted on Twitter. Follow @VibesAwards. The Awards are accredited by the RSA Environment Awards Accreditation Scheme.

For further information or case study photographs, please contact:

Emmy Borthwick        0141 333 9585 / emmy.borthwick@bigpartnership.co.uk

Lesley Ogilvy             0141 333 9585 / lesley.ogilvy@bigpartnership.co.uk

Winners of the 2013 VIBES Awards included Airdrie based, Albert Bartlett & Sons Ltd., Dryden Aqua Ltd., Rabbie’s Small Group Tours and Vegware from Edinburgh, Whitmuir Organics from West Linton, Peeblesshire and Biomatrix Water Solutions in Morayshire.

Many of the 2013 winners signed up as VIBES Ambassadors in 2014, promoting the benefits of entering the awards to their wider business networks.

The full list of VIBES Awards 2014 categories and finalists (with business summaries) are as follows:


Keenan Recycling

Keenan Recycling offers a number of recycling services to local authorities and businesses including; commercial food waste collection service for restaurants, cafes, canteens etc., used cooking oil recycling, recycling of local authority and commercial food and garden waste through composting, production of organic fertiliser for local agriculture businesses and a shredding and screening service to allow others to carry out similar operations on their own sites around the UK

Wind and Cloud Travel

Wind & Cloud Travel is an Edinburgh-based tour operator, offering German speaking eco, hiking, trekking, whisky, sailing, food, rail and photography tours for individual travellers (self-guided tours) and small groups (guided tours with < 15 people) in Scotland. Wind and Cloud work with German, Austrian and Swiss travellers who are looking for an authentic experience of Scotland’s natural beauty and fascinating culture — off the beaten track.

Grease Monkey Cycles

An Edinburgh based cycle servicing company, which guarantees turn around to customers within 48 hours, providing courtesy bikes to customers if . Free collection and delivery service is provided as well as a Bicycle maintenance workshop.


Fife Harca

Fife HARCA Ltd was established with the aim of working in close partnership with Fife Council and other agencies to enable regeneration in what is widely recognised as an area of multiple deprivation.

Its two core projects have been the complete refurbishment of the former Lochgelly Miners’ Institute building, leased out as a skills training centre, and the creation of a brand new and highly energy efficient business centre.

Active4all (Yooz)

Active4All is a registered charity trading as Yooz. Yooz collects unwanted waste destined for landfill from companies and organisations. The waste is sorted and sold, normally for its original intended use. We have agreements with many large construction companies, and also local authorities and commercial companies. The materials are sold at a low price, to local communities and small businesses.

Management (Large)


Diageo is a global blender, bottler and dispatcher of alcoholic beverages, including brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Gordons Gin, Tanqueray Gin, Pimms and Ciroc Vodka.

BAE Systems

BAE Systems (Clyde site) is a naval shipbuilding site comprising a mixture of office and manufacturing/production areas. The site is currently building large sections of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier for the Royal Navy and is also undergoing a period of transformation and rationalisation as the Company reviews how our shipbuilding activities can best be consolidated.

Alliance Trust PLC

Alliance Trust PLC is a self-managed Investment Trust whose focus is to maximise the return on shareholders’ investments, through investing predominantly in global equities and fixed income

Edinburgh Leisure

Edinburgh Leisure was created in 1998 to manage and develop sport and leisure services on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council. The organisation is now a leading leisure trust with a turnover of almost £30 million, over 800 employees and 4.8 million customer visits a year.

GRAHAM Construction

GRAHAM is a privately owned company operating in the construction, asset management and project investment markets whose primary focus is constructing and maintaining infrastructure.

Management (SME)

Jessie Mac’s

Jessie Mac’s is a luxury hostel – a hybrid hostel that also provides cooked breakfasts. Main services provided are room/bed, cooking facilities and some cooked food, providing a high standard of budget accommodation. Target markets are the active outdoors and ‘green’ minded travellers/ workers.

Clyde Shopping

Clyde Shopping Centre is located in the centre of Clydebank, a town in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. With no traditional high street, the privately owned shopping centre operates as the main town centre for the area, providing convenience and comparison shopping as well as an important central focal point for the local community. Clyde provides around 750,000 sq ft mall accommodation with 120 tenants and average weekly footfall of 140,000. It operates with a small management team of 4. The Centre’s tenant mix is predominantly value-based, with retailers such as Primark, BHS, Dunnes Stores and Wilkinson.

Élan Hair Design

Believed to be the UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon, Élan Hair Design has adopted a dynamic approach to the environment – resulting in significant environmental and commercial benefits. Established in 1971, Élan is an ultra-modern hairdressing business with an extensive and established customer base in the north-east of Scotland and beyond. A comprehensive £250,000 refurbishment of its Inverurie town centre salon has seen Élan implement a series of innovative processes and systems which have transformed the business into environmental leaders.

Mercat Tours

Mercat Tours operates scheduled and private walking tours of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and Blair Street Underground Vaults.


Biomatrix Water Ltd

Biomatrix Water is an ecological engineering and design firm based in Moray, Scotland specialising in ecological water systems from Floating Treatment and Habitat Islands, to advanced waste water treatment and reclamation systems.

Atlantic Water Company

Atlantic Water Company Ltd produce a Water purification system, made in Scotland that cleans water to UK regulated drinking water standards without the use of chemicals or filters and with low energy consumption in the process. Power and a water supply are needed to produce drinking water from a variety of sources. These include Seawater, Brackish water, ground water ,lochs, streams and rivers, boreholes,and ponds. The Machines are produced in Scotland under licence and agreement by Scottish Manufacturing and Technology company QPT Ltd in Glenrothes Fife.

Eco Wash Valeting

Eco Wash Valeting provides a greener vehicle valeting option in Morayshire. The service can be delivered on the customers’ doorstep, place of work or in our garage unit located in Elgin. Eco Wash offers a waterless valeting services both privately and commercially (car dealerships). Due to the nature of this technique Eco Wash is able to valet cars in locations where traditional valeting would not be able to (multi storey car parks, fields, beaches etc).

Peel Tech Ltd

All companies undertaking potato processing such as fish and chip shops and other fast food processors will, at the start of 2016, be required to restrict their discharges to sewer. As a result the company has developed a design concept for a small scale potato waste-water treatment & starch recovery process that could provide a cost effective mechanism of enabling all these companies to meet their discharge requirements.’

Product & Service

IRT Survey

IRT provide infrared thermal images of properties for local authorities, housing associations and building professionals. Its unique service and software can quantify the energy loss from residential and commercial properties producing potential saving in £s, kWh and kg of CO2 for each anomaly found. It also provides a range of online tools that allow users to learn the full potential of the properties by trying out various refurbishment scenarios.

Plan Bee Ltd

Plan Bee is the fastest way to make a natural positive impact on your local environment.

As an eco-innovation, sustainability business Plan Bee specialise in helping companies to enhance their corporate social responsibility values through projects surrounding the importance of honeybees in the UK. Its fully managed beehive service demonstrates the client’s commitment to sustainability and community. From the hives, honey is produced premium grade bespoke honey from quintessential locations around Scotland. The honey is cold extracted, minimally filtered and unpasteurized.


Soilutions provides the remediation of contaminated soils and waters on site, removing the need for the disposal of contaminated materials to landfill.

Recovery and reuse of contaminated soils for the restoration of an inert landfill site landfill site that was about to close unrestored due to a lack of available restoration material.

Celtic Renewables

Celtic Renewables is internationally regarded as one of the most innovative companies in sustainable biofuel. It is commercialising the production of biobutanol as an advanced biofuel (a direct replacement for petrol) from the copious residues of Scotland’s most iconic export, the £4-billion malt whisky industry. This award winning innovation not only provides a viable disposal route for the by-products of one of the country’s largest and most important industries, but also integrates renewable energy with environmental sustainability – and with major whisky industries worldwide, Celtic Renewables is poised to deliver a pioneering new Green industry to Scotland and the world.

Keenan’s Recycling - See previous info

Circular Economy

Soilutions - See previous info

Better World Books

Better World Books is a for-profit social enterprise that provides a book removal service for organisations with a surplus of books such as universities and libraries. BWB sells the books online across 11 different marketplaces and give back a percentage of the sale to the donating organisation and a further percentage goes to one of its five literacy partners, with the remainder being reinvested into the business.

Re-tek Ltd

Re-tek provides a ‘re-use’, rather than conventional ‘recycle’ approach to the recycling of used electrical and electronic equipment. This approach extends the lifecycle of the equipment whilst cutting down the costs and resource associated with traditional forms of recycling large volumes of ICT and consumer electronic equipment. The refurbishment and repair of the equipment provide an environmentally progressive and secure form of asset recovery. 7000 products are reconditioned, repaired and sold monthly from our 22,000 sqft facility, therefore unlocking residual value in the equipment, and maximising returns for our clients whilst extended the products lifecycle. These markets are predominately overseas in emerging economies.

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