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Learn from Scotland’s greenest businesses

The Green Network for Businesses brings together more than 200 businesses from all over Scotland, that have reduced their environmental impact, often reducing costs in the process.

A photo of Glenuig Inn, one of the businesses in the Green Network for Businesses

The Green Network for Businesses brings together more than 200 businesses from all over Scotland, ranging from small shops, and cafes to large corporations – and everything in between. These businesses have reduced their environmental impact, often reducing costs in the process. This may be through staff engagement, waste prevention, upgrading to more efficient lighting and heating, or installing renewable technologies. 

If you’re thinking about making improvements in your business, you can check out case studies for hints and tips or arrange to visit a business on the network. The network is also a great platform for you to share your sustainable business successes, inspire others and boost your green credentials. It’s a well-used resource, with the case studies getting over 2,500 views last year. 

We’ve got a run-down of the top five most-read case studies on the network, to show you what’s possible if you’re looking to make your business greener. 

 

1.Glenuig Inn

Glenuig Inn is a traditional Highland inn which has been using 100% renewable energy since 2015. When owner Steve Macfarlane purchased the Inn in 2007, he wanted to show it’s possible to run a leisure and tourism business successfully with minimum impact on the environment.  

Glenuig Inn now generates zero carbon emissions and no food waste, uses no single-use plastics and has reduced its waste to landfill by 97.5%. Green electricity is purchased from local hydro schemes and heat and hot water comes from a biomass boiler, with dried food waste being used as a biomass fuel. 

Steve said, “We’ve demonstrated that incorporating sustainability is sound business sense – sustainability and profitability are parts of the same approach. Doing so has turned this into a more profitable, efficient and sustainable business, making us very different from other businesses, and saving us money whilst reducing our environmental footprint.” 

Check out Glenuig Inn’s case study

 

2.North Merchiston Sports Club

North Merchiston Sports Club in Edinburgh has been open since 1921, providing sports and family activities from table tennis to martial arts. Support from Resource Efficient Scotland has helped the club create and begin working through a plan to improve its energy efficiency and make cost savings. 

This began with draught-proofing, insulation and LED lighting, which has already saved the club £2,776 and 14 tonnes of CO2. Up next is installing double glazing and upgrading the heating system.

Check out North Merchiston Sports Club’s case study 

 

3.Varis Holiday Cottage 

When Debra and Gordon bought Varis Cottage in 2014 to use as a holiday let, they were keen to replace the coal-fired heating system for something more sustainable and cost-effective. Debra said, “When we purchased the property, we really didn’t want to exchange the existing heating system for oil or electric storage heating, which seems to be a pretty standard option on the West Coast. For environmental and cost reasons, we opted for the air source heat pump to provide heat and hot water and also to use solar PV to offset the electricity demands of the system.” 

Debra is very happy with her renewables systems and finds the heat pump in particular very reactive and easy to use. As well as using renewable electricity and heat, Debra and Gordon try to use eco-friendly cleaning products, don’t use pesticides, and encourage bugs and birds to feel at home too, with a bug hotel and bird table in the garden. 

Check out Varis Holiday Cottage’s case study

 

4.Paterson Arran

Britain’s number one shortbread brand, Paterson Arran has been on the go since 1895 and began working with Resource Efficient Scotland to meet its sustainability goals in 2013.  Since then the commercial bakery has cut its waste, energy and water use. Technical Manager Adam Wilson reckons they’re saving an impressive £60,000 a year through energy saving measures alone, including voltage optimisation and upgrading to LED lights with motion sensors. 

Adam said, “Sustainability is at the heart of our business, and our ambitious environmental targets are designed to continually push greater efficiency in our energy and resource use. Over the past four years, the Resource Efficient Scotland team has supported us to meet this commitment and make long term savings to our energy bill.”

Check out Patterson Arran’s case study

 

5.Gate Church International 

Gate Church International is a vibrant church group in Dundee on a mission to become the greenest church in Scotland. The church has used funding from the Climate Challenge Fund and Resource Efficient Scotland to install a range of energy efficiency improvements, a solar PV system and an electric vehicle charge point. As well as making the church buildings more efficient, the Gate Church Carbon Saving Project helps members of the community to save energy in their homes and avoid fuel poverty, by signposting to Home Energy Scotland for free advice and support. 

Check out Gate Church International’s case study

 

Feeling inspired? Search the network for more. 

 

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