Celebrating sustainability

21 Nov 2017

The VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards has become an annual gathering for all organisations Scotland that see sustainability and the environment as being of premium importance.

The awards are now in their 18th year and are always held in November - this time they were being showcased at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh on 15th November.

The Awards are dedicated to recognising and rewarding businesses that contribute to Scotland's sustainable environment, with a judging panel including Bob Downes of SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) and Lady Susan Rice of Scottish Water. 

The announcement of the winners in November follows a rigorous judging process, where each of the 37 finalists was visited by a team of judges to assess their environmental processes.  There was a trio of Scotch Whisky representatives among the finalists, including the Scotch Whisky Association for our refreshed Industry Environmental Strategy.

Diageo (Leven) and Glenmorangie were also finalists and, on the day, were further recognised at the ceremony which was attended by 350 guests.  Diageo (Leven) was awarded a commendation for its water efficiency successes at their packaging facilities in Fife and The Glenmorangie Company Ltd was the overall winner of the Hydro Nation Award (sponsored by Scottish Government) for DEEP - Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project.  With DEEP, the company has taken an innovative approach to the reduction of the biological loading (BOD and COD) in the aqueous effluent, including the ambition to re-introduce native European oysters back into the Dornoch Firth flourishing on the distillery's effluent.  

Scotch Whisky was showcased at the ceremony as Pernod Ricard is a long-term sponsor of the event and each of the delegates was gifted a miniature of The Glenlivet to take away from the event.

Scotch Whisky was described on the day as one of the sectors working to support SEPA's 'one planet prosperity' ambition.  In his speech Bob Downes referred to his the recent visit to Speyside where he was shown a number of innovative renewable energy and water efficiency technologies.

All 2017 VIBES winners are now eligible to enter the 2018 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) which is open to winners and runners up of RSA Accredited award schemes. VIBES is the only Scottish-based RSA Accredited award scheme.  So fingers crossed for both Diageo and Glenmorangie in these awards too.

The VIBES event is not only a celebration and reunion of Scotland's inspiring environmental businesses, but it is also a great networking event and an opportunity to speak with Government agencies and businesses alike.

SWA celebrated with all the other 37 finalists and we look forward to sharing stories and successes with old and new friends at the 19th Awards next year.  

Morag Garden is SWA head of sustainability