The leading environmental awards underlined the need for urgent action to address the environmental challenges currently faced as well as highlighting the potential business benefits which this can deliver.
New research from the awards, which are now open, found that 81% of previous finalists and winners who had already implemented environmental improvements had also seen significant financial benefits with 44% saving more than £10,000 and 17% saving over £50,000 in a year.
As well as saving money and enhancing their environmental performance, businesses employing sustainable practices are reaping the benefits of an engaged workforce, positive working culture and improved competitiveness as well as contributing towards a better economy and society as a whole.
This is something that organisers want to bring to the attention of Scotland’s businesses through the annual awards which aim to recognise and reward businesses that are championing sustainability by identifying ways to tackle the impact on the planet by reducing consumption on its resources. This could be anything from increasing recycling and waste management to reducing utility consumption.
Commenting, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The Scottish Government has a clear vision for a low carbon Scotland. We want to build a country which trains, attracts, and retains the businesses and the innovators who will shape the low carbon transition. We have been proud partners of VIBES for almost 20 years, and events such as this are important for the celebrating the positive connections which exist between our environment and economy.”
Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, added: “The scale of environmental challenges facing humanity is enormous, with a real urgency to act. The successful businesses of tomorrow will be those who embrace the economic opportunity of sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.
“Each year the Scottish Government and SEPA backed VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards present a national platform to showcase Scottish business leadership. But more than that, the awards benefit not only the environment, but the bottom line of organisations showing vision on sustainability.”
Applications for the 2018 awards will close at 5pm on the 27 April 2018. This year there are nine award categories; Management Large, Management SME, Green Team, Sustainable and Active Travel, Circular Economy, Environmental Product or Service, Innovation, Hydro Nation Water Innovation and a Micro Business Award.
A Climate Adaptation commendation is also being introduced this year, in partnership with Adaptation Scotland, and will reward a business that has demonstrated managing climate related risks or has created a product or service to help society adapt.
Organisations already recognising the importance of incorporating sustainable practices into their everyday operations include Glenmorangie, BAE Systems, Albert Bartlett, AMEY and Mitsubishi Electric to name a few. These businesses join more than 100 others who have received a VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Award to date, illustrating the diversity of companies that are contributing to Scotland’s sustainable development.
Dr Peter Nelson, Operations Director at The Glenmorangie Company, said “The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards are really helping to set the pace of the sustainable agenda in Scotland. Winning the Hydro Nation Award in 2017 was not only great recognition for us but has also opened up access to a great network of companies and organisations all working towards a common goal: making Scotland a leader in environmental enhancement.”
Businesses interested in finding out more about the free awards will have the opportunity to hear from previous winners at a series of regional information events. The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards roadshows will take place across Scotland from 14 March until 18 April 2018. The first of these events is being held tonight (14 March) at IoD’s offices in Edinburgh.
The 2018 Awards will be held on 14 November at The Radisson Hotel, Glasgow. Award sponsors to date include Adaptation Scotland, Energy Saving Trust, Greenvale AP, Scottish Government, ScottishPower and University of Stirling Management School.
For more information on VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards or to obtain an application form, please visit www.vibes.org.uk. To request your attendance at one of the events, please register through Eventbrite www.vibesawards.eventbrite.co.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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