Island businesses show commitment to reducing carbon footprint

Three organisations from the Isle of Lewis successfully graduated from the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Management Programme today (June 14), underlining their commitment to becoming more energy efficient.

Abhainn Dearg Distillery, Harris Tweed Hebrides and Hebridean Seaweed Ltd were among 40 public and private sector organisations in Scotland recognised by John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth at an official ceremony in Edinburgh to mark their graduation from the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Management Programme.

The graduation marks the ninth year of the successful programme which has seen over 150 Scottish public sector organisations develop an energy saving Carbon Management plan.

The Carbon Management Programme is designed to help organisations develop a targeted framework to deliver energy saving and carbon reduction practices by establishing their current baseline CO2 emissions, assessing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, and developing a robust strategy to reduce carbon footprints and save money on their energy bills over a five- to ten-year period.

The programme aims to improve the management of buildings energy use, vehicle fleets, street lighting and recycling of waste. The programme is supported by a bespoke toolkit and also facilitates the sharing of best practice between participant organisations, enabling them to learn from each other’s experience.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government is committed to driving down our energy use across our buildings, and to helping other public sector organisations do the same. Increasing energy efficiency not only drives down bills but also cuts damaging emissions.

“It’s encouraging to see so many organisations making good use of the service the Carbon Trust provides and I welcome the inclusion of private sector businesses in the Carbon Management programme.”

Ian Angus McKenzie, managing director of Harris Tweed Hebrides, said: “As a result of the valuable data captured during the consultant’s visits to the Mill property we have now appointed a project task force to map out options for implementing the recommendations set out in the CMP and which will lead to considerable savings in energy costs and efficiency.”

Martin McLeod of Hebridean Seawood said: “Energy management is critical to the profitability of our business and attending the carbon management workshops really put things into focus. Sustainability isn’t a choice - it’s a way of life for a business like ours and the practical advice we received from the carbon management programme was invaluable.”

Marko Tayburn, founder of Abhainn Dearg Distillery, said: “We are fully committed to reducing our carbon emissions as an ongoing, long term objective, ideally becoming carbon neutral by 2015 with the installation of a hydro turbine at the distillery. By working in partnership with the Carbon Trust we have been able to create a Carbon Management Plan that takes us forward to achieving this target.”

Paul Wedgwood, general manager, Carbon Trust Scotland, added: “We have been delighted by the enthusiasm shown by the 2012 graduates and we’re really pleased to see so many private sector organisations coming on board, recognising the need to take energy efficiency action and implement measures which reduce their carbon emissions and, in turn, improve their economic output.

Public and private sector businesses interested in finding out more about developing a Carbon Management plan should e-mail: