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Aquaculture companies urged to enter environmental awards

31 March 2019, at 6:00am

Scottish aquaculture businesses are being encouraged to become world leaders in sustainability and embrace the economic opportunities that environmental changes can bring.

The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards is celebrating its 20th year and is calling on Scottish businesses to mark the milestone by helping to tackle the environmental challenges facing Scotland and the rest of the world.

Aquaculture businesses are being encouraged to follow the example of Farne Salmon, Xanthella and Lobster Pod, who have shown that environmental best practice can also bring economic benefits including financial savings, an engaged workforce, positive working culture and improved competitiveness as well as contributing towards a better economy and society as a whole.

Since their inception in 1999, the awards have recognised and rewarded more than 150 businesses that have championed sustainability by identifying ways to tackle the impact on the planet by reducing consumption on its resources. This has included everything from increasing recycling and facilitating active travel to reducing consumption of raw materials by adopting a more circular approach.

SEPA chairman, Bob Downes , is head of the judging panel
SEPA chairman, Bob Downes , is head of the judging panel

Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, added: “The scale of environmental challenges facing humanity is enormous and there is a real urgency to act in light of what science is showing us.

“Businesses have a responsibility and it’s empowering to see so many organisations no longer viewing climate adaptation and environmental performance as a burden and cost but as an economic opportunity - it is these businesses that will thrive.

“As the VIBES Awards have shown, many businesses in Scotland are doing great work and SEPA’s own figures reinforce this, with the environmental compliance of Scottish regulated businesses exceeding 90 percent for a third year running, however, we cannot rest on our laurels. We want to help Scottish businesses respond to these environmental challenges and reap the benefit and as we enter the 20th year of VIBES, we hope to inspire others to instigate change.”

This year’s award categories include: Leadership Scotland, Innovating Scotland, Product Scotland, Service Scotland, Hydro Nation Scotland, Circular Scotland, Moving Scotland, Adapting Scotland, Engaging Scotland, Partnership Scotland, Small Business Scotland.

As part of this year’s anniversary celebrations, a special Best of VIBES Award will also be presented at the official ceremony and will recognise a past winner - from a shortlist of the 10 best entries - that can demonstrate their continuous improvement and contribution to Scotland’s sustainable development.

The 10 shortlisted businesses were announced at the launch event and include aquaculture-related Farne Salmon and The Deep Project. The winner will be selected via a public vote at the official awards ceremony in November.

The awards are committed to supporting businesses interested in sustainable development and will also be hosting a series of free regional information events with a selection of previous winners. The VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards roadshows will take place across Scotland with the first of these events held at the James Hutton Institute, Dundee, on 16 April.

The awards ceremony will be held on 14 November at Doubletree by Hilton in Glasgow. Businesses have until 5pm on 10 May 2019 to submit their free application. To obtain an application form please contact vibes@sepa.org.uk. Regional event spaces can be booked at vibesawards.eventbrite.com