Lothian a winner in 2021 VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards

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Lothian said it is delighted to be among 35 businesses from across Scotland chosen to receive a Good Practice Award in the 2021 VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards. The awards recognise and promote environmental best practice that brings benefits to businesses and the wider community.

As one of Scotland’s major transport operators, Lothian’s fleet now includes the city’s first zero-carbon electric double-decker buses. The operator’s Bus 2020 strategy was developed and implemented with the aim of achieving a wide range of environmentally focused goals, including a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 42%, as well as a significant reduction in energy consumption, water use and waste generation. Bus 2020 also resulted in the removal of over 12,000 tonnes of CO2, 50 tonnes of NOx and 280kg of particulate matter from its operations.

Building on that strategy, Lothian says it is working more closely with Green Tourism to develop a new innovative and forward-thinking strategy which will include an evaluative online ‘sustainability assessment’ platform which has been designed to allow it to demonstrate environmental performance to internal and external stakeholders in real-time and prioritise actions in key areas to develop a robust sustainability framework from 2021.

Claire McVicar, Environmental Officer for Lothian, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards, particularly this year given the COP26 summit will be held in Scotland and world leaders will be descending on Glasgow at the end of the month to set out their plans on tackling runaway climate change.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we worked tirelessly to keep Edinburgh moving and our customers and colleagues safe, and were still able to fulfil a significant order for additional Euro VI buses, allowing us to remove some of our older vehicles from the fleet. Our vision is to be an integral part of the future success of Edinburgh and the Lothians by providing world class environmentally-friendly and socially inclusive transport. We will continue to invest in technology – and people – to make sure our services exceed the needs and expectations of our customers as we work towards the City of Edinburgh Council’s goal of becoming a net-zero carbon organisation by 2030.”

A virtual awards ceremony to congratulate all of the award winners took place on Tuesday 19 October.

Lothian has invested over £78 million since 2011 in a bid to reduce emissions, and during this period, more than 300 vehicles have been replaced with more efficient, lower emission vehicles. RICHARD WALTER