Land Energy hosted staff and members of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere’s Partnership Board in October, heralding a showcase of sustainable local enterprise ahead of COP26.
Glasgow’s climate conference has been making headlines worldwide as governments release their strategies for achieving net zero goals. South Ayrshire aligned with national targets when it set out plans to achieve a 75% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2045.
The Biosphere team was joined by Councillor Alec Clark who champions businesses which bring social benefit and stability to South Ayrshire’s economy.
Land Energy’s Associate Director Hugh Montgomery led the visitors in a tour of operations at Grangestone Industrial Estate, where ‘brash’ (branch wood) from Galloway Forest Park is processed into biomass fuel – wood pellets for the commercial and domestic heating markets. The company also has its own CHP plant producing its own energy to power the whole factory.
Awarded the Biosphere Certification Mark for sustainability in April 2019, Land Energy remains robust in its commitment to their shared ethos and enthusiasm about demonstrating what can be achieved by creating and testing ‘green solutions’ to challenges specific to commercial forestry and to Scotland’s energy sector.
Applicants for the Biosphere Certification Mark scheme are also asked how they demonstrate their support for communities, including education, training, and employment. Land Energy Girvan’s location was selected with a view to accessing a uniquely skilled demographic, and the experience of Ayrshire communities in forestry, engineering and related industries has enabled them to invest in local people and procurement: the company currently spends around £50,000 per month within one kilometre of the site and £1.5m per month within 100km of Girvan.
This factory tour will be developed into a case study to be shared via digital platforms and amplified by the global reach of the Biosphere’s UNESCO brand. Similar studies on sustainable businesses will follow, as Tamara Fulcher, the Biosphere’s Communications lead, explains: “We really want to showcase good practice across Ayrshire and beyond, because there’s so much hard work and innovation going on. For a company such as Land Energy to talk about the hows and whys of what they do encourages Biosphere businesses of all sizes in their own journeys towards sustainability. COP26 is a unique opportunity to share these stories with a much wider world.”