Sustainable Business Week to offer help and advice

A number of free workshops have been made available
A number of free workshops have been made available

Aberdeenshire businesses can get free support and funding to help them cut their energy, water and waste bills and save money during Sustainable Business Week.

Sustainable Business Week will run from November 20-24 and is open to all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and will be held at venues across the region.

The week is run by Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme, in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, as part of its ‘Powering Aberdeen’ programme, Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

Local SMEs can receive free training and attend workshops to learn practical tips on how to tackle the rising costs of energy, water and waste to help them boost their profits.

They will also learn about funding sources available to help pay for resource efficiency improvements, such as heating, lighting and building upgrades. This includes guidance on how to apply for an interest-free loan from the Scottish Government.

Workshops will be presented by experts from the Resource Efficient Scotland programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund to help businesses become more efficient.

Throughout the week, representatives from successful local businesses including Mackie’s of Scotland, Dean’s of Huntly and FIS Chemicals will also present on the role that sustainability plays in their organisations, and the financial benefits they enjoy through reduced energy, water and waste costs.

All the events are free and include:

*Breakfast briefings for managers to make sure their businesses are taking advantage of all the free sustainability support, grants and funding now available from the Scottish Government. Briefings will be held on Tuesday, November, 21 at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in Aberdeen City and on Wednesday, November 22 at the Thainstone Centre in Inverurie.

*A full day, CPD-certified training workshop where delegates can learn valuable new skills, become their workplace’s ‘Green Champion’, and lead the way in reducing their businesses’ energy, water and waste costs. The highly popular workshop will be held at Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen on Thursday, November 23.

*Fast track advice clinics – an opportunity to get quick, one-to-one advice from one of Resource Efficient Scotland’s business advisers,

*Showcase tours that offer a unique opportunity to learn from local businesses that are already enjoying reduced energy, water and waste bills. This includes a tour of Mackie’s of Scotland on Friday, November 24, where visitors can find out how integrating sustainability into their business plans can have a big impact on their bottom line.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We are delighted to bring Sustainable Business Week to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as part of our commitment to supporting all Scottish SMEs to enjoy the benefits of reduced resource use. As well as identifying savings, we are helping businesses take action, through a suite of support tools which provide guidance, training and staff engagement. Our advisors have already supported organisations in Scotland to identify over £42 million worth of savings, and we look forward to sharing this experience with local businesses.”

Jim Gifford, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: "Having had my own business for 18 years, I am only too aware of the day-to-day challenges of running a small business. It’s easy to overlook the big savings that could potentially be made by reducing energy, water and raw material use.

"That’s why we want as many businesses as possible to attend Sustainable Business Week to find out about the simple steps that they can take to reduce resource use and boost their profits.”

Businesses can find out more and register to take part in any of the activities during Sustainable Business Week here.