Scottish hostel’s green business benefits

Jessie Mac's environmental and business savings

Jessie Mac's environmental and business savings

A luxury Scottish hostel is demonstrating that being green isn’t just helping the environment, it also derives a range of business benefits from its eco-friendly measures.

Located in Perthshire, Jessie Mac’s has implemented a series of environmental practices that are not only cost-effective to introduce but have also benefited their bottom line.

Since opening the doors in 2011, the team behind Jessie Mac’s have been dedicated to finding environmental alternatives to support running a busy hostel located in a refurbished Victorian manse. In 2014 the hostel received the VIBES Management (SME) Award in recognition of this work.

The environmental approach is taken to all aspects of the business from the supply chain down to how they look after guests. Measures include the addition of heat reflectors behind radiators, improving insulation through thick curtains, blinds and reinstatement of shutters as well as implementing secondary glazing. Bags of sand have been added to toilets to save water and pipes have been lagged.

As a result Jessie Mac’s have cut their energy cost by 67% in three years, reduced energy from lighting by 71% in just two years and lowered gas use per guest by 56%.

The hostel is also dedicated to reducing waste with over 85% of it recycled. Food waste is reduced with breakfast pre-ordered while any additional bread is used to feed local birds. Waste in ink cartridges has been dramatically reduced with the introduction of wipe clean, re-usable menus for pre-ordering. The local dog shelter benefits with all redundant towels donated.

Fairtrade and organic products are used and sourced locally, where possible. The team have also pledged to lessen their use of chemicals and have saved money by making their own cleaning products from traditional recipes which work across a range of surfaces and are kind to staffs’ skin.

The team are keen to share their green success with the community and donate free bed nights for every tonne of CO2 saved each year (around 16 a year) to local conservation groups.

Brenda Roddy, owner of Jessie Mac’s, said: “When you walk around our business you probably wouldn't think that we're particularly green, but that's because it's built in. Our thinking is that it doesn't matter what size of business you've got; the same principles can still apply. We should tackle our energy, waste and chemicals just like the big companies do. It clearly saves us money so it's just good business sense.

“The VIBES Awards are a great way to get you thinking about what you are doing within the business and also offer a fantastic opportunity to share best practices with other organisations, picking up useful tips and meeting like-minded people and businesses.”

Gillian Bruce, chair of the VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards, said; “The VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards is focused on recognising and showcasing best practice to allow other businesses to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of industry leaders and to follow their example.

“Jessie Mac’s is a fantastic example of how small changes like better insulation and tracking recycling can not only improve Scotland’s sustainability but can also benefit the business’ bottom line.

“Through the Awards we want to showcase that even the smallest changes can have the biggest impact. Over the years we have seen entries from a variety of sectors and from businesses of all stages and sizes which demonstrates that everyone can play their part in protecting the environment for future generations.”

The VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards are free to enter and aim to recognise and reward Scottish businesses, of all sizes and sectors, which are championing sustainability and employing environmental best practice in their daily activity through improving processes or developing new products and services. Businesses have until Friday 26th May to complete the one page entry form at http://www.vibes.org.uk/

For more information on VIBES - Scottish Environment Business Awards or to obtain an application form, visit http://www.vibes.org.uk/

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