Green businesses mean business

10th December 2018

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland is one of the world’s great wildernesses, with huge expanses of wild moors, rugged mountains and miles of pristine coastline. The natural beauty is breath-taking and with this backdrop, businesses in the region are spearheading innovative green solutions. Interface’s Business Engagement Executive, Carol-Ann Adams has recently been working with three environmental entrepreneurs, each with very different solutions to tackling waste or pollution.  

ILM Highland is an independent social enterprise and charity based in Alness. One of the services they offer is the WEEE Recycling Service – a disposal, recycle and repair service for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. They collect and recycle around 2,400 tonnes of WEEE annually from across the Highlands. As they strive to become self-sustaining, whilst being as environmentally friendly as possible, they are keen to learn if the items they are handlin g could be used to better effect.  Through an Interface introduction to the Department of Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management (DMEM) within University of Strathclyde, ILM is delighted to be working with students there to identify if an alternative sellable product can be created from the items they collect and they’re looking forward to hearing of the exciting possibilities which the students can come up with.

Specialising in floating ecological water systems for improved water quality and sustainable water management, Biomatrix Water Solutions is an award-winning company based in Moray. Supported by a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher, Interface partnered them with Dr Mark Taggart and Dr Szabolcs Pap from the Environmental Research Institute at University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) to exploit their floating island technology to create and develop new solutions to clean the pollutants from storm water. They are gathering independent data from UHI which will evidence that their prototype has the potential to provide a new solution to wastewater treatment, providing an effective answer to the challenges of water pollution around the world.

The picturesque town of Aberlour is where you’ll find 3 Bags Wool, a successful craft shop in which the owner Sarah Nairn-Anderson specialises in developing new and innovative uses for waste selvage material, which is a by-product from the weaving industry. At the moment, a large percentage of this product is still directed to land fill. We partnered Sarah with Dr Sam Vettese and Dr Nathalia Tjandra from Edinburgh Napier University, and with the support of an Innovation Voucher, they worked together on identifying alternative overseas markets for her unique crafting products. This has helped to develop a brand association for the company as one which promotes sustainability and near zero waste, whilst expanding the reach of its product portfolio.

The Interface team in Highlands and Islands supports hundreds of businesses to reach their goals by partnering them with academics. If you would like to find out more about how Carol-Ann Adams and her colleagues can help, visit our website.