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Green savings take flight at Glasgow Airport

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Glasgow Airport, working with its waste management contractor Biffa, has seen its recycling rate soar to over 90 percent since making a Resource Efficiency Pledge and is now encouraging all businesses on its campus to follow its lead and boost their green credentials.

The Resource Efficiency Pledge, coordinated by Resource Efficient Scotland - a programme of Zero Waste Scotland - is a free initiative which asks businesses and organisations to commit to reducing their impact on the environment by making better use of energy, water and raw materials.

Since making a Resource Efficiency Pledge, Glasgow Airport has introduced a new terminal recycling system, with double bins which separate general waste from recycling, encouraging passengers and staff to get involved in the recycling process.  This new system, together with targeted staff awareness training, has not only increased recycling levels but also reduced contamination of recycling bins across the campus, saving the airport over £8,000 per year.

The airport has also introduced a number of new energy efficiency measures including new vending machines from Glasgow-based Abercromby Vending, which alone have resulted in an annual saving of £11,000 in energy costs - as well as improvements to air conditioning systems, and the incorporation of new LED lighting which has resulted in more than 730 tonnes of annual carbon savings.

Boots the Chemist, JD Wetherspoons, Delware North, World Duty Free and Discover Glasgow have now also made a Resource Efficiency Pledge.  Glasgow Airport has worked with these businesses on the campus to ensure they follow suit by launching a new set of Golden Rules and instilling a waste-aware culture.  This initiative, which was developed in conjunction with the retail community at the airport, has resulted in significant improvements in waste collection and general service yard cleanliness.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“I’m delighted to see Glasgow Airport taking steps to make better use of the resources it uses, and the financial benefits speak for themselves.  It’s great to see the airport taking further steps to improve its resource efficiency, by encouraging the other businesses based there to make a Pledge – I hope to see the campus working together in the future to continue on this green journey and become as sustainable as possible.”

Glasgow Airport’s Sustainability Assurance Manager Kevin Sinclair, and Commercial Manager Vicky McDowell, worked on the cross-campus initiative together.  Vicky said:

“We are very proud of our achievements and of how our business partners came together to achieve this mutual goal. In late 2014 we formed an action group involving all our retailers to develop a Charter which became known as Keep It Clean Behind The Scenes. The charter was a joint agreement involving behavioural change, operational change and KPI improvements. All 600 retail staff from over 30 businesses were trained in how to deliver the charter and we are delighted with the improvements we have seen so far.  We look forward to seeing further developments come to fruition over the coming weeks and months.”

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