Scottish finalist at European business awards

Dot, Mairi and Brenda of Jessie Mac's
Lorraine Macrae, Scottish Rural Network Support Unit

A small Scottish hostel has made it to the finals of a biennial European Commission Award designed to recognise businesses at the forefront of eco-innovation.

The European Business Award for the Environment supports the growing number of enterprises that put protecting the environment at the very heart of their work.

Jessie Mac’s, in rural Perthshire, offers luxury accommodation in a refurbished Victorian Manse. Transformed from a 150 year-old energy guzzling building and a site unsuited to renewables, the sustainable hostel and Bed and Breakfast business has seen total number of guests increase by 69%, whilst energy use per guest cut by 37%.

By using a micro environmental management system (EMS) as part of the Green Tourism eco-tourism scheme it has generated 3,500 extra bed nights, worth around £200,000 of additional value to the local economy. In addition to recycling around 90% of their waste, the hostel ensures that as many as possible of the products used are organically and locally produced.

Although not the eventual winner at the award ceremony held last month in Estonia, owner Dot Mechan said:

 "We are delighted to have made it to finals. A commitment to minimising our impact on the environment whilst supporting the local economy is at the core of our business and having this recognised at European level is fantastic, it just goes to show that sustainability and success can go hand in hand."

Visit the Jessie Mac's website for more information about the hostel.