Environmental initiatives

Mackies and Knight Frank in green drive to clean up

Mac Mackie and Gerry Stephens

Got it licked: Mac Mackie and Gerry Stephens of Mackies of Scotland


Environmental targets have driven strategic decisions at two Scottish firms aiming to cut waste and carbon emissions.

Ice cream producer Mackie’s of Scotland and the property agency Knight Frank are committed to separate initiatives which they hope will be an inspiration to others.

Mackies is investing £4 million in one of the most sophisticated refrigeration systems in Europe. It will replace its existing freezing equipment with low carbon, power efficient units run on ammonia – a natural refrigerant gas that poses no threat to the environment.

This will be Scotland’s first large scale plant combining biomass heat and absorption chilling, enabling Mackie’s to target ambitious CO2e reductions of 90% and energy costs of 70-80%.

The project has received a grant from the Scottish Government Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, match funded by Mackie’s through a loan from Bank of Scotland.

Gerry Stephens, finance director, said: “Our ultimate aim is to one day go completely off-grid and use 100% renewable energy. This is an important step towards realising these green ambitions.

Plastics campaign

Commercial property agency Knight Frank has made a commitment to reduce the harm posed by discarded single-use plastics, both in its UK business and by influencing the personal choices of its employees. It aims to remove disposable ‘single-use’ plastic from its UK business, significantly reduce its plastic footprint and reliance on plastic products, and dispose of unwanted plastic responsibly. 

Knight Frank is partnering with Surfers against Sewage, widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading marine conservation charities. Surfers Against Sewage deals with a wide spectrum of marine conservation issues from marine litter to climate change.

Alasdair Steele, head of Scotland commercial at Knight Frank, said: “We have reached a tipping point where we need to change the way we see and use plastics.  Everyone must take responsibility for changing their habits and understand that small, significant changes can make a real difference.

“Plastic pollution concerns us allIt’s the old adage of “if you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem”. There is a real drive across Knight Frank to give something back to the community and we can make a real difference by embracing this initiative as a firm.”

Plastic wasteHugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, added: “The Plastic Free Communities movement has captured hearts and minds across the nation, and businesses are playing a vital part in driving change. We can all be ocean activists by saying no to avoidable plastics.”

Knight Frank’s programme includes a range of initiatives to make a positive difference across the country, including supply chain engagement, local volunteering, and awareness campaigns.

The business has already replaced nearly all its in-house café packaging with 100% compostable and eco-friendly vegware, appointed a waste broker to maximise waste diversion away from landfill into waste to energy, refined its stationery list, prioritising reusable / refillable items or products with a higher recycling content, and stopped use of laminates on the majority of its marketing materials.

Every UK-based Knight Frank employee will receive a reusable and fully recyclable metal water bottle. The average UK adult uses 175 plastic water bottles a year – and with over 2,000 employees, this has the potential to remove 350,000 plastic bottles from waste circulation over the next 12 months.

This is one of the key steps the firm will be undertaking in the next three months, after which point Knight Frank aims to be the first property agent to be awarded the Plastic Free Business accreditation from Surfers Against Sewage.



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