As well as being one of Scotland’s leading recycling and resource management companies, the Binn Group champions renewable energy and has impressive sustainability credentials.
Starting off as a farming business in Perthshire over 60 years ago, the family-owned company transitioned to waste management in the early 2000s. Today, Binn Group employs over 200 people and their 62-acre Eco Park processes over 200,000 tonnes of waste material each year.
Through their involvement in local projects and sustainable initiatives, and with many green business awards under their belt, their commitment to supporting the community and protecting the environment for future generations is clear to see.
As an organisation, they have their own on-site renewable generation methods, including solar, biogas and wind, with ambitious plans for hydrogen at the early stages. They’re also supported as our customer with 100% renewable electricity1 from SSE’s own UK wind farms and hydro plants.
Operations: Waste and resources management
Location: Perth, Scotland
There are a number of businesses under the Binn Eco Park umbrella, which means they have various meter points to power their diverse and complex operations.
The organisation has an impressive renewable generation portfolio, including rooftop solar panels and wind turbines. Therefore, Binn Group had to find a reliable supplier of renewable electricity who shared the same sustainability values and commitment to tackling the climate crisis.
Through a combination of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme to support their own generation, and renewable electricity1 tariffs from SSE Energy Solutions for the other traditional and smart meters, the Binn Group can report zero carbon emissions for electricity.
Binn Group has been an SSE Energy Solutions’ customer for over five years. Audrey Duckworth, the company’s Head of Environment, discusses the importance of finding local partnerships where values and ethos align.
‘I think collaborative working is especially important. There are other companies within your area and if you reach out to them you realise there’s loads of connections that can be made. SSE Energy Solutions has such good sustainability targets and objectives, that align perfectly with ourselves, so having that partnership really helps us drive our business forward into the future.’
There are many factors that come into play when a company is choosing an energy supplier. However, a supplier’s green credentials take precedence for Binn Group. The company has a sizeable renewable generation capability - made up of biogas, rooftop solar panels with a large solar farm planned in due course, and four on-site wind turbines - so they produce their own renewable energy wherever they can.
That’s why the organisation’s Head of Strategy and environmental scientist for over 35 years, John Ferguson, talks about the importance of working with a credible renewable supplier.
‘SSE Energy Solutions is our partner and our principles are very similar. We want to be powered by 100% green energy and we’re very proud to work with SSE. We will continue to contribute to part of that transition to a low carbon energy system for Scotland and the UK.’
Binn Group’s commitment to minimising their environmental impact goes beyond renewable energy.
As a waste management company, they take their responsibilities seriously, ensuring businesses manage materials in the right way to protect human health and the environment, as well as conserve resources. When waste comes into the Eco Park, it’s processed to recover resources to support a circular economy with unrecyclable waste disposed of safely. For example, waste wood might go down to their wood processor for it to be chipped and turned into fuel. Or a truck filled with food waste can go through the anaerobic digestion facility, which processes 30,000 tonnes of food and organic waste each year into biomethane.
But their sustainability efforts touch every aspect of their business, starting at their supply chain and extending right through to the communities they serve. From their involvement with Scottish universities, through to their sponsorship of various events and charities, Binn Group leave no stone unturned in their mission to be Scotland’s leading provider of recycling and waste services to the benefit of the economy and the environment.
When we asked Binn Group’s CEO Allan MacGregor for his advice for small business owners, he said that introducing sustainable practices and initiatives are the most important thing they can do if they want their business to progress.
The green entrepreneur thinks that being more environmentally friendly and supporting the local community doesn’t need to be complicated. He goes on to say: ‘It doesn’t matter how small you start with your sustainability. Starting small means you can grow into great things.’
Despite Binn Group’s sustainable success stories and their notable achievements in pioneering technology and developing new waste management services, their efforts and determination continue. And SSE Energy Solutions is proud to support them on their journey.
If you’ve been inspired by Binn Group’s story and want to become a more sustainable business, visit our small business hub for more free tools, tips and advice.
1 All our renewable electricity is sourced from wind and hydro assets wholly or partly owned by SSE Renewables, our sister company in the SSE Group. With SSE green electricity, you’ll continue to get your electricity through the national grid as normal, and we’ll match your consumption to REGOs from the SSE Group’s generating assets.