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Maclean's 1

Maclean's Highland Bakery

Steps for growing a greener business

Award winning bakers

Four generations of Macleans have been Scottish Master Bakers. The Forres based family business uses local and natural ingredients, and some well kept secrets from their recipe book, to create products that their customers have been enjoying since the 1970s.

The Maclean family has a mix of three main ingredients in their award winning, multi-million pound bakery business:

  • four traditional craft bakery retail shops;
  • a wholesale business delivering direct to local customers such as supermarkets, wholesalers, hospitals, and hotels;
  • a branded and private label range of shortbread, oatcakes, biscuits, and crackers.

The business, which has over 100 employees, is innovative in its approach: in product development - with an allergen free unit for 'Free From' long-life products - and also in taking steps to make its processes more sustainable and to reduce waste. 

Maclean's Highland Bakery website

Once we were on the low carbon journey, our focus has always been on simple steps, the things we can influence in our own business. It’s all been about getting our own house in order, and not being distracted too much by the bigger global picture.
Lewis Maclean, managing director, Maclean's Highland Bakery
Baker preparing dough at Maclean's Highland Bakery, Forres,

A growing business with green foundations

Maclean's Bakery has been on its transition journey to net zero for a number of years. It started out with simple measures to save energy and reduce waste, and over the years these small steps has inspired the business to explore other ways to be cleaner and greener.

Support from Zero Waste Scotland - which provided utility and waste audits, and help from HIE to invest in their packaging line, have supported the business as it introduced a range of changes:

  • new tap heads to reduce water usage

  • LED lighting throughout the business

  • strategic use of sustainable ingredients 
  • removing plastics from 95% of their packaging

  • adding electric vehicles to their fleet

With the emphasis on how they can make savings in terms of gas and electricity usage, the business is now looking at options for installing solar panels on its premises and investing in a bio-digester to generate power from bio-waste.

Maclean's Machinery

Capital investment from HIE

HIE supported Maclean’s with a £28,711 circular economy capex grant towards its investment in a new automated packaging line.

This is helping the company to increase production and reduce its carbon footprint by decreasing the use of plastic infills for crackers, biscuits and shortbread packaging.  


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