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two women working in a polytunnel on Papay, Orkney

Net zero heroes

Businesses and communities from across the Highlands and Islands are leading the way towards a sustainable future.

Looking for inspiring stories? Meet some of our net zero heroes.

In the Highlands and Islands, natural resources are at the heart of the quality of life we enjoy. There are many #netzeroheroes here who are creating change to balance the opportunities these resources offer while protecting them for the future. Meet some of the people here who have:

  • global influence in renewables and energy transition, in food and drink production, in tourism, in changing our use of land and sea, and in sustainable community-led development;
  • created businesses and social enterprises to address climate change issues;
  • taken steps to improve efficiency and sustainability in their businesses and organisations;
  • are shaping how infrastructure and technology can help save our planet.

Our Net Zero Heroes - Transition

Businesses and organisations across the region are exploring innovative solutions, creating jobs and developing new skills and expertise to address key climate challenge issues.

NortEnergy, Shetland a polycrub being built

Nortenergy

A lack of quality fruit and vegetables available locally inspired Nortenergy to develop Polycrub.

The social enterprise set up by the Northmavine Community Development Company operates in the northernmost peninsula of mainland Shetland. Polycrub enables fruit and vegetables to be grown undercover in extreme climates.

Selling Polycrub kits has become a key trading activity for Nortenergy.

Cuantech Jars

Using food waste to tackle plastic pollution

CuanTec has developed a world-first method for biologically extracting a naturally occurring polymer, chitin, from waste langoustine shells and converting this to the base material for plastic-free food packaging.

Celtic Crustacean Collaboration
Wind turbine

Renewable Parts

Renewable Parts is a supplier of new and refurbished turbine parts to the global wind energy sector, employing eight staff in Lochgilphead in Argyll.

They are passionate about the circular economy with a strong vision of how to make the industry greener.

Green Islands

Clean Islands

Seven of the region’s islands are working together on an international project to lower carbon emissions associated with heat, transport and electricity supplies for residents.

The islands of Eigg, Muck, Rum, Canna, Fair Isle, Foula and the peninsula of Knoydart were selected as ‘pioneering islands’ in the Clean Energy for EU Islands programme and have now developed decarbonisation pathways.

Pioneering low carbon communities
Pure Water - Team Indoors

Pure Water

Highlands-based Pure Water International is a start-up that works with large-scale industry and private suppliers to help them access clean water.

As part of our Technology Placement Programme two Aero-Mechanical Engineering graduates from Strathclyde University have designed a purification prototype to remove chemicals, medication, plastic fibres and polluted substances from water.

Pure Water International Case Study
SAMS

Scottish Association for Marine Science

At SAMS, research work is taking place to increase knowledge around seaweed farming.

A better understanding of the production cycle will help create a vibrant industry which is actively helping to lower carbon levels and provide alternative food sources for people, animals and plants.

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LOW CARBON ENERGY IN THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS

Hear about the challenges and opportunities available in the Highlands and Islands whilst working towards a net zero Scotland by 2045.

We have a proven track record of world firsts in renewable energy and innovation. This provides a solid foundation for the future and the opportunity to create jobs across the region.

MeyGen Tidal Power

MeyGen has created a tidal stream project at an offshore site between Scotland’s northernmost coast and the island of Stroma. The 3.5km site covers some of the fastest flowing waters in the UK, just 2km from Scotland’s north-east tip.

Here Operations Manager Fraser Johnson explains the role of tidal energy as a renewable source of electricity, what's involved, and how the system generates reliable and predictable power.

GlenWyvis Distillery

GlenWyvis is a community owned distillery on the outskirts of Dingwall in Ross-shire. Setting them apart from other distillers in the region is their commitment to a low carbon footprint and sustainable future.

The distillery is powered by a wind turbine, solar panels and a hydro scheme. Have a look at our short video to find out more.

Developing an advanced tidal turbine

Tidal power uses the movement in our tides and oceans to generate clean, predictable energy.

Nova Innovation, along with partners, have created an advanced tidal turbine that's robust, reliable and cost competitive with fossil fuels. Hear more about the innovation in our short film.

Orbital Marine Power

Orbital Marine Power is an innovative Scottish company with the ambition to help in the fight against climate change by introducing a new form of renewable power to the world.

In 2016 they launched the world’s most powerful tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. Have a look at this video to hear more about the world firsts delivered by Orbital in Scotland and the exciting news of their latest development.

Island business's eco expansion

Amanda and Julian Saurin have developed the Temple Café in South Harris as a place to celebrate local island produce. Their wide range of products are made by hand, and an expansion supported by HIE for a new building will give them the space they need to launch a coffee roastery, smokery, for food preparation, and to expand their local drinks range.

Meet Amanda in our film to find out more about her efforts to support a circular economy.

See the news release here

Justin Gillen And Elliot Seguin Ampaire Test Pilots at demonstration of first hybrid electric aircraft in Scotland

FIRST HYBRID ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT IN SCOTLAND

In August a pioneering Orkney based project celebrated the first hybrid electric flight in Scotland across the Pentland Firth between Kirkwall and Wick John O’Groats airports. Aviation company Ampaire’s modified six-seat Cessna 337 runs on battery power and a conventional combustion engine.

The Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) is a £3.7m partnership project to develop a sustainable aviation programme which could transform short flight travel between remote communities.

The UK’s first operationally-based, low-carbon aviation test centre, the project is a partnership led by Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, and including HIE, and is part funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Find out more

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