Eco-friendly Élan Hair Design passes century of award shortlists

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Élan Hair Design – the north-east of Scotland salon which embarked on a project to embrace eco-friendly practices and principles five years ago – has been shortlisted for an award for the 101st time.

The Inverurie business has been named a finalist in two more awards, having already been shortlisted on 99 occasions – and winning local and national honours 29 times.

The salon started its eco-friendly project with the introduction of energy-saving lightbulbs in 2012.

The success of the programme has helped to inspire other firms to go green and seen Élan representatives make presentations on the subject at home and abroad.

Lorna Milton, a director of the family business which was established in 1971, said: “We never thought our project would lead to us being shortlisted for more than 100 awards.

“We have won local, Scottish and UK Chamber of Commerce honours and that is particularly pleasing.

“We’ve met some wonderful people thanks to the awards over the years. It’s also been a great way to spread the word about how any business can adopt an eco-friendly approach, regardless of size.”

Élan has now been named a finalist in:

the Sustainability Team of the Year category at The BusinessGreen Leaders Awards. It will find out on June 28 if it has won.
the National Business Awards Family Business of the Year (Scotland) category. The winners are announced on July 15.

Both ceremonies take place in London.

Élan began its eco-friendly initiative in 2012 with a £250,000 refurbishment of its premises.

Features of the revamp include the installation of PV (photovoltaic) panels which generate electricity and solar-thermal panels to provide energy for hot water.

The salon has since continued to develop innovative methods of reducing its carbon footprint, including the design of a system to send hair clippings and other biodegradable waste to be spread as soil improver on local farmers’ fields.

The salon has also spent time sharing examples of its best practices with the Adam Smith College in Fife and the North East Scotland College, as well as giving presentations at conferences.

Élan has reduced its carbon emissions by 95%, cut its water consumption by 68% and reduced the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 94%.

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