Carbon Neutral Accreditation for Nevis Range

Nevis Range Mountain Experience, near Fort William in Lochaber, today announced that it is now a Carbon Neutral business (accredited by Carbon Footprint), the first step on the journey towards climate positivity and Zero Waste.

Chris O’Brien, Managing Director of Nevis Range, said: “Sustainability is at the top of our agenda. The Highlands and Islands is a phenomenal destination to work, live, and play. That is why we have taken steps to move to a conscious hosting model, ensuring that both Nevis Range and our employees are active in safeguarding the future of our environment.”

In terms of emissions, the business is moving towards climate positivity.  Over 60% of power usage at Nevis Range has been supplied by hydro power for the last 5 years. 

However, this is just the beginning of their environmental story, and the team are excited to announce further measures they have both taken in 2021, including the removal of all liquified petroleum gas from use on the site, and plan to take over the next 12 months, in order to ensure that their environmental impact is minimal. 

Their new base station development, that includes a 22-bedroom hotel, 24 berth bunkhouse, bar and restaurant, bike shop, children’s activity centre, childcare facilities, and a covered courtyard with an event space, planned in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has recently begun construction. The development will be entirely carbon neutral both during and after construction, with any carbon generated from the project being offset. 

As part of the planning process for this £4m project a full carbon assessment of the whole Nevis Range business, including their supply chain, was carried out by an independent assessor. The results were incredibly encouraging, bringing them to the point where they could announce Carbon Neutral Status.

Their next target is moving to Zero Waste within the next two years. Measures for this including:

 – Upgrading the ski hire and ski school infrastructure to enable the department to go completely paperless by winter 2022/23

 – Paperless offices by March 22

– Elimination of all single use plastics within the catering departments by December 2021 – All packaging used will be biodegradable and recyclable.

– Addition of a new composter to accelerate the move towards a zero-waste practice-

– Introduction of a new electric car scheme for employees from early 2022.

Nevis Range is also developing a preferred list of suppliers across all departments in order that purchases across the business are as ethically sourced as possible. The qualifying criteria will include suppliers’ sustainability values and statements.

Customers of Nevis Range will be encouraged to join the climate positive journey by donating £1 towards the business’s carbon offset projects when they purchase tickets online.

Alastair Nicolson, HIE area manager for Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross, said: “We are delighted to see that Nevis Range is now carbon neutral. This is a testament to the work of everyone involved in the business who has taken important steps over the last few months to protect the future of our environment.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Nevis Range as they move forward with developments including a new hotel and bunkhouse, which are to be built in as low carbon a way as possible.

“We have been working closely with the business for a number of years now and are pleased to see that the transition to a net zero economy is at the very top of their agenda.”

Yvonne Crook, chair, Highland Tourism CIC: “This is an excellent achievement and demonstration of environmental leadership in the Highlands by the team at Nevis Range. As we strive to drive a vision for the Highlands to become one of the world’s leading sustainable destinations, working together with strategic partners in the renewables sector, we are proud to have Chris O’Brien of Nevis Range as a Director on the board of Highland Tourism CIC to help us lead by example.”

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “As the first national tourism agency to sign up to the Tourism Declares initiative, we are committed to working with the industry and communities to create a long-lasting sustainable tourism destination which will protect the environment and benefit visitors and residents alike.

“We welcome this positive announcement by Nevis Range. Encouraging responsible behaviour by visitors is hugely important to reduce impact and we welcome this approach to promoting good practice.

“Sustainable tourism isn’t a niche trend anymore – it must be a fundamental part of our country’s tourism offering.”