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Drive change to speed into a greener future

  • Date: Monday 12th December 2022
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A savvy business leader should always be looking ahead, ready to grab new opportunities or also to pivot when they need to.

Change-management has become a whole industry – individuals who are expert in helping to facilitate change in big businesses.

Ambitious and innovative plans across production, development and sustainability are certainly crowd pleasers for customers and shareholders alike.

However, I’ve always found that, much like a bold New Year’s resolution to eat healthy or sign up for the gym, it’s hard to make change stick unless you’re really willing to put in the work.  That means planning, doing, and committing.

Green issues are top of a lot of business, and indeed personal, agendas as we see moves being made to lower carbon emissions.

The last few years have seen ‘Low Emission Zones’ popping up across heavily populated and areas of the country. These zones basically restrict access to vehicles that are considered to be the heaviest polluters. 

It’s a good move when it comes to addressing the significant contribution domestic transport makes to carbon emissions. They’re bound to help towards the country’s ‘net zero’ emissions target of 2045 which has been set by the Scottish Government.

But they’re not without logistical challenges for businesses who rely on their people and their products getting from A to B efficiently enough to allow their day to day operations. Initiatives like this – coupled with increasingly crippling fuel prices – are forcing a bit of a rethink.

It’s making companies consider more sustainable ways of travelling while still maintaining productivity.  For some businesses that has meant providing options for staff to carpool, proactively encouraging use of public transport, or imposing stricter guidance on business travel. 

To aid in these changes, we recently saw the introduction of the Scottish government’s ‘Way To Work’ website, designed as an information hub to guide businesses, employers and employees alike in making this shift. The scheme, funded by Transport Scotland, is being delivered by a partnership of organisations all working towards accelerating the government’s net zero vision.

Many see it as a positive step forward in becoming greener, but not everyone’s happy. There has been some criticism from retail businesses on the high street who say that reducing traffic means reducing footfall, and therefore reducing spending.

There was also the Scottish government’s controversial decision to introduce workplace parking levies for businesses who were able to provide car parking facilities for employees.


Whether these moves really do negatively impact where consumers choose to shop or makes it difficult for employees to get to work remains to be seen.

However here’s hoping these fears are unfounded and they pave the way for a more sustainable way of doing business.

In terms of business opportunities and innovations, some businesses are miles ahead of the competition when it comes to sustainable transport. One big move in this sector comes from East Kilbride-based Munro Vehicles.

Last week the company announced that it’s aiming to bring the first instance of mass car production back to Scotland since the 1980s with a new electric 4x4 vehicle.

The company, which was launched in 2019 by co-founders Russell Peterson and Ross Anderson, came about after a camping trip in the Scottish Highlands highlighted to the duo that there was a gap in the market for electric-powered, four-wheel-drive utility vehicles.

The car manufacturer says it will build 50 of the Munro MK_1 cars at its Lanarkshire-based plant in 2023 – the first car to be built at scale in Scotland for decades.

The manufacture of the all-electric car is set to create over 300 jobs as the group aims to grow production to 250 in 2024, then to 2,500 a year by 2025 at a new purpose-built factory near Glasgow.

Another investment success in sustainable transport arrived with Glasgow-based HVS, which has been awarded £30m from a government initiative to develop a new hydrogen fuel cell-powered heavy goods vehicle.

The plans to develop the ‘clean and affordable’ vehicle to replace equivalent diesel-powered existing vehicles comes from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) – a non-profit organisation that facilitates funding to UK-based research and development projects developing low-carbon emission technologies.

The APC will help facilitate the Scottish firm in the development of this revolutionary new vehicle.

With the nation moving in the right direction on the road to net zero and more sustainable ways of travel, it’s going to be a challenging and interesting couple of years for the vast majority of businesses.

I think it’s exciting to see many companies changing gears and accelerating into a greener future.



It was interesting to see a stalwart of Scottish business landscape making a recent bold business growth move. AG Barr has bought energy drinks brand, Boost.

The soft drinks giant has acquired the energy, sport and protein beverage producer, which was founded in 2001, for a deal said to be worth up to a whopping £32m.

The Irn Bru maker paid an initial £20m for Boost, which is being acquired from founder Simon Gray and wife Alison. An additional sum of £12m will be payable, depending on the future profitability performance of Boost, over the next two years.

The Boost business will continue to be managed by its existing management team, with the brand operating within Barr.

I can see why there would be a desire to keep the management team as-is. Boost obviously has a savvy team behind it because according to last year’s figures, the Leeds based company reported revenue of £42.1m, with pre-tax profits of £1.9m.  

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

I thought it was an interesting move from AG Barr as it already manufactures an Irn Bru energy drink and previously had a distribution deal with energy drink brand, Rockstar which ended nearly two years ago.

But it clearly still has the energy and the appetite for more deals. Bosses at the manufacturer of Scotland’s other national drink commented on the move saying that the acquisition was “further evidence of our strategy to continue to grow the business through targeted acquisitions, with a particular focus on developing within high-growth and functional categories.”

AG Barr plans to develop the Boost portfolio by enhancing its scale and capability through innovation, new product development, routes to market, and operational infrastructure. 

Boost already enjoys a strong market position and given AG Barr’s decades of experience I can only assume it has made a canny addition to its portfolio.  Though while I’m sure the Boost range is delicious, for me it’s still hard to beat a glass of ginger. 



The recent evacuation of Glasgow airport was no laughing matter, but the antics of some of the stranded passengers certainly was.

Some passengers hilariously decided to partake in a dance party while waiting outside in the freezing car park to help keep warm.

While wrapped in foil blankets, the passengers kept themselves entertained by tapping their feet and shimmying to Tony Orlando’s 1970s classic ‘Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree’ to help pass the time.

It’s great to see that even in situations like this, us Scots know how to put on a brave face and have a laugh.

The airport was locked down as a safety measure following reports of a suspicious item which thankfully proved to be a false alarm.



Families across Scotland are facing an especially tough time this winter as rising costs really begin to affect affordability at Christmas.

Weekly trips to the supermarket have steadily seen prices increase. Christmas dinner could now be 22 per cent more expensive than in 2021.

The price of seven key items, namely sprouts, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, mince pies, turkey and chipolatas, has risen by £5.36 over a year.

Chipolatas have apparently seen the steepest jump, soaring by 42.7 per cent.

Some supermarkets, like Tesco and Asda, are attempting to entice shoppers by selling an all-frozen Christmas dinner for a family of five for £25. It’s great that supermarkets are trying to make the festive season more affordable to help the families who might need it.



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