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Dunnet distillery wins grant to reduce carbon footprint on its website

By Gordon Calder

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A CAITHNESS company has been awarded a grant – funded with support from the Scottish Government – to half the environmental impact of its website.

Dunnet Bay Distillers, founded by Martin and Claire Murray, has won a DigitalBoost Grant which will help it make the improvements to the online facility.

Martin and Claire Murray at the distillery
Martin and Claire Murray at the distillery

Mr Murray said: "We are currently assessing all aspects of the business to try and make it as sustainable as possible. Last year, we appointed a dedicated environment manager to help us improve still further. Within that remit, we are scrutinising the digital aspects of our company. We spotted that, even though our website was performing well in terms of sales, it was generating between two and six grams of carbon per page load, per user. Last year alone, we estimate the website would have created around three tonnes of carbon. We are determined to improve that. We are so grateful for the DigitalBoost Grant which enables us to make that improvement."

During the Covid pandemic, with the hospitality trade closed, web-site sales became more important to the company. In 2021, it had its best year, largely due to web sales.

Mr Murray added: "While we want to continue to see an increase in the number of customers visiting our website, we are keen to mitigate the environmental impact. It's our intention to use the existing successful designs but to alter the behind-the-scenes operations to use fewer resources and optimise operations."

The award-winning company, which produces Rock Rose gin and Holy Grass vodka, is also looking at other ways to improve its environmental impact. They include: sustainable, fully recyclable packaging used for refill pouches; local sourcing and foraging of many botanicals; minimising plastic usage and switching to other materials where possible; using solar energy and organising beach clean-ups.

The grant covers half the total cost of the website redevelopment which will be handled by Naomi Spirit at From This Day.

She said: "With the internet generating more carbon dioxide than the whole of the United Kingdom, this is an important area to tackle. We have been changing the way we develop websites over the last two years to ensure they are as low carbon as possible and were delighted when Dunnet Bay Distillers decided to incorporate this into their plans. It was great to see the positive view that DigitalBoost is having towards efforts for all business to transition to a zero-carbon model. We look forward to providing a low carbon version of the Dunnet Bay Distillers’ website later this year."

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