Edinburgh’s Surgeons Quarter takes scalpel to carbon emissions

Scott Mitchell (Managing Director of Surgeons Quarter)

A MAJOR EDINBURGH conference and events business is almost entirely powered by Scottish renewable sources, saving an estimated 790 tonnes of carbon per year and equating to 3,430 return trips to Rome. 

Surgeons Quarter – the commercial arm of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) – has formed a partnership with Glasgow-based utility company Eyebright Utilities to power its entire estate by wind and hydro technology sourced in Scotland. 

Against a backdrop of rising energy costs and the climate crisis, the milestone will add to the venue’s list of impressive green credentials, including six EV charging points for customers and gifting wildflower seed packets to hotel guests. 

The Living Wage-accredited organisation, which manages a vast mix of historic and purpose-built RCSEd venues, as well as Ten Hill Place Hotel, Café 1505 and Surgeons Quarter Travel, has also axed plastic water bottles from all rooms, saving an estimated 80,000 single-use bottles and £22,000 per year. 

Scott Mitchell, Managing Director of Surgeons Quarter, said: “In the midst of a period of increasing uncertainty around energy costs and supplies, Eyebright Utilities is continuing to help steer us through troubled waters, providing us with a futureproof utilities solution that reduces expenditure and our environmental impact.”

“Unlike households, businesses do not have the advantage of having energy costs capped, so working with Eyebright has been wholly beneficial, especially in the current climate.” 

“As we up our operational capacity over the coming months, it is important now more than ever that we are powering all of our operations responsibly and from renewable and local sources where possible.”

Established in 2009, Eyebright Utilities is a leading utilities management company with a mission to change the way businesses manage their utilities. The company strives to bring together sustainability and effective management strategy to, futureproof clients’ businesses while reducing expenditure and environmental impact.

Michael Dogan, Client Account Manager of Eyebright Utilities, said: “From the outset, the Surgeons Quarter team, including Financial Controller Neil Johnston and Managing Director Scott Mitchell, were strong advocates for finding a utilities solution that delivered sustainability in terms of having both strong green credentials and robust, long-term financial planning.” 

“One of the values of Surgeons Quarter is ‘Considerate’ and the organisation’s goal is to provide a considerate service to all stakeholders, but also to apply a thoughtful approach to the environment too.”

“Accordingly, we began sourcing tariffs that would meet the agreed objectives. We successfully found a plan that met all green criteria by almost being 100% renewable and to ensure budgets were protected.” 

“Moving forwards, we have set Surgeons Quarter up on our bespoke monitoring platform to give Financial Controller Neil Johnston real-time data on all of the meters to remove many of the headaches that typically arise when dealing with close to 100 utilities accounts.”

“Surgeons Quarter now has a renewable energy solution that is considerate to the environment. The energy is generated using wind and hydro technology and is sourced right here in Scotland.”

Surgeons Quarter is looking to boost its headcount by 70% over the coming months, with 60 to70 new hires planned across April, May and June with new major conference bookings such as the Functional Regulatory Genomic Disease Meeting marking a return to close to maximum operating levels.

The venue has a busy year of events ahead, with occupancy rates expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels and a full return of the Festival Fringe in August – for which Surgeons Quarter are one of the largest operators – followed by a busy festive period. 

Surgeons Quarter promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the RCSEd campus. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgical standards worldwide.

For more information on events, conferences and meeting space at Surgeons Quarter visit: https://www.surgeonsquarter.com/conferences-meetings/

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