Environmental Social Enterprise Award 2022 Winner Spotlight: WoodrecyclAbility

Posted: 06 June 2023, in Awards

We wanted to take a moment to pause and look back at the Social Enterprise Awards (SES) Scotland 2022 to highlight some past winners while applications for the 2023 Awards are open.

Please meet WoodrecyclAbility who won the Environmental Social Enterprise Award 2022.

We spoke to General Manager Brian Reid about why they applied, the benefits and their progress since winning the Social Enterprise Environmental Social Enterprise Award 2022.

Why did you apply for the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2022?

We were on a bit of an awards blitz having applied to SES, VIBES and Materials Recycling World (MRW). We were trying to get some recognition but to also see what was involved and how we could improve. The criteria for each award was so different and threw up various challenges and questions we had to ask ourselves to see – are we really environmentally the best we can be. So by entering the SES Award it helped us to hone our proposition and business plan.

How did the Social Enterprise Scotland Awards 2022 benefit you?

In a few ways, first of all it was the actual Awards ceremony at the Parliament in Edinburgh, quite an auspicious venue. Also, by meeting other hopefuls and learning what they do, either the same or different, helped. This was followed by the PR and video we did which raised our profile immensely added to that our local MP got us a mention in Parliament.

What progress have you made since winning the category you won?

We have increased the amount of plastics we recycle, and found new contacts that can pay us a better premium for our product. We have also increased the size of our orchard to 2000 trees to try and offset more of our carbon footprint.

What would you say to someone thinking of entering this year?

Go for it, the experience alone is worthwhile, a day out in Edinburgh is great, meeting like minded people is always a bonus.

What is next for your organisation – what can we look forward to or expect? 

At the moment we are starting discussions with another local company whereby we shred/granulate wood and plastics to make a hybrid, durable product to make outdoor furniture and decking planks. We also still have the hankering to get round the red tape to allow us to recycle waste tyres.

Social Enterprise Scotland Awards 2023 are open!

The awards are a real opportunity to showcase the very best of the sector, highlighting the agility, ability and active role that social enterprises play in building places, supporting communities and making a positive impact on our environment and wellbeing. Apply before July 10th!

We have 9 categories available. This is your chance to spotlight the incredible work of your organisation, celebrate your achievements, demonstrate social impact and be recognised as best in sector. All Social Enterprises that operate in Scotland or individuals/organisations that work/volunteer in Scotland are eligible to enter. We have a helpful criteria which can guide you through your application. Simples!

More about WoodrecyclAbility:

WoodrecyclAbility is a Social Enterprise dedicated to providing gainful work and training for adults with additional needs through the process of recycling waste wood and plastic. 

WoodrecyclAbility was incorporated in 1996. The enterprise currently has nine staff and 30 trainees and occupies a five-acre site at Cloisterseat, one mile from the Aberdeenshire village of Pitmedden. WoodrecyclAbility’s “Trainees” have a range of conditions including Autism, Downs Syndrome, and Acquired Brain Injury and are integral to all aspects of the business. Their needs are met through our principal activity of recycling waste wood.

WoodrecylAbility also recycles plastic and in 2021 embarked on a further diversification in planting a 2000 tree apple orchard with our partner, Social Juice. Overall, the enterprise is an outstanding example of how an organisation can be a sustainable business built on both a social and societal benefit as well as making a highly significant environmental contribution. On the latter point alone, WoodrecyclAbility has saved nearly 40,000 tonnes of waste going to landfill. Not only has the material been re-used effectively but has also contributed to an environmental saving of 43,300 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere.