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Dunnet Bay Distillers Wins DigitalBoost Grant To Improve Carbon Footprint

Dunnet Bay Distillers has won a DigitalBoost Grant, funded with the support of the Scottish Government, to contribute to the launch of a new, low carbon website which will halve the environmental impact of the site.

Martin Murray is co-founder and co-owner of Dunnet Bay Distillers, a company he set up with his wife Claire Murray less than a decade ago. They make multi-award-winning Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka at their impressive, eco-friendly distillery in Caithness, on the north coast of Scotland.

Martin 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 2 and 6g of carbon per page load, per user. Last year alone, we estimate the website would have created around 3 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 even more important to the company. In 2021 the company had its best year ever, and much of this was attributable to continuing web sales. Martin Murray added: "Whilst 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 carbon impact of the site will be halved. There is not only an environmental benefit. The site will load more quickly on all devices significantly improving performance to give a better user experience for customers and staff.

This is just one of the factors the company has reviewed to improve its environmental impact. Others include: sustainable, fully recyclable packaging used for refill pouches; local sourcing and foraging of many botanicals; reuse and recycling of botanicals and other materials; minimising plastic usage and switching to other materials where possible; water protection; solar energy; and good citizenship, supporting local charities; 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' - - the company's existing web-master. Naomi said: "From This Day has always been an ethical company with good green credentials but until recently, even we hadn't considered the effects of our digital lives. With the internet generating more CO2 than the whole of the United Kingdom, this is an important area to tackle. Unfortunately, most of the green solutions for digital CO2 involved offsetting which is not a scalable solution; it's important to also tackle this issue at the source. 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 beautiful and yet low carbon version of the Dunnet Bay Distillers' website later this year."


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