Forestry business branches into sustainable future

Jas P Wilson, supplier of forestry equipment and machinery, is positioning itself for growth by investing in new sustainable measures, following a £695,000 funding package from Bank of Scotland.

Headquartered in Dalbeattie in Dumfries and Galloway, the business will grow its green credentials and increase efficiency, after benefitting from the bank’s £2bn Clean Growth Finance Initiative (CGFI).

Over the next four years, the firm will implement a range of green infrastructure improvements to its production processes and heating of its factories.

This includes new insulation, glazing and cladding, and the installation of a new biomass boiler fuelled from sustainable sources.

The project will also see new recycling systems installed and the modernisation of its water management process. A new purpose-built training centre will also be built to provide the firm with a dedicated space to help improve ongoing learning & development programmes as well as helping to attract new staff.  

Founded in 1964, the business’ current 20,000 square metre site includes a workshop, design studios, offices and training room.

The new site plans will see the two current factories joined together by a new middle building. This will house new offices and a showroom for customers.

The new green measures are funded by the bank’s new Clean Growth Finance Initiative, which provides discounted funding to help businesses transition to a lower carbon, more sustainable future. The funding supports a range of investments in sustainable business including small improvements in environmental impact through to large-scale renewable energy infrastructure.

Plans are also underway to grow the £11m turnover company to £14m by 2021 and increase the team from 55 to 75 people.

Billy Wilson, director at Jas P Wilson, said: “We want to make sure our business operates in the most sustainable way to create working facilities that support a greener economy. 

“Our current premises are outdated and need major development if we’re to stay on top of what is a £1billion industry here in Scotland. Fifty per cent of our sales are completed face-to-face with around 1,000 customers visiting our site each year. We want to provide a professional and sustainable space that will help us continue to grow while meeting our customers’ needs as they too become more eco-conscious.

“Thanks to the support from Bank of Scotland’s Clean Growth Finance Initiative, we will not only benefit financially through cost savings, but we will also reduce our impact on the planet.”

Stephen Owens, Relationship Director and Sustainability Champion at Bank of Scotland, said: “Scotland is leading the way as a climate change leader, but investment is essential if we are to maintain this position. By working with firms like Jas P Wilson, we can help them to act now to introduce sustainable measures that will not only reduce their carbon footprint but also boost productivity and profitability, and ultimately help the business grow.

“Initiatives like the CGFI form part of our commitment to help Scotland prosper. We support businesses across the country and look forward to working with other firms to create a greener future for all.”

CGFI forms part of Bank of Scotland’s broader support for the transition to a low carbon economy.

Training relationship managers on sustainability, in partnership with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, also plays a key role in helping businesses in Scotland become more green.