Star Refrigeration reaches 2023 final of VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards

Published by Brian Coyle on

The company’s efforts to lower its carbon output and champion sustainable refrigeration and heat pump technology across diverse industries are recognised.

Leading natural refrigeration and heating experts, Star Refrigeration, have been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2023 VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards, which celebrate companies who achieve a balance between economic success and environmental sustainability. The 2023 shortlist was announced last week ahead of the awards ceremony taking place in November.

Known for championing the use of natural refrigerants and taking the lead on accelerating its customers’ journey towards Net Zero, Star Refrigeration has been nominated for the ‘Vision in Business Scotland – Best Large Business’ award. The VIBES awards are open to Scottish-based businesses, including those in the private sector, social enterprises and community businesses. The awards aim to encourage the efficient use of resources, improve environmental performance and support Scotland’s sustainable development.

Dave Pearson, Group Sustainable Development Director at Star Refrigeration, said, “We are delighted to be shortlisted in this award. Star has always sought to bring the best environmental solutions to our customers using ammonia refrigeration, a natural refrigerant with zero global warming potential. Our investment, first in large heat pump capabilities for our customers, then in our own carbon reduction efforts, will set the company’s direction for years to come.

We are a relatively small (big) business so we know we have to punch above our weight. It’s this determination to help our customers on their journey to net zero that will make the biggest environmental impact. Fifteen years ago, we couldn’t have imagined being able to heat large parts of a city gas free with heat from a river, but now we’ve done this over half a dozen times, from Norway to Zurich to Clydebank then Bristol”.

Through its Group Sustainability Business Strategy, the UK’s largest industrial refrigeration company is committed to having a positive impact across all 17 United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). With a comprehensive approach encompassing areas such as renewable energy, data analytics and consultancy, the company is dedicated to contributing to a sustainable future.

As a long-time pioneer of environmentally friendly cooling and heating technology, Star Refrigeration are responsible for the innovative heat pump behind Britain’s largest high-temperature river source heat pump in Queen’s Quay, Clydebank, which has transformed the way heat is provided to homes, businesses and public buildings in the area. Since 2009, the company’s efforts in decarbonising district heating have proven successful with recent projects in Glasgow, Bristol Harbour and more  providing low carbon heat and hot water to thousands of homes, businesses and public buildings.

The company has also become a key partner in the sustainable transformation of the food and beverage manufacturing, cold storage, pharmaceutical, and petrochemical sectors. Through the implementation of cutting-edge solutions, Star’s customers have significantly reduced CO2 intensity while moving closer to attaining carbon neutrality. One such solution is Ethos, an advanced data monitoring system empowered by artificial intelligence. It delivers real-time insights and provides ongoing energy performance optimisation support, enabling businesses to address the challenges associated with their operation.

Advocating leadership through example, Star have also made strides to reduce its own global carbon footprint. Last year, the company exceeded the statutory requirement of the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulation (SECR) and lowered its CO2 footprint by over 10%. These substantial reductions were made possible through several strategic initiatives, including the implementation of a revised fleet policy to prioritise electric vehicles (EVs). The company also offers a salary sacrifice scheme to its non-fleet vehicle driving staff and their families, enabling them to obtain a personal EV.

Since 2021, Star have increased utilisation of photovoltaic (PV) technology across their UK sites by 500%, despite lockdowns and a contracted economy, while reconfiguring its heating systems to lower gas use and prepare them for heat pump integration.

These measures, along with other internal initiatives, have earned Star ISO 14001 certification, which is a testament to the company’s commitment to adhering to environmental management practices.

Despite a challenging business climate, Star remains dedicated to furthering SDGs, including expanding race and gender diversity opportunities, as well as improving working conditions for its employees. In 2022, the company affirmed its commitment to SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) by expanding the number of apprenticeship and trainee opportunities available across the business.

Pearson, said “An interesting spin-off from our proactive and sharing approach is that we find potential staff approaching the business very excited by our leadership. We are a business that the right people want to work for and this is definitely because of our long-term view. This is best evidenced by our fantastic relationship with ex-forces personnel seeking a new career path.

There is no doubt that shifting demographics place a greater emphasis on sustainability, equality and diversity. Star’s leadership goals face up to these evolving expectations as we aim to attract talented people who share our vision and values. We aren’t excessively stressed by the next quarter’s results. It’s a long game. Some same an infinite one.”

The VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards are a partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), The Scottish Government, Energy Saving Trust, Highland & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Water, Zero Waste Scotland and NatureScot.

The 2023 shortlist includes entrants from across the country and from various sectors, including transport, food, drinks, construction and tourism.

For more information about the VIBES 2023 Scottish Business Environment Awards, visit

For more information about Star Refrigeration’s sustainable developments, visit