Balancing Profitability with Sustainability

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Today’s guest on Sustainable is Paul Easto, co-founder and managing director at Wilderness Scotland.

Paul starts the show by sharing how, although the business has always been socially minded, the move from Edinburgh to Aviemore five years was the catalyst for Wilderness Scotland to become part of a local community and experience a greater sense of connection to place.

They’ve always been about buying local, and have 150 supplier partners throughout Scotland that they incorporate into their visitor experience, but this move has made them more active in the local community.

Recently they just held Bike to Work Friday, which they hope to encourage more businesses to take part and have just taken delivery of their own blend of Wilderness coffee from a local roaster to use in the office and on their trips.  They may be small things but they all have an impact.

Visitors on their trips enjoy buying local and this practice helps support other local businesses too.

Paul highlights how Wilderness Scotland is on a never-ending quest to innovate and do things differently.  At the forefront of any decision-making is the economic, social and environmental impact, which is not always an easy balance to strike between the three.

He notes that people could argue that flying is not environmentally sustainable but the reality is that people do want to travel and his company help them to do so in a sustainable and responsible way.  Visiting places can also help people become inspired to care for them.

Paul most admires:

Ernest Shackleton

Paul’s favourite resource:

The book, ‘Let my people go surfing’ by Yvon Chouinard

People Mentioned in the Interview:

Stoats

Raleigh International

Patagonia

Innocent

Ben and Jerry’s

It’s really important that the business is sustainable in all forms, whether that’s socially sustainable, environmentally sustainable but key obviously is you’ve got to make the finances work.Paul Easto
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