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CalMac's terminals in the Western Isles may be largely unsullied by the presence of any operational ferries – but at least they look good!

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has accredited two ports and harbours on the Western Isles owned by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) and operated by CalMac Ferries with an environmental award, acknowledging both companies’ commitment to improving environmental quality and management at the sites.

The two Silver Awards went to Lochboisdale and Castlebay – meanwhile, Tarbert, Isle of Harris, is completely omitted from the list although it is a CMAL port. 

The Ports and Harbours Environmental Award accolade, adapted from the criteria for the National Award for Environmental Excellence®, recognises the achievements of both organisations across a variety of areas, including building maintenance, cleanliness, waste management and engagement with the local community. Good practices included a clear overarching environmental strategy and local support.

Auditors visited and assessed the sites across Scotland in September 2022 and completed a desktop assessment of their documentation. Overall, CMAL and CalMac received a silver level award across 26 sites – and each port and harbour achieved individual awards,  seven sites scooping gold, 18 silver and one bronze.

Scott Goodwill, Regional Harbour Manager at CalMac, said: “The hard work and commitment from our port staff and local communities across the network is evidenced by continuous improvement from these audits. Working in collaboration with CMAL, both organisations are extremely proud of this achievement and are already looking ahead to achieving Gold accreditation.”

Richie Morgan, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager at CMAL, said: “Both CMAL and CalMac Ferries Ltd, remain committed to the KSB standard and it is refreshing to know that every 2 years we continue to improve. Obviously the ultimate aim going forward is to reach the Gold standard, which I’m sure that with the continued hard work of the staff at the various port locations, this is not in the too distant future.”

Katie Murray, Environment and Place Services Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We are delighted to recognise CMAL and CalMac’s environmental commitment as part of our ongoing partnership with them. We are particularly pleased that there is further emphasis on the climate crisis in CalMac’s environmental strategy for 2021-23 compared to the previous strategy and some sites scored extremely well achieving gold awards. 

“We work closely with businesses and organisations across Scotland to help and support and inspire environmental improvement. Our environmental awards provide an exciting opportunity to assess and reward the efforts that are being made to help keep Scotland beautiful.”

The environmental services offered by Keep Scotland Beautiful support organisations to improve the environmental quality of local places and raise understanding on sustainability issues to achieve positive change. The charity work with organisations to deliver long term sustainable benefits, helping them to meet their environmental commitments and responsibilities.

Ports are controlled by different harbour authorities – for instance, Stornoway and Ullapool have their own port authorities, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is the port authority for Lochmaddy; and Uig ferry terminal is euphemistically described as being in the care of Highland Council. 

Caption: Louise Comrie from Keep Scotland Beautiful, left and Colin Hegarty from Keep Scotland Beautiful, right with two CMAL and Calmac staff.