Eco-friendly Élan Hair Design targets double awards success

An Inverurie business, believed to be the UK’s most eco-friendly hair salon, is in the running for two national business awards in recognition of its commitment to the environment.

Élan Hair Design will go head-to-head with finalists including Crown Paints, IKEA UK and O2 owner Telefonica UK, having been nominated for the Sustainable Business honour at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

The result will be announced at a glittering ceremony held on Tuesday, November 10 at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Prior to that, the successful family-run business is also in contention for the Best Small to Medium Enterprise at the Responsible Business Awards. The ceremony will be held in central London on Friday, September 25.

Lorna Milton, director at Élan Hair Design, said: “We’re delighted to have been nominated for these two prestigious awards. Even to reach this stage is a great boost for the business and recognition of the hard work put in by our team.

“We know that we’re up against some tough competition in both events but we’re hopeful of doing the north-east of Scotland proud.”

To date, Élan’s innovative green solution has won 17 awards, having now been shortlisted for honours on 63 occasions.

In 2012, the Milton family completed an innovative building project, the environmental and commercial benefits of which could be a template for other businesses throughout the country, and particularly other hair salons, to follow.

Élan’s eco-friendly project includes the use of recyclable materials, photo-voltaic panels to generate electricity, solar thermal panels to provide energy for hot water, LED lighting that uses 80% less electricity and environmentally-friendly basins that cut water consumption by 64%.

The salon has also cut its carbon emissions by 94% and diverted 95% of its general waste from landfill. Élan has found a solution for responsibly disposing of its customers’ hair clippings. Shorn locks, along with other biodegradable waste, are collected and sent to be spread as compost on local farmers’ fields.

Husband and wife Lorna and Gordon Milton run Élan Hair Design with their daughters Lanice and Lauren. The business, which currently has a team of 13, was established more than 40 years ago.

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