Charity makes green move to Loanhead

A Loanhead charity supporting the education of youngsters in Africa and the UK wanted its new premises to reflect the organisation’s environmental values.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 3:24 pm
Turing Trust staff and volunteers when they moved into their new Loanhead premises.

The Turing Trust, set up in honour of Alan Turing who broke the Enigma Code during World War II, moved into “a shell of a building” and was insistent that the industrial unit would be as energy efficient as possible.

James Turing, the great nephew of Alan, and the charity’s founder and CEO, said: “Being green is fundamental to what we do and we wanted to live up to our green ethos as much as possible.”

The Turing Trust, set up in 2009, accepts donated computers before refurbishing them and installing educational software. The computers are then shipped to Malawi and other African countries, as well as schools in the UK, to give underprivileged youngsters the opportunity of learning IT skills.

As the work the charity does is part of the circular economy, James was keen to explore green sustainable options for the new premises.

He contacted Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service for free support to turn the empty warehouse on Pentland Industrial Estate in Loanhead into an energy efficient home for the charity. With the help of a Scottish Government SME Loan that came with a cashback grant, James went ahead with the installation of an air source heat pump, insulation, new LED lighting and low-flow taps and toilets.

James was advised that introducing the various measures could save the charity more than £10,000 a year on annual energy bills, as well as reducing the building’s CO 2 emissions by 17 tonnes.

He said: “Being green is fundamental to what we do, and this was the first opportunity we had had to make our own decisions and look at the options afresh. If we hadn’t contacted Zero Waste Scotland things would have been very different for us. It would have been fundamentally hard to justify the upfront cost without the loan.”

David Gunn, Zero Waste Scotland business support programme manager, said: "The efforts of all the businesses supported by Zero Waste Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Business Support Service helps Scotland to play its part in tackling climate change and achieve our net-zero targets.”