AES Solar, which emerged out of the Findhorn Foundation eco-village in the 1970s, has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its excellence in Sustainable Development.
While the North of Scotland may seem an unlikely home for a solar panel company, Moray based AES Solar is one of the oldest solar energy companies in Western Europe. Managing Director George Goudsmit reflects on their journey to Queen’s Award success below.
How did you hear about the Awards?
I first heard about The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the 1970s. A friend of mine received the Queen’s Award for Export. Ever since then I have set my sights on this prestigious award. It has been a long term ambition of mine to lead a company to a successful application. There was simply a matter of ensuring that AES Solar had the best possible chance for success! With over forty years of experience in the industry and several exciting projects under our belt, including Balmoral Castle and the Scottish Parliament, I knew we were ready to pursue the award.
Why did you apply?
Aside from the long term personal ambition I also recognised the fantastic opportunity The Queen’s Award would have for our business. It is no surprise we hold sustainability at the core of our business operations. However, this commitment to sustainability goes beyond reducing carbon emissions and the products we manufacture. This award not only recognises this sustainability, it also increases the awareness of the tremendous potential of solar energy across the country.
What will the Award mean to your business?
Receiving The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is fantastic recognition for all our hard work over the past forty years. It means even more to us now considering the challenges, we have all faced brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The team’s hard work and dedication have remained unwavering during this time and this award is a testament to all their efforts. So, this award is very much for the whole team!
What benefits do you think The Queen’s Award will bring to AES Solar?
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise now offers worldwide recognition for AES Solar, a small yet mighty business located in the North of Scotland, as an example of an outstanding British enterprise. We feel very strongly about our roots and geographical location. This award highlights the credibility of Moray and the North of Scotland for business and enterprise. Our staff have always felt pride in their work…after all, they are striving to save the planet!
The boost to staff morale is very well deserved and has been incredibly heartening to see. We have enjoyed celebrating with all who made this possible and now proudly fly the flag from our office headquarters!
Do you have any top tips for future applicants?
Try not to be too disheartened by an unsuccessful application should it come your way! The application process offers a fantastic in-depth insight into your business which you might not otherwise get a chance to uncover. The feedback you receive is also invaluable. It provides a fantastic opportunity to regroup and reassess. That way in a year or two when you feel ready you can take that feedback on board and give it your all with a new sense of determination! We hope our success might encourage others to consider their own application for The Queen’s Award for Enterprise!
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross MP for Moray welcomed the news saying;
AES Solar are a remarkable Moray company providing great career opportunities for local people and flying the flag for solar energy and sustainable development in general. I was incredibly happy to support their application and I am delighted they have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.
Richard Lochhead MSP for Moray added his congratulations;
It is great to see a local company doing so well, particularly one which has been part of the Moray economy for so long. AES Solar were committed to sustainable development years before most of us were even aware of climate change issues, so this is well deserved. Well done to all the team at AES Solar.
Find out more about AES Solar here.
Are you feeling inspired? Applications for the 2023 round are now open until 6th September. Apply now!
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