Green Resolutions - Mackie’s of Scotland
Made from

The arrival of a new year brings with it an opportunity to reflect and look forward, and in doing so at Mackie’s we are reminded of a Chinese proverb, which translates to mean “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today.”

Our vision is to be “a global brand from the greenest company in Britain, created by people having fun.”

Our focus on sustainability

Our focus on sustainability as a business stretches back a lot further than 20 years, to 1983, when our late Chairman, Maitland Mackie, installed a small wind turbine to power the old piggery, making Mackie’s one of the first UK companies to install a grid connected wind turbine. The original turbine and the piggery no longer exist, but in their wake lies evidence of a sustained effort by Mackie’s over the intervening decades to reduce our carbon footprint.

The top of the hill on the farm overlooking the ice cream dairy now boasts four large (around 40 m tall) wind turbines, installed between 2005 and 2015, as well as 7000 solar panels over a 10-acre area which was (albeit briefly!) the largest solar farm in Scotland upon its completion in 2015. The combination of wind and solar complement one another, as the sun tends to peek out on less windy days.

These energy-focussed initiatives, along with our use of biomass boilers, which heat the office and farm buildings, has led to our generating twice as much energy ourselves as we use overall. The excess is directed into the UK’s national grid. 2021 saw the electricity meter which counts the electricity produced by the first three turbines alone reset to zero upon reaching the 100 million kWh mark. This means that we have produced enough energy to supply 2,500 family homes with electricity for 10 years, or drive an electric car around the world more than 14,000 times.

In addition to our focus on renewable energy, we have taken steps across the business and the farm to leave the land in a better state than we found it, including the planting of an arboretum – a home to over 112 varieties of trees. This takes us back to the Chinese proverb, which reminds us that sustainable action needs to be continuing.

In this spirit, we set ourselves some “Green Resolutions” which we will top up and change as we achieve them, or as new ideas occur.


Green Resolutions

at Mackie's

Reduce our energy use
We want to be able to fully power our business with our own renewable energy – without any top-up energy from the grid. We will monitor and report on the difference made by our new low carbon refrigeration system, the first of its kind in Scotland which aims to reduce our energy consumption by up to 80%. That would take us one giant step nearer our goal of 100% renewable self-sufficiency!
Get ready to host some bees!
We have prepared the site of our 10-acre solar farm to house bees. Bees need enough variety of plants to pollinate to thrive, so, having prepared the site by removing the grass in winter, we have planted the solar farm with wildflowers and special bee-friendly plants in a bid to create a bee-friendly home now and for the years to come.
We will find ways, however small, to help reduce the Green House effect of our lovely cows. We trialled a new food mixture in 2022 which has proved a success in not only reducing the cows’ emissions but also increasing milk yield. The Carbon Trust validated feed has been proven to significantly reduce enteric methane emissions in dairy cattle without affecting productivity. Trials have seen a reduction in emissions by as much as 17.7% per litre of milk. While this is one green resolution we will continue to monitor and work on, we’re delighted to see these early positive results.
Electric Bikes
We have provided two electric bikes on the farm – so that staff can take a trip over the hill at lunchtime, book them out for weekends or use as a new way to get to and from work. They’re double green, because they will charge using power from our turbines and hopefully save on car miles! Here's to many more electric adventures.