Our Vision is to promote the shift of Caithness and North Sutherland’s economy to one where sustainability is prioritised.
We will work with CNSRP and initially focus on the commercial sector, demonstrating the economic opportunities that exist by holistically utilising the four pillars of sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sustainable development goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were introduced in 2015 and are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. 193 countries in the world have promised to improve the planet and the lives of its citizens by 2030. The SDGs include ending extreme poverty, giving people better healthcare, and achieving equality for women.
The aim is for all countries to work together to ensure no one is left behind.
Our core values
- Putting the needs of the region’s economy, environment, community and culture above individual profit and reward;
- Respecting people, diversity, and equality;
- Recognising the value arising from the contribution of business, public sector, third sector, and communities;
- Being open and transparent in everything we do
- Being committed to a culture of teamwork and collaboration
We believe that the region’s long term commercial survival is best served by adopting a sustainability based business model, and we want to see this area become the first to be genuinely associated with this approach.
A key step in achieving this goal is to look beyond the existing unsustainable linear Industrial model (Take – make – discard), one that we have all been guilty of subscribing to, in favour of working towards the Circular Economy model, based on the generally accepted 3R approach
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. There are other Rs we could cite that underpin this approach to give you a clearer picture, such as: Reactivate, Rebuild, Reclaim, Recondition , Recover , Redesign , Reform and Refurbish, just to name a few!
The ROSE approach centres on promoting and achieving a viable regional circular economy. This will further develop and maintain a long term healthy and sustainable commercial sector, whilst maintaining our standard of living.
As a business, or as an individual, you may find switching to a circular economy mind-set a difficult and alien concept, if so, have a chat with anyone you know who lived during WW2 and maybe the couple of successive decades. The circular economy is a new collective term for the way the we used to live and work, it has all been done before. All we now have to do is relearn the lessons that previous generations did, then redefine and adapt them to modern life. Why?, because adopting the Circular Economy model benefits the pillars of sustainability, society-economic, environmental, community and cultural, but most importantly, we believe it can provide a genuine and realistic path for the regions long term prosperity.
You can find out more by visiting the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.
The ROSE team
We are a small team of part time volunteers that believe passionately that sustainability is the right vehicle to achieve balance across the four pillars.
Simon Middlemas, OBE
An ex-Royal Navy submariner and ex-Managing Director of the decommissioning nuclear site at Dounreay in Caithness, Simon has lived in the region for over 20 years. He works part time now in support of socio economics in the Caithness and North Sutherland region and is on several Boards in the area. Long term friend of Julian, he is a late comer to the concept of sustainability, but is now an advocate and made the connection with the economic regeneration activities already being undertaken by CNSRP. Simon is the Project Manager for the ROSE project.
Dr Julian Harrop
Julian has lived in the Region for over 20 years and works for Arch Henderson, a Scottish Structural and Civil engineering consultancy at the MoD Vulcan nuclear site in Caithness, which is in the process of decommissioning. Julian came up with the ROSE concept when writing his thesis on sustainability in the built environment. He believes that sustainability / sustainable development, following the four pillared approach is the only possible way that we can all have a secure future on a local and global scale. Julian deals with all the product and expert support development.
Alison has lived and worked in Caithness since 2006 and works with Julian for Arch Henderson, a Scottish Structural and Civil engineering consultancy at the MoD Vulcan nuclear site in Caithness, which is in the process of decommissioning. As far as possible, she has been making sustainable lifestyle choices at home for several years. Although she has always had an interest in environmental issues, her young daughter and her daughters future has been a huge catalyst for her involvement in ROSE and helping work towards a sustainable future. Alison is leading on all administrative and support activities.
Caithness and Sutherland are characterised by a rich history, rugged landscapes and extensive coastline as well as being home to the Flow country, the largest peat bog wetland area in Europe and carbon sink of international importance. The population of Caithness and Sutherland is around 38,000 (2018 mid-year estimate from Highland Council was 38,267), spread around a sparsely populated 2,646 square miles with a working population of ~17,000. The majority of these citizens live in the Dounreay travel to work area, a region termed Caithness and North Sutherland.
Despite being part of mainland UK, Caithness and Sutherland is a relatively remote area of the UK and a significant land mass. The majority of the population are located in the north east part of this region with an economy underpinned by the nuclear industry for many years. The nuclear sites are now in the process of decommissioning, but the economy is relatively diverse, with significant opportunities to cope well with the changes, the major opportunities being:
- Tidal energy production in the Pentland Firth
- Offshore wind energy from the Beatrice wind farm, with potential support to others such as the floating offshore windfarm
- The potential for future Fusion research activities
- The extended decommissioning programme of the Dounreay and Vulcan nuclear sites anticipated to last many years, followed by a future of nuclear support activities
- The nuclear supply chain diversification from total nuclear dependency
- Green tourism, mainly around the north coast and cruise ship industry through Scrabster Harbour
- Vertical launched satellites from the A’ Mhòine peninsular in North Sutherland
All these opportunities and more build on the area’s nuclear engineering legacy and acknowledge our geographic location and many are already underway. They all in some way support unique opportunities to pilot a course to adapt to the significant changes that climate actions will require to the benefit of all. We want the area to benefit, but more importantly, we would wish others to learn from where we get things right and where we make mistakes.
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