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Q&A with sustainability consultant Andrea Ladas 

Andrea Ladas
Andrea Ladas

Tell us about your business

Svalbard Tree is my one-man-band consulting business that aims to help small businesses on the west coast of Scotland to face their sustainability challenges. I collaborate with other consulting firms (including NUVA SUSTAINABILITY in Italy, where I'm originally from). Collaboration underlines the vision of what I do. Sustainability is so much about interdependence.

I can help you to:

  1. Understand how sustainability translates into your business and activities.

  2. Find the best tool to measure your impact, set baselines, benchmarks and improvement goals.

  3. Identify solutions that can strengthen your sustainability management, such as identifying a sustainability-related certification that works for you, engaging with your supply chain or designing better policies.

  4. Do your sustainability reporting right, and help you to understand when you’re crossing the line and greenwashing in your business-specific communications.

I am also a brewer, running a small farm-based business producing fermented drinks (starting with non-alcoholic kombucha called DRIFT). I can try and support all kinds of businesses on their sustainability challenges, but the food and drinks industry is my speciality.

What are the biggest challenges you face at the moment? 

I live with my wee team, which is made up of me, Lucy and two small kids, on the family farm in Otter Ferry. It’s a beautiful and inspiring community here, but it is sometimes also remote and challenging when you want to network or find child care (Lucy is a great caterer and artist/designer).

Finding the right remote work environment is not always easy here if you want to get out of the house. Another challenge for me is finding more local clients so that I can be more connected with the community I live in (I work a lot with Italy as well) and support local sustainability needs to help our community find more place-based design solutions.

What is your ambition with the business? 

I aim to provide guidance and design a common framework for sustainability management for small businesses in Argyll. I'd specifically love to connect as much as possible with food and drinks businesses, hospitality and tourism small businesses, to leverage the opportunity of a more local and sustainable value chain, to strengthen the impact of sustainability measures in a geographically widespread community.

Also, setting up a farm "fermentation HUB" would create another space to collaborate: fermentation means transformation to me. I aim to use local ingredients, looking into other businesses food waste-streams to find unusual ingredients and keep food waste out of landfills, which is what rural breweries used to do in the past.

Tell us about the businesses you connect or work with locally

From a consultantancy point of view, I'm very happy to collaborate with Inver Restaurant here on Loch Fyne, providing them with sustainability staff training and co-designing waste solutions with them. They're a good example of a collaborative business, as they design their supply chain on locally-sourced, best quality and sustainable production. I'm beginning to work with more businesses between Tighnabruaich and Cairndow, and getting to know their common needs. This will help me to design better solutions and, hopefully soon, provide sustainability training with multiple businesses attending and networking with each other on the topic.

What do you love about doing business in the Dunoon and Cowal area?

In this area, I love to connect with businesses that are run by people who share similar lifestyles and challenges. That helps us to consider each other’s work as a piece of your own work.

What support or services have you received from the POP Shop, and how has this helped?

The POP shop has been a great discovery! Both the desk space and networking opportunities will be helpful for me. Plus, I’m getting to know about new projects and collaborative events with good impacts for the local community. Hannah and Tom have been really kind and they really know the Dunoon area business community. I'd love to get to know more about Dunoon as "the local town" for our rural area  and the POP shop is the right place to network here.

Tell us what do you do to reduce the environmental impact of your business on the planet.

My job as a consultant is mainly a remote desk job so there is no big impact there. Through my work, I am trying to influence the businesses that I work and will have a positive impact by helping them to reduce their waste, become more energy efficient and activate more circular economy practices.

As a brewer and a drinks producer, we're planning to re-use our bottles for the local market as we scale up. We’ll measure the impacts of our ingredients and processes so that we can make better choices in future.

Find out more about Andrea’s work


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