Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 10:32 UK

Carbon footprint system piloted

Car exhaust
Businesses are working out the level of emissions linked to their trade

Small businesses in the Highlands and Moray are trialling a new website designed to calculate their carbon footprint.

Sourcemap aims to help firms work out the level of carbon emissions created in delivering goods and services.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Media Lab, a division of Massachusetts Institute of Technology are leading the pilot project.

Several businesses have already volunteered to get involved.

They include Connage Farm Dairy in Ardersier, Cairngorm Brewery, The Lovat Hotel in Fort Augustus, the Spa Soap Company in Strathpeffer, Plexus Media in Cromarty along with Forres-based Tuminds, Macbeaths Butchers and Open Brolly.

The Lovat said it already offered price reductions to guests who travel to the hotel by public transport, walking or cycling.

It also uses degradable cleaning products and a biomass wood chip burner to heat the property and its water.

'More advanced'

Leo Bonnani, one of the researchers behind Sourcemap, said the Highlands and Moray were ideal for the trial.

He said: "We've been developing Sourcemap over the past two years, and other than some initial testing with food and drink companies in Boston, this is our first full study.

"We've found efforts in local sourcing are much more advanced in Europe than in America, and here in the Highlands there is a growing desire to work more sustainably."

He added: "Local sourcing in the US might mean 1,000 miles while here in the Highlands people are hesitant to get something from out with Scotland."

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