Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Wednesday, May 24, 2023


As part of our ongoing commitment to sharing inspirational brand stories and actions from our community,?Sustainability Spotlight highlights the key actions or activities our Butterfly Mark certified brands are pursuing, with the aim of having an increased – and continuing – positive impact. 

Candacriag is an exclusive, historic Scottish mansion, set in the beautiful Cairngorms National Park. Priding itself on ensuring it has as minimal an environmental impact as possible, whilst also giving back to nature and the surrounding area of extreme natural beauty.

Its sustainability initiatives are extensive and world-leading in the hospitality space, from the estate’s circular business model that covers recycling, waste management and composting, to its innovative water management system that treats wastewater onsite. The Candacraig team is also working hard on biodiversity. Read on to find out more.

. . .

For those that are not familiar with Candacraig, can you give us a little introduction? 

Candacraig is a wonderful mansion in the Scottish Highlands. Dating back to 17th century, the house has a long history of offering its inhabitants a refuge and a natural sanctuary. In the last few years, Candacraig’s owners have developed a first-class luxury hospitality business, where they champion their passion for the environment and their commitment to making a positive social impact in their local community. 

The property has 12 bedrooms and private bathrooms, generous public rooms, modern facilities such as a newly installed sauna and chef’s kitchen as well as extensive, mature grounds surrounded by the majestic Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK. We host multigenerational family holidays, friends’ reunions, or small corporate retreats, always on an exclusive use basis. Guests enjoy the privacy and discreet service of a luxury hotel combined with the relaxed atmosphere of staying in a home, which becomes theirs during their stay. 

Candacraig certified with the Butterfly Mark in September 2022, can you tell us a bit about that certification process, how did you find it?

We felt greatly supported and encouraged by the team at Positive Luxury. The certification process made us take a really good look at our processes and procedures and see how we could do better. We were able to take stock of how much we had already achieved in our sustainability journey and focus our ongoing efforts to make our impact even more significant. We love that the certification process is not a fixed feature but a continuous process where the team at Positive Luxury continue to provide guidance, encouragement and support. 

The initiatives in place at the hotel that relate to biodiversity, sourcing and water really set you apart in the hospitality industry. Which area do you feel is most important to focus on in the immediate future? 

In the immediate future we want to focus a little more on sourcing,  replacing our toiletries with locally made products and introducing some more small local suppliers to our chef, as more local artisan makers and growers develop their offering near us. We will also source a few more hardy varieties of vegetables, plants and flowers to plant in our Victorian walled garden. Spring has only just begun in Scotland so the activity in our garden is particularly fervent at the moment! 

If we start with biodiversity, one the of the main concerns within the sustainability space now, what actions are you taking as a business to prevent biodiversity loss?

Our main action around biodiversity has been to preserve the wild lochan on our grounds. A few years ago, we had been advised to dredge it to restore the use of the lochan for water sports and fishing, but we chose to let the flora and the fauna grow undisturbed and take over the space. The result is a wonderful haven for many different species of plants, birds, insects and huge trouts! Our guests enjoy a lovely walk around the lochan or can sit by its banks to witness the rewilding in action. 

In our garden, every year we try and grow a few new vegetables and herbs, as well as fruits and berries to increase the range of produce we can make available to our chef during the growing months. We are also corporate sponsors of Scotland: The Big Picture, a charity who works to drive the recovery of nature across Scotland through rewilding, in response to the growing climate and biodiversity crisis. 

Local sourcing can be a real challenge when it comes to food & beverages as well as all other materials needed for a hospitality space. What measures and policies do you have in place for sustainable sourcing strategy? 

We work closely with our chef and beverage buyer to make sure that we favour local produce whenever possible. Aberdeenshire has an abundant larder including locally reared meat, some of the best seafood in the world, a growing number of small vegetable growers and some of the finest berries in the whole of the UK. 

Our chef has established a network of local suppliers which we use as much as possible in our menus. When it comes to drinks, we encourage our guests to enjoy Scotland’s whisky which is distilled on our doorstep as well as supporting some small local artisan brewers. Our still and sparkling water comes from a local spring, half an hour away, near Balmoral Estate. Candacraig has a large walled garden and although the season is short in the North of Scotland, we grow leaves, brassicas and fruits as well as lots of flowers and foliage which are used to decorate the house and welcome our guests. 

Water management is a key area within the Environment pillar of ESG and we can see you have really been innovating in that space. Tell us about the systems you have in place for water management? 

Our water is supplied from a private well on the Candacraig estate, naturally filtered by the earth removing harmful contaminants organically. The water is clean, treated, pure and delicious and double filtered for drinking purposes. 

 All sanitary wastewater is processed onsite in our septic tank via anaerobic digestion. This ensures the wastewater is naturally cleansed before being released back into the environment. Our soakaway systems help to reduce the waste burden on the local council. We are now looking at water recycling system and ways to use our wastewater, clean it and use it again to flush our toilets.

Looking forward, what projects are in the pipeline to better your ESG performance and what are you more excited about?

We are planning to make better use of the produce in our garden to feed our guests as well as introduce some foraged items on our menus, in particular wild salad leaves and wild mushrooms which are abundant over the summer and autumn months. 

We have been researching a local supplier for our in-house toiletries and are close to making the switch to a locally sourced solution. With our remote location and limited number of suppliers in our region, this has taken some time, as we wanted to ensure we could keep our core value of offering a luxury experience combined with a light carbon footprint, without ever compromising on quality. We are also in the process of building a secure bike store to encourage our guests to use bikes rather than cars to explore the tracks in the National Park. 



< Back

About Positive Luxury

 Since 2011 Positive Luxury has been accelerating organizations' adaptation to the new climate economy, keeping clients ahead of cultural and economic shifts. The company's unique four-part methodology is the only ESG assessment and certification program designed specifically for the luxury industry and incorporates a particular focus on innovation. Visit: www.positiveluxury.com and follow @Positiveluxury  

 Rejecting the traditional model rating past performance, Positive Luxury provides clients with precise gap analysis and the ability to identify and address current and future sustainability risks and diagnostics. In addition, the Connected Butterfly Mark communication tool also helps them leverage areas of strength and opportunities for competitive advantage.

 Companies that meet Positive Luxury's exacting standards for certification are approved for the Butterfly Mark, a globally respected trust mark, independently verified, signaling that companies meet the highest standard of sustainability best practice across ESG+: environmental, social, governance and innovation. With a growing community of nearly 200 luxury companies, Positive Luxury has created a community of brands, retailers, and suppliers taking tangible action – measuring, managing, and reporting their ESG impact.


Diana Verde Nieto, Co-founder, and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury 

Diana Verde Nieto is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury, a pioneer in ESG, and a globally recognized figure in sustainability. Diana holds a degree in Global Leadership & Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, was trained by Former USA Vice President Al Gore at the Alliance of Climate Protection and was subsequently honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. In addition, Diana sits on various boards, including BA&SH and Grass Roots Soccer, an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth in developing countries.

"Consumers, employees, and the investment community demand transparency and accountability from brands, and our new Connected Butterfly Mark answer to that. From a single source of truth, people can easily access an unparalleled depth of verified ESG+ verified performance data, including a brand's sustainability journey, clearly stating their actions and ambition. This level of disclosure raises the bar for Luxury and beyond." Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury


Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO

Amy Nelson-Bennett brings 25 years of global experience across business transformation, brand and commercial strategy, and digital commerce and communications gained across media, retail, and luxury goods. Most recently, she led the successful turnaround of Molton Brown as CEO & President and joined the PE-backed Clive Christian Group to modernize the brand and operations and deliver rapid growth. Amy is responsible for the strategic direction of Positive Luxury, brand and commercial strategy, and day-to-day business operations. By championing a new definition of Luxury that aligns with the core principle of Luxury and sustainability, she aims to accelerate the actions of the Luxury industry and the collective positive impact it can make on nature and society. 

"Our unique four-part methodology – assessment, certification, trust-building, and future-proofing – ensures every luxury business can continuously improve its ESG performance, realize ROI and optimize sustainability as a driver of corporate value. In addition, the Connected Butterfly Mark certification sets a new public disclosure standard for certified companies and the unique value Positive Luxury provides to luxury brands, retailers, and suppliers." – Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO of Positive Luxury.

For more information, please contact: Amore Philip | Apples & Oranges Public Relations | 929-229-5512 | Admin@aoprllc.com

Pickup Short URL to Share
News Media Interview Contact
Name: Amore Philip
Title: P.R. Director
Group: Apples & Oranges Public Relations
Dateline: New York, NY United States
Direct Phone: 929-229-5512
Cell Phone: 347-683-6626
Jump To Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts Jump To Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts
Contact Click to Contact