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Innovative Scottish sustainable startup named best small business in the UK

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CCU International won the Innovation Award and overall Best Small Business prize at the UK finals of the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards on May 9.

It is the fourth time in five years that a Scottish firm has claimed the UK title.

The Edinburgh-based startup uses advance technology to capture carbon dioxide straight from industrial chimneys and exhaust stacks and turns it into useful products and everyday commodities. The captured CO2 can be converted in many ways including fuel for planes, building materials, and even ingredients for shampoo and toothpaste.

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Beena Sharma, co-founder and CEO of CCU International, said the company has been able to create something in 15 months that others haven’t been able to do in 15 years.

She said: “When our chief technical officer Professor Peter Styring first developed this technology 15 years ago, we were told again and again ‘this isn’t going to work’.

“In the 15 months since we spun out the company to apply the technology commercially, we have won contracts with Unilever, Procter and Gamble, and all the big blue-chip companies.

“We have managed to do in 15 months what our competitors haven’t been able to do in 15 years.

“These awards are a huge achievement for the team and give us the platform to go to the next level. Our ambitions now are global, and we have plans for major growth”.

Two other Scottish firms were also named best in their class at the UK awards.

Sustainability advisors Beyond Green won the Diversity and Inclusion Award, as they help clients make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of their businesses.

Boogie Beat Music and Movement Edinburgh were Franchise Business of the Year for their fun and inclusive workshops which work with schools, nurseries, and care homes.

FSB national chair, Martin McTague, spoke highly of the Scottish winners this year and said CCU International is a shining example of innovation in the sustainability industry.

He said: “Yet again, Scottish businesses have triumphed in the UK final of our awards.

“Many congratulations to all three winners from Scotland, and extra congratulations to CCU International for taking the overall Small Business of the Year title – the fourth Scottish business to earn that crown in five years.

“CCU International is a shining example of how small businesses are harnessing and driving innovation, technology, and sustainability to energise the economy and inspire the next generation.

“Small businesses are at the heart of Scotland’s economy and communities, and this year’s awards have shone a light on the talent, resilience, and ingenuity of entrepreneurs across the nation.”

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