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Joint delivered by ECCI, NERC and SAGES, the ECCI Innovation Consultancy Programme is a pioneering career enhancement opportunity for NERC and SAGES postgraduate students. The programme matches students with a wide range of organisations to provide meaningful research work opportunities for the students, and top class research and consultancy resources for the businesses.

In the third in our series of 2018/19 case studies we hear from the owner of low carbon holiday destination Comrie Croft and University of the West of Scotland PhD student and SAGES member Dr Elena Sesana.

The match

Comrie Croft is a low carbon holiday destination in Perthshire. Owner Andrew Donaldson is driving to create a model for rural regeneration with a rich natural environment that includes people, homes, recreation and businesses as an integral part.

Elena Sesana is an Engineering and Computing graduate student at the University of the West of Scotland. A member of ECCI-supported geosciences research pool SAGES, her research interests lie in risk, vulnerability and adaptation of cultural heritage to climate change in Scotland.

The project

Comrie Croft is pursuing ‘permaculture-crofting’: conservation, low impact housing, sustainable enterprises, recreation and eco-tourism.

Elena was tasked with developing a sustainability assessment tool to be used by the company to monitor their energy consumption and C02 production.

The impact

Andrew at Comreicroft said: “Elena surpassed all our expectations, coming up with a system for sustainability monitoring that is practical and designed around our business.

She brought academic rigour and knowledge of monitoring systems and indicators. We are really looking forward to analysing the results!”

Elena said: "I would like to thanks the ECCI to have given me the opportunity of working in such an interesting project. The experience at Comrie Croft was really positive and gave me the possibility to use my knowledge on sustainability in a tangible project. Their aim to become a model of sustainable business, striving to answer to the increasing urgency of mitigating climate change, is exemplary and should be of inspiration for others."

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