Barr’s orange nectar to go green in industry leading move


By Rory Reynolds

SCOTLAND’S iconic orange-nectar is to go green with the help of new massive wind turbines.

Irn-Bru bosses AG Barr have received planning permission to erect a massive two-megawatt turbine to provide electricity to its Cumbernauld factory.

The 130-year-old firm will be able to generate up to 60 per cent of the factory’s electricity from the huge turbines, which will dominate the 50 acre site.

Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr, said that while idea had been in the pipelines for some years, the firm has only just been given the green light.

He said: “We have gone through a lot of loops and hoops and trial and tribulations on the planning front but we finally got it.“It is a lot of money and the return on investment oscillates in terms of what you are paying for your power.


“But it is our intention to continue with the project and go ahead with it.

AG Barr were held up by the sheer height of the turbine – 126 metres – and had to convince councillors that the device would not affect the town’s airport of mobile phone reception.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said that other large firms should follow suit.

He said: “We all need to think about where our energy comes from and lots of companies are thinking about how efficiently they use energy and where their energy is produced.

“With oil prices going up, every company should be thinking how can it become a little more self-sufficient.

“When you are drinking Irn-Bru you can be satisfied that at least a large part of the energy used to make it comes from a renewable source.”

The group has been making fizzy drinks since 1880, but took off when it launched Iron-Brew in 1902.

The famous, ‘Made from Girders’ slogan comes from a comparison to the Forth Rail Bridge.


The firm is one of the first to have their own wind turbines, with Michelin becoming the first in 2006.

Their two 130-metre windmills supply 30 per cent of the factory’s energy, which makes seven million tyres every year.

White added: “For us, doing the right thing is important. It is one of the benefits of being a family business for a long time.

“Often decisions were made to do things that were not what a corporation would have done in those days.

“They made long-term decisions about the business and our goal is to continue to do that.”

AG Barr is also one of the only firms to recycle glass bottles, paying 10p for each one, and re-using 60 percent of them.

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