Rabbie's Trail Burners

Scotland SME of the Year Award, Winner, 2016

Rabbie's is an SME which continues to place environmental sustainability at the heart of its business, and which takes a holistic approach to responsible business; fostering partnerships with like-minded companies, seeking to influence others and spreading sustainable values across the country.

Established in 1993, Rabbie’s is an award-winning small group tour company operating in the UK and Ireland in fuel-efficient, 16 seat mini-coaches with driver/guides.

Rabbie's regards reducing its carbon footprint as key.  It has created a classic model of sustainable tourism with its “small is beautiful” philosophy. Despite the company’s impressive growth figures - of approximately 20% in 2015, with an aim of a further 30% in 2016 - this will never change. Rabbie’s believe that this business model is as important to potential customers as it is to existing ones who heap praise on their experiences.

Sustainable business models

Rabbie's specialises in small group tours.  Small group numbers have immediate benefits to the environment and broader community - Rabbie’s book passengers into small, locally-owned accommodation providers and encourage them to support local restaurants and businesses as well as visit sites of environmental interest. In 2015 Rabbie’s booked accommodation for 16,866 passengers, which converts to an economic value of £1.3 million for UK communities.

The company has also established a café and is developing operations aligned with Rabbie’s responsible business framework, amended to fit within the hospitality industry. Partners include local produce suppliers Ochil Foods, our 2015 SME of the Year winner Vegware, Union of Genius and Dear Green Coffee.

Rabbie’s uses numerous methods to reduce its carbon footprint and support local companies and groups. It also disperses tourism away from what it perceives as ‘hot spots’ such as Skye and Loch Ness to less visited areas, reducing pressure on them and bringing benefits to less visited communities - always with its core values of sustainability in mind.

The judges were impressed with Rabbie’s continued, holistic, ingrained approach to responsible business. The company keeps a keen eye on its staff, rewarding and incentivising, and seeks to push the boundaries of what SMEs can achieve when they develop and foster collaborations with like-minded companies.