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Scotland's leading role in the journey to a sustainable low carbon future

Scotland's leading role in the journey to a sustainable, low-carbon future

There are many challenges and opportunities as Scotland transitions to net zero, but it is ideally placed to play a leading role in the journey to a global low-carbon future.

Why Scotland? 

Scotland may be a relatively small country, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in an ability to forge ahead in tackling global climate change. 

It has abundant natural resources, a culture of innovation, unrivalled government support and world-class research and development facilities. So, Scotland is ideally positioned to play a leading role in the global journey towards a greener, more sustainable, low-carbon future.

Cairngorms mountain range

What is net zero?

A critical milestone in this path towards environmental sustainability will be the transition to net zero. Net zero is the point at which the total amount of global greenhouse gas emissions are equal to, or become less than, the total amount of emissions removed from the environment. 

The first priority for all net zero plans should be to reduce total emissions. However, not all emissions can be reduced completely or avoided altogether. But a balance can be achieved by using reliable carbon offset initiatives. These remove greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, equalling the amount released by any activity.

Scotland has put in place world-leading legislation that includes a target date for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. This is 5 years ahead of the rest of the UK.

It’s an ambitious target that would end Scotland’s contribution to climate change within a generation, and it’s one that can be achieved given the significant strength Scotland has in many of the sectors that will lead the transition to net zero on a global scale.

Net zero opportunities

Across the world, business sectors will be looking to maximise the opportunities from transitioning to net zero. It’s important that Scotland’s businesses are part of that success.

There are already a growing number of companies across Scotland who are trying to work more efficiently and with a reduced impact on the environment. New market opportunities are also opening up for innovative Scottish companies whose expertise and technology can develop the low carbon solutions needed for the future.

The key to success will be embracing both the economic and environmental benefits of sustainability. And businesses should start to prepare now for the challenges ahead.

Fortunately, starting this journey towards this needn’t be a challenge. There's an abundance of support you can call on to guide you step by step, from measuring your current carbon footprint, to helping you set goals and milestones along the way to eventually becoming a net zero business.

Practical support to make your business sustainable  

The race to net zero is already well underway, and businesses across Scotland should start thinking about their own journey towards sustainability to make the most of this opportunity.

So, what are the first steps you need to take on this journey? How will you turn the climate emergency into a climate opportunity for your business? These are the questions that our experts can help with.

We have a dedicated team of sustainability specialists to provide support on the practical measures needed to improve your environmental performance - from business efficiency through to developing sustainable strategies. Our experts work with companies of all sizes across all sectors to help them achieve their sustainability goals. 

The support we offer is very diverse. We can help you with projects such as:

  • Improvements to business premises
  • Products and services
  • Processes and operations
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • People

And we don't act in isolation. Scottish Enterprise is part of a group of partners providing a coordinated approach to supporting businesses on their sustainability journey.

The environmental regulatory landscape is also changing to better support businesses who see tackling climate change as part of their mission. And it’s encouraging that Scotland’s business-facing agencies are aligning to support environmentally-conscious businesses go beyond compliance.

For example, Nature Scot - Scotland's nature agency - is driving the promotion of nature-based solutions. So it’s very clear that Scotland’s agencies are ready to stand alongside businesses in their net zero journey.

Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey, or your business already has a specific project in mind, we'll help you get the right support. 

COP26: a crucial moment for action

In November 2021, the eyes of the world were on Glasgow as it hosted the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP26). Crucial talks took place at COP26, with the aim of progressing global action to tackle climate change. 

With Scotland in the spotlight and so much focus on delivering a global agreement, many Scottish businesses are paying more attention to how they can stand up and play a key part in the overall approach to becoming net zero by 2045.

Now's the perfect opportunity for your business to become more sustainable, and in doing so, capitalise on the amazing opportunities that are emerging with the green economy. 

Ready to get started?

Whether you’re just starting your journey to environmental sustainability, or you already have a project in mind, our experts can help.