What we do

Net zero framework

Our net zero framework 2023-2024

We're putting net zero at the heart of everything we do. Our net zero framework outlines our approach to help tackle climate change and address biodiversity loss. It focuses on economic opportunities that deliver benefits to the environment and society. Find out how we're helping shape Scotland’s net zero economic transition.

Our net zero ambition

For Scotland to achieve its net zero ambitions, we all need to commit to positive change.

Our ambition is to lead, influence and create opportunities for Scotland’s just transition to net zero. 

This is the second annual update on our net zero framework where we highlight progress over the last 12 months and identify new priority actions for 2023 and 2024.

We’re continuing to focus on delivering actions that improve the international, innovation and investment performance of Scotland’s businesses. Our framework sets out our priorities in detail, to help boost business sustainability and create a more climate-resilient Scotland.

What is net zero?

The term 'net zero' refers to an overall balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Net zero is reached when the amount of greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed.

However, if we want to effectively address the twin challenges of climate change and ecological decline, reducing emissions is only part of the picture.

In common with other organisations, we use the term 'net zero' as shorthand to describe a broad range of activities that we support, including:

  • Reducing emissions
  • Adapting to the consequences of climate change that are already happening
  • Protecting and improving natural capital and biodiversity
  • Supporting green jobs and a just transition for businesses, sectors and communities
  • Promoting and scaling up circular economy practices and business models

Net zero framework highlights: 2022-2023

In its second year, our net zero framework made excellent progress and has formed a baseline from which we can build priorities and develop new activities. 

341,000 tonnes of co2

We achieved a reduction of 341,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from our supported businesses and projects.

400 net zero businesses

We inspired over 400 businesses to use our new net zero accelerator, a free online tool that helps businesses to achieve net zero.

8 net zero funding calls

Just one of these calls, the Can Do Innovation Challenge, gave 12 Scottish companies a share of £560,000.

Our 2025 ambition

Our framework focuses on net zero economic opportunities that also benefit the environment and society. We're embedding a focus on net zero across everything we do to increase Scotland’s sustainable prosperity.

This includes decarbonising our own internal operations – with the goal of reaching net zero by 2040. We’re also baselining and reducing the emissions from our operational support

We'll do this by:

2023–2024 priority actions

We've reached the half-way point on our journey to meeting our 2025 ambitions.

In 2023-2024 we will continue to support companies to transition to net zero, innovate to address global market opportunities, create jobs, and ensure long-term business resilience. We’ll do this by investing in Scotland’s innovators.

Scotland is well placed to build on its natural assets and expertise to innovate, invest in and export our climate-related solutions to growing global markets. Eight priority actions for the coming year will help us achieve our long-term ambitions. They'll be underpinned by additional supporting actions embedded across the organisation.

Priority actions for 2023-2024 include: