Why Take Action?
Here are six of the top reasons why businesses should take action to address climate change:
- Having a net zero target and demonstrating progress against it will increasingly be required by businesses to continue to do business. Many businesses including, Tesco will be requiring its suppliers to measure and disclose their emissions and set Science Based Targets. Public procurement in Scotland has a duty to take account of climate change.
- It can help reduce operational costs – reducing your electricity, fuel, transport and waste will help save money as well a carbon, especially with the current volatility in energy prices. There are several Scottish Government sources for grant funding that can help meet the up front costs for making changes.
- Customers are increasingly looking for greener products or services. There is a growing trend of people, where able, are looking to spend their money on products that have a positive impact.
- Be ready for new policy and legislation – Policy and legislation relating to climate and energy has already come out that will impact on businesses and more is expected in the near future. Being aware of these changes early can help your business plan and adapt to them with minimum impact and provide the opportunity to ensure your workforce has the necessary skills needed for the future.
- Grow your business or start a new one - There is significant potential for green job creation with STUC research from 2021 indicating the potential for 131,000-367,000 new green jobs across Scotland over the next 15 years. Thinking about these opportunities early will help your business capture these opportunities.
- Scotland’s won’t meet its Net Zero targets without businesses taking action. Neither will Perth and Kinross, with emissions from business and industry making up 21% overall emissions.
The Scottish Government has produced a Greener Business Guide that is a useful starting point for most businesses. The guide identifies one of the important first steps is to calculate what your current carbon footprint. For SMEs, it may be simpler to use the Carbon Trust’s SME carbon footprint calculator.
The gold standard for business and organisations is setting a target through the Science Based Targets Initiative. Many businesses are starting to require their suppliers to have these targets. Due to the cost of target validation, this approach may not suitable for every business and there several other alternatives. Business in the Community provides this helpful guide about what to consider when setting your target.
Although the 2045 target to become net zero might seem overwhelming for many, the Scottish Government offers a wide range of support, guidance and funding to all businesses. Visit their Net Zero Nation business page to find out how they can provide support and funding to achieve their climate action aims. Some key resources to highlight include:
- Speak to a sustainability expert using Zero Waste Scotland’s Support for Business service - https://energy.zerowastescotland.org.uk/content/support-scottish-businesses
- Make simpler or more technical energy efficiency improvements. Find out more at https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/business/
- Upskill your workforce with respect to climate change by using Home Energy Scotland’s Employee Engagement service which includes several materials on how to save energy at home - https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/help-your-staff-save-energy-at-home/
- Think about improving employee transportation, which can reduce CO2 emissions through encouraging employees to avoid using private cars to get to work and instead walking and cycling, using public transport, and car sharing. Find out more at SUSTRANS and PK on The Go
Putting sustainability at the heart of businesses is crucial in achieving our net zero targets and we all play a part in this. The time for action is now and we can all benefit from taking action sooner than later. Implementing carbon reduction and saving measures now will have a significant long-term impact for your business.
Perth & Kinross Council is implementing a number of measures to reduce its own emissions in all sectors that are associated with its operational functions like waste, transport and energy. Improving energy efficiency in Perth & Kinross Council property portfolio is key in reducing emissions arising from energy and there already several projects which contribute to this. Further details can be found at Buildings & Energy Action Plan. Besides the actions taken to reduce operational emissions, Perth & Kinross Council is also taking measures to educate employees with respect to their own actions and climate change. An online training course for Perth & Kinross Council staff was launched in 2021 with the aim to raise awareness on climate change and its impacts, as well as, to impact behavioural change and encourage actions we can all take to tackle and adapt to climate change. There are also a number of Delayed Office Opening (DOO) sessions taking place that are focused on climate change and biodiversity.
To help staff make the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles, Perth & Kinross Council has introduced a low emission car leasing scheme for employees. We have also upgraded many of our pool cars to electric vehicles to reduce emissions associated with staff carrying out their council duties.
In addition to this, Perth & Kinross Council is promoting a ‘no printing unless necessary’ policy for emails and documents across all departments. This aims to reduce the use of paper and energy for printing. Our waste services are promoting recycling throughout Council buildings with both our main working buildings in Perth, 2 High St and Pullar House, having a significant amount of recycling bins available for staff to use.
Perth & Kinross Council is also supporting businesses to shift to more sustainable practices by providing useful resources and showcasing best practice examples across our area. The Invest in Perth business bulletin connects businesses and it currently has 1483 subscriptions. The Zero Carbon Bus Tour event that took place in October gave businesses the opportunity to connect and learn what the challenges and opportunities are in terms of their journey to net zero.
Net Zero Scotland - https://www.netzeronation.scot/business
Zero Waste Scotland - Business - https://energy.zerowastescotland.org.uk/content/support-scottish-businesses
Energy Saving Trust – Business - https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/business/
Home Energy Scotland - https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/help-your-staff-save-energy-at-home/
Waste and recycling services for businesses - Food waste reduction in your workplace - Perth & Kinross Council (pkc.gov.uk)