We want all businesses to draw up plans for targeting emissions. This means establishing baselines, setting targets and milestones, sharing and celebrating progress as planning develops. The scale and type of action taken will vary between businesses, but it is up to each business to ensure that it is contributing to reducing emissions in a way that benefits all.
Here are the top 5 actions your business can take to help tackle the global climate emergency and achieve our net zero target. Businesses can also inspire others to take action by sharing best practice and showcasing experience.
Plan For Change
Planning will be crucial to ensure that businesses can make the most of opportunities and prepare for changes. There’s no single template for businesses, but effective climate-friendly business planning is likely to involve the following actions:
- Clearly define baselines for emissions, environmental impact and climate risk management.
- Set targets and milestones (in line with Scotland’s net-zero ambition) for emissions reductions and economic growth and wellbeing in a net-zero economy. You can better understand your current impact by calculating your greenhouse gas emissions.
- Identify and plan key actions, opportunities and partners.
For any business, the first step is to establish your current emissions as fully as you can: consider the energy you use, fuel you put in your vehicles and, if you can, the energy used by others on your behalf, by your staff and suppliers, for example.
Then set targets and milestones, make a plan of action and monitor your progress. Make sure you're communicating your plans and progress reports with employees, customers and suppliers.
- Make use of Home Energy Scotland’s Partnerships and Employee Engagement Service, which includes training, workshops, and materials to learn how we can all save energy at home.
- Switch to renewable energy sources - this might be as simple as switching to a green tariff.
- Invest in energy efficiency measures (such as improving building insulation, choosing low energy appliances and processes).
- Invest in low (or zero) emission heat and energy (such as heat pumps, solar or wind powered electricity).
- Make use of Business Energy Scotland’s Resource Hub on funding, business support and case studies.
- Encourage more sustainable modes of transport for employees.
- Reduce business transport costs and lower emissions by contacting Energy Saving Trust who can provide expert and independent advice, including fleet reviews, general business transport reviews, support with electric vehicles, support for employees and information about funding.
- Electrify your car fleet and encourage employees to move towards electric vehicles for their own personal use.
- Install electric vehicle charging points in workplace car parks.
- Invest in energy efficiency measures, such as improving building insulation, choosing low energy appliances and processes.
- Invest in renewable energy sources, such as solar PVs and heat pumps.
- Continue to use video-conferencing technologies which have become the norm throughout the coronavirus pandemic and encourage only essential business travel which cannot be avoided.
- Make any changes to the way the business operates or sources materials or services to ensure they are as green as possible.
- Encourage your own suppliers to make changes to the way they operate and how and where they source goods.
- Provide facilities for recycling unavoidable food waste.
- Re-design products and services to minimise waste.
- Seek advice from Zero Waste Scotland to make more sustainable choices by visiting Free Business Sustainability Support & Advice.