Net zero transition is a chance for businesses to shine

Climate Change brings risk to Scottish firms and their supply chains – but decarbonisation offers not only security, but opportunity, writes Carolyn Stewart, Chief People Officer at Scottish Enterprise.

“Scottish Enterprise has placed climate at the heart of everything we do. This is highlighted in our business plan and Net Zero Framework and as an economic development agency we have an important role in leading and influencing change.

We can only do that if we bring our people along with us, and if they can effectively support, inform, and inspire the thousands of businesses we work with each year to also commit to genuine climate action.

That is why we have undertaken an extensive programme to bolster climate literacy across Scottish Enterprise at every level of the organisation, starting from the top.
Over 70 leaders are undertaking the Climate Solutions Professional course developed by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) in association with the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh and the Institute of Directors (IoD).

We are also providing a suite of training on Scotland’s net zero transition to all our 1,200 staff as part of ongoing professional development.
Companies that understand and address the opportunities and risks presented by climate change will be best placed to thrive sustainably.

The combined climate and nature emergencies bring very real risks for Scottish businesses and their supply chains. Our business leaders need to understand how they can quickly decarbonise and change how their organisations operate to reduce their environmental impacts as well as adapt to a changing climate.

But with risk also comes opportunity. Scotland’s emerging leadership in such areas as renewable energy, decarbonised heat, heavy duty zero emission vehicles and the hydrogen economy offers enormous opportunities for businesses to create sustainable jobs and market advantage.

Global spend on decarbonised infrastructure alone is set to reach £5 trillion a year by 2030. Whatever the sector, it’s clear that those businesses who grasp these issues can not only create new, green jobs and opportunities but they are better able to compete, innovate, recruit staff and secure investment.

At Scottish Enterprise we’ve put the net zero transition at the heart of our business plan and are fully committed to helping Scotland’s economy evolve. In June we also published our Net Zero Framework for Action which sets out how we’ll play our part in delivering and influencing change. This includes the actions we’re taking to deliver our net zero ambitions, most of which we’re delivering over the next 12 months. We all need to act now.

The Climate Solutions Professional course offers an in-depth look at climate change and its impacts covering practical frameworks and actionable solutions. It’s designed to give our leaders a solid foundation on the fundamentals of climate change that will be vital in relationships with businesses we support.

Scottish Enterprise delivers a wide range of economic development support – including helping businesses create fairer jobs and workplaces, address growing market opportunities, adopt sustainable business practices, and secure investment to drive growth.

We are focused on supporting an economy which is sustainable, responsible, and fair. Training will help employees understand our strategic ambitions and we are confident the Climate Solutions course and wider climate literacy development will achieve that and more.

If we are to step up to, not only demonstrate our own climate leadership, but to also influence other organisations, then we must invest first in our own skills and understanding.
We must lead from the front to secure a greener economy and enable a just and prosperous net zero future for Scotland.”

To find out more about how your business or organisation can support the global movement towards net zero emissions by taking the Climate Solutions Accelerator 90 minute online course, of the Climate Solutions Professional online course, in which participants can learn from the world’s leading experts on climate change, please email: