Major Scots employers form climate action group

A newly formed group of big companies with major a footprint in Scotland have joined forces to launch a new climate action initiative ahead of COP26 to accelerate the “just transition to a net-zero future.”

The major firms that have come together to create the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration (SBCC) are Aggreko, Diageo, EY, FirstGroup, Lloyds Banking Group, M&G, Scottish Power, Scottish Water and Wood plc.

The nine businesses represent around 25,000 employees in Scotland and 570,000 globally, with more than £92 billion in global revenue.

SBCC’s mission is to leverage combined scale and sustainability ambitions to accelerate the move towards a net-zero future in Scotland.

“SBCC is providing strategic direction and exploring practical, best practice action members can take – corporately and at employee levels – in the fight against climate change,” said the SBCC.

“Through a programme of collaboration in the build-up to COP26, SBCC aims to generate a meaningful business legacy from the global inter-governmental conference when it takes place in Glasgow next month.

“This work will culminate in a SBCC Pledge, to be announced during COP26, when other businesses will be invited to adopt the measures in the pledge.

“Following COP26, the group will meet on a bi-annual basis to share best practice, ensure the spirit of the SBCC Pledge is being observed and consider further ways to collaborate to work towards net zero.”

Wood CEO Robin Watson said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our generation.

“Achieving a net-zero future will require unprecedented levels of collaboration and alignment between government, investors, society and the business community.

“The SBCC offers an ideal platform for businesses in Scotland to engage in this important dialogue and to help shape some of the solutions we need.”

Sue Dawe, EY Scotland Managing Partner for Financial Services, said: “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is right that we focus the same level of resolve on tackling sustainability – the other great global crisis of our time.

“We are proud to be playing our part, taking action in our own business as well as working with other organisations through initiatives like the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration, the Sustainable Markets Initiative, the S30 forum of Chief Sustainability Officers, and the World Economic Forum.

“While sustainability presents tremendous challenges, it is also the innovation opportunity of a generation.

“The business community is ready to take positive steps in the fight against climate change.

“Forums like the SBCC will help to identify opportunities to unlock the full potential of the private sector to drive progress and support the transition to a net zero economy, with business and policy makers working closely together on this shared objective.

“Through collaboration like this we will find new ways to protect and create value from sustainability for all stakeholders.”

Scottish Power CEO Keith Anderson said: “As we work to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero targets, companies like ours have a responsibility to lead by example and show how we’re making the transition to a cleaner and greener future a reality.

“As a 100% green energy provider, every decision we take as a business is through the prism of achieving net zero.

“We’ll only make a success of that by joining forces with our peers, competitors and communities through initiatives like SBCC.

“This is the latest step on our journey to tackle the climate emergency, reduce our own emissions and show how to become a more sustainable business.”