Engagement with business on climate action

Scotland has set an ambitious target, to become net zero by 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the UK. In order to meet this target, it will take action from everyone in society, including businesses. 

We want to make sure that our progress towards this target is just and fair, and maximises the economic and social benefits we’ll experience as a net zero economy. We’ve already seen the benefits at work. Since 1990, we’ve halved our emissions while growing the economy, increasing employment and productivity.

This transition is a huge opportunity to grow Scottish businesses, supply chains and good, sustainable jobs. And the economic opportunities for our most innovative businesses are enormous: we want to help Scottish businesses innovate at home and then export their solutions to the rest of the world.

Our ask of business

We want all businesses to draw up plans for targeting emissions. 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.

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.

Then set targets and milestones in line with Scotland’s net zero ambition, make a plan of action and monitor your progress. Make sure you’re communicating your plans and progress reports with employees, customers and suppliers.

For actions your organisation can take to help achieve your targets and milestones please visit our new Net Zero Nation webpages or speak to our partners in the resources and links section below.

What we’re doing

The need to make sustainable changes is more pressing now than ever, in the light of the pandemic. The policies set out in the Climate Change Plan update are aimed at driving economic demand in key net zero markets, providing opportunities for Scottish businesses and supply chains, and creating demand for good, green jobs now and in the future. 

In addition we fund a number of programmes to support businesses, including:

  • we are investing £100 million to help businesses create new, green jobs via the Green Jobs Fund. This will provide £50m through to help businesses which provide sustainable and/or low carbon products and services to develop, grow and create jobs; and a further £50m to support businesses and supply chains across sectors to take advantage of public and private investment in low carbon infrastructure
  • our Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan will also support reskilling and retraining skilled workers so that they can access the new, good quality jobs that become available, building on the National Transition Training Fund and Young Person’s Guarantee
  • the Environmental Placement Programme supports businesses to recruit graduates to work on environmental projects. Interns are supported throughout their placement and gain valuable work experience in the sector, while helping their host company to reduce emissions and improve their green credentials

For those businesses already taking a lead, VIBES is an awards scheme developed to celebrate businesses in Scotland that are taking steps to improve or reduce their impact on the environment.

Further support

We have a range of partners offering tailored business support services, with many of their services listed on our Find Business Support site. If what you require is not available via the Find Business Support site, please contact our partner agencies: