COP26: Green initiatives to implement in your business

Unless you actively avoid the news you’ll have found it very difficult to miss all the hype surrounding the upcoming COP26 conference which is due to take place in Glasgow next month. The question most businesses are asking themselves is what’s it all about and how will it affect the way I operate?

What is COP26?

COP26 is the United Nations Annual Climate Change Conference which is being hosted by the UK this year and will take place between 1st and 12th November in Glasgow. 

COP stands for Conference of the Parties. ‘ Parties’ being those that signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 26th edition of the conference.

It’s aim is to unite the world to combat climate change, bring together world leaders to discuss and agree on the necessary steps needed to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement for example reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

COP26 : What does it mean for businesses in Scotland?

A huge number of events will take place in Glasgow during this time and many businesses have been lucky enough to get exhibition space during the event. However, there were huge levels of interest and only limited places. If you’re not able to be there in person there are still things you can do as a business to get involved and bring about change in your organisation against the background of COP26.

COP26: Why should I bother and how will it affect my brand?

More so now that ever people want to do business with companies who can demonstrate their green credentials and commitment to net zero. By starting to think about how you can change your operations now to reflect this you can be ahead of the curve and shape your marketing strategy to highlight what you’re doing. This can be an excellent way of marketing your business as a leader in your field and add value to what you’re already doing. 

In this blog we’ll look at a number of ideas which are relatively easy to implement and can help your business on the path to net zero.

#1 Green Champions Training Course

The Green Champions Training Course is a free CPD Certified online training course for Scottish organisations. The course has been designed to give you new skills and tools so that you can successfully improve the resource efficiency and environmental performance of your business – and, of course, save money too.

Written by resource efficiency experts, each short Green Champions training module packs in knowledge and experience that will accelerate your understanding of the benefits of resource efficiency and quickly teach you how to:

  • Identify cost savings and environmental improvement opportunities
  • Effectively collect and analyse data; and
  • Be able to bring about change.

#2 SME Climate Commitment

Small and medium sized businesses from all around the world are pledging to make changes and signing up to the SME Climate Commitment.

This is a tool which allows small businesses to find a wealth of information on how to make the transition to net zero and specify a timeframe and targets in which they will do it. Businesses are then encouraged to report annually on how they are getting on and then look again at their targets for the next year to make further improvements. 

#3 Staff Engagement Toolkit

Zero Waste Scotland have put together  a staff engagement toolkit which gives you step by step actions to motivate staff in your business. There are links to free resources including posters, stickers, presentations and quizzes.

It also shows you how to set up a green team which can channel energy improvements within your organisation and lead the way in encouraging other staff to deliver energy efficiency and waste reduction. 

#4 SME Loan Scheme

The Scottish Government is offering funding to SMEs to pay for your energy efficiency projects. The funding can be used to implement the following:

  • Financing the installation of energy efficient systems, equipment or building fabric, including :heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades.
  • Adding renewable heat technologies such as installing an air source heat pump
  • Improving insulation, draught-proofing, double or secondary glazing
  • Installing LED lighting
  • Installing solar panels, wind turbines and wood-burning stoves

#5 Low Carbon Transport Loan

Eligible organisations can apply for an interest-free Low Carbon Transport Loan from Energy Saving Trust Scotland.

They will lend up to £120,000 (capped at up to £28,000 per eligible electric car; £35,000 per eligible van; £10,000 per electric motorcycle/scooter and other types of vehicles considered on a case-by-case basis) with repayments spread over a maximum of 6 years.

A Used Electric Vehicle Loan for Business is also  available to help purchase an eligible car or van up to £20,000, or an electric motorbike or moped up to £5,000, repayable over up to five years.

All of the resources above are easy to access and free, so why not take a look and make the most of the wealth of information available. As the momentum builds for the start of COP26 on 1st November the eyes of the world are on Glasgow and motivation to work together to combat climate change is at an all time high. What better time for your business to get informed and take part in the green revolution. 

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