The Scottish Business Climate Collaboration (SBCC) is a group of leading corporate businesses with major footprints in Scotland who have joined forces to help lead the fight against climate change, inspire action as a legacy of COP26 and accelerate the just transition to a net-zero future. SBCC’s member organisations (Aggreko, Diageo, EY, FirstGroup, Lloyds Banking Group, M&G, Scottish Power, Scottish Water, and, Wood) wanted to help SMEs across Scotland to make the transition to net-zero.
The aim was to develop an SME Programme that engages, enables, and supports small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) by creating a practical step by step programme to equip businesses with the tools and knowledge to achieve net-zero within their own organisations and in the goods and services they supply.
In collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland, consultation with Scottish SMEs and Scottish enterprise agencies and using the Supply Chain Sustainability School platform as a starting point we developed the Climate Action Hub.
The project was a multi-stakeholder team effort to build the Hub. Drawing on our experience building learning pathways and e-learning modules, developing company carbon capability assessments, individual carbon literacy assessments, and developing a carbon calculator tool as well as accompanying advice on next steps.
Key care was taken to make all materials and tools fit for purpose to both Scotland and the SME context. Looking at the correct language to use, the relevancy of examples, impacts and actions provided in e-learning, measurement and action planning process.
The Climate Action Hub is a free online platform that provides an individual learning experience for Scottish SMEs to:
Understand – The backbone of the hub follows a 12 module e-learning pathway modules that go through the themes of ‘Why Net Zero’, ‘Understanding Your Carbon’, and ‘How to Implement’. Each module takes around 15 – 20 mins to complete, is CPD accredited – with a passing mark giving you an industry recognised certificate that is stored within the hub.
Measure & Take Action – Beyond the e-learning pathway, admins of the account can use the tool to manage their entire business’ learning. They can bookmark progress with company and individual assessments, tracking and assigning learning material through the corporate dashboard. They can also utilise additional resources, events, webinars and videos will also be added for free.
In addition, the learning materials guide users on how to use the additional Sustainability Tool – A carbon calculator and Carbon Reduction Plan generator which gives suggested short, medium, and long term actions tailored to the sector you are in – providing you with a recognised plan, suitable for tender and funding applications.
Small-to-medium sized businesses from different sectors across Scotland were consulted throughout the development of the platform. There was a clear appetite for an easy to use, clearly structured learning resource that provided users with a tangible output was expressed. This insight was key in making sure that the learning materials were accessible to businesses of at varying stages of their carbon literacy journey.
Since the platform’s launch in March 2023, the Climate Action Hub has received very positive feedback from early adopting users as well as enterprise agencies across Scotland that will be sharing it as a resource for their clients. As greater pressures are put on businesses of all sizes to disclose emissions and set carbon reduction ambitions, the free resources provided via the Climate Action Hub will help to simplify the process of creating a carbon reduction plan and act as a positive catalyst for action.
“It is important to us to measure Social Stories Club’s carbon footprint so we can set goals and successfully implement a carbon reduction plan. We found the climate action hub was a great way to test our knowledge and the tools really helped us to educate ourselves further.” Aayush Goyal, Co-founder of Social Stories Club (an Edinburgh-based SME)
“The transition to net zero is an economic opportunity but one that needs to be unlocked if our SME sector is to capture it’s benefits. This fantastic new resource will help do just that, providing the tools needed for our small and medium businesses to get to grips with tackling their carbon footprint and participating in the fast growing net zero value chain springing up across our economy.” Dr. Sam Gardner, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability, Scottish Power (SBCC Partner Organisation)
“As a member of the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration, we are excited to launch the Climate Action Hub with SMEs in our supply chain. We know that we have a responsibility to address the carbon impact of not just our own business, but also our wider value chain, and the Climate Action Hub will be a fantastic tool to support our suppliers in their own efforts to reduce emissions.” Katia Martin, Group Director of Corporate Responsibility, FirstGroup (SBCC Partner Organisation)