Partnership programme is helping small businesses go green

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A new partnership programme is empowering Scottish companies to improve their sustainability and become leaders in tackling climate change.

The University of Edinburgh and Royal Bank of Scotland are launching the initiative, supported by the bank’s 300 Fund.

University of Edinburgh - climate change
The University of Edinburgh is partnering with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Photo by tommao wang on Unsplash

£1 million a year will be invested in the project, funding activities designed to train, advise and teach up until 2027.

Bringing together experts from the university’s Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI) and the bank’s business banking specialists, the partnership will work to assist more than 500 small and medium sized businesses.

Working together, they will help the firms to understand and act to reduce their climate impact, whilst helping to identify the opportunities a net zero economy could create for them.

This will be done by providing tool kits, online learning, mentoring and peer-to-peer work, informed by Scotland’s leading centre for research, teaching, policy and practice for climate action.

Professor Dave Reay, Executive Director at ECCI and Chair in Carbon Management and Education at Edinburgh University said: “Our institute brings together unique partnerships to find the most effective ways to tackle the global challenge of climate change.

“Small businesses have so much to contribute to the transition to a net zero economy, but they need support to understand where they can have most impact and to recognise and respond to the opportunities it presents.”

He added that the institute is “delighted” to be working in partnership to help “small business customers to be climate champions”.

Malcolm Buchanan, chair of the Scotland Board at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland 300 Fund aims to support projects which are meaningful and positive change and as a principle partner for COP26, it feels right to work with the University of Edinburgh to help the country and our communities prepare for a greener future.”

By encouraging smaller firms to become more sustainable, the programme aims to help smaller businesses make a vital contribution toward the national goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2045.