Boost your Business Opportunities with a Sustainability Strategy

Edinburgh Science Climate Engagement Manager, Stephanie MaiaTo mark Scotland's Climate week, The Supplier Development Programme invited Edinburgh Science's Climate Engagement Manager, Stephanie Maia, to explain how having a sustainability strategy can improve your business opportunities. Here’s what she had to say.


Climate Change Challenges

Climate change presents the greatest challenge of our time. Over 50% of the world’s carbon emissions have happened since 1991, so the urgency with which we need to act can feel overwhelming.


Government Commitments to Tackle Climate Change

Governments are setting ambitious carbon reduction targets, for instance The Scottish Government has pledged to become a net zero greenhouse gas emitting nation by 2045.

As part of this plan, the Scottish Government wrote a Sustainable Procurement Duty into its Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. This duty requires that before a contracting authority buys anything, it must think about how the procurement can improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the area in which it operates, which includes considering suppliers' carbon reduction plans.

Daunting as carbon reduction plans might seem, standing still is scarier. Failing to act on climate change not only affects the chances of growing your business, but on a global scale climate change inaction is estimated to cost over £146 trillion in the next 50 years.


Scotland Cares about Sustainable Actions

On a more local level, over 79% of people in Scotland believe that we need to adapt to mitigate climate change immediately and urgently. Can any business afford to ignore the roughly 4 million people that this figure represents? People really do care, and they also prioritise the businesses that they can see taking sustainable actions seriously.


Sustainable Supply Chains

Governments taking the lead on sustainability strategies have encouraged big businesses to put their heads above the parapet and launch their own ambitious promises. This in turn has encouraged SMEs to form their own carbon reduction plans, to ensure that they are not left behind by larger supply chain partners or public sector buyers, during the tendering process.


Sustainability Strategies and Tendering

This is why having a sustainability strategy in place is a key – and increasingly required – part of any tendering process in Scotland and beyond. But where to start, what’s important, how do you begin? These are the questions we are asked time and time again at Supplier Development Programme events across Scotland.


The NetZeroToolkit

What if I told you that there is a free, jargon-busting, online resource that is specifically designed for SMEs, to get you on the road to net zero? What’s more, this tool is already used by thousands of businesses just like yours.

The NetZeroToolkit, by Edinburgh Science, breaks sustainability down into eight core components, these cover risk analysis on the impact that climate change could have on your business, detailed footprints on where you are now (and crucially where your ‘hot spots’ or most carbon-intensive areas are), as well as target-setting and finding solutions.

Each component offers question prompts, helping you to structure your analysis. The components also include carefully curated resources, which provide the best support available to you.

This holistic approach ensures that you not only end up with an effective sustainability strategy – but you see all of the opportunities that becoming more sustainable can offer – from cost savings as a result of improvements to operations and buildings, to better staff engagement, and improved relationships with your community and customer base.


Start Now

The climate emergency can feel huge, but knowing where you are and what your plan is gives you the focus to tackle it. It gives you the confidence to know that you, and your business, are part of the solution.

Why not join the thousands of businesses across Scotland (and beyond!) who are all playing their part. A better, more just and sustainable future is possible if we all work together now to achieve it.


Sign up to TheNetZeroToolkit today.


Once you have sustainability strategy in place, how do showcase it in tender documents?

SDP has a webinar to help you do just this!

Join SDP on Tuesday 24 October 2023, 10:30am-12:00pm for the 2.5 Responding to Tender Policy Requirements - Power of Procurement webinar.


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