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Edinburgh organisations sign climate change pledge

Six companies and public sector organisation in Edinburgh have signed a pledge aimed at sparking radical action on climate change across the city.

Launched by the Edinburgh Climate Commission, the Edinburgh Climate Compact outlines a list of commitments which organisations taking part will need to adopt, to contribute to a green recovery and help Edinburgh reach its target of net zero emissions by 2030.

The six founding signatories comprise representatives from the private and public sector with Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, NHS Lothian, Robertson Group, NatWest Group, The City of Edinburgh Council and The University of Edinburgh all confirming their commitment to be leaders in the race to net zero.

It is the first time in Scotland that employers spanning the health, finance, investment, construction, education, arts and culture and the public sector have come together to agree a significant reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions through their operations, influence and leadership, transport and buildings, to address climate change.

‘As Scotland enters the twelve-month countdown to hosting COP26, Edinburgh has a unique opportunity to show the world the power of collaboration and the difference we as a city can make to address the climate emergency,’ said commission chair, Dr. Sam Gardner.

‘Edinburgh’s key businesses and employers can, and must, show leadership in delivering real progress on the net-zero future of the city.’

As part of their role in leading on climate action in the Edinburgh, the signatories have agreed to 16 actions which will lead to clear change in their business practices in order to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These include:

  • Publicising what action is currently taken by each signatory to address climate change including the disclosure of current emission levels and publishing plans for how they plan to reduce their carbon emissions;
  • Committing to retrofitting owned buildings and decarbonising operations to become more energy efficient and sustainable;
  • Prioritising active and sustainable travel in their workforce and investing in a switch to zero-emissions company owned vehicles;
  • Providing training for staff to develop their awareness and understanding of climate change and changes in their behaviour which could lead to a reduction in emissions.

Commissioner Clare Foster, who led the Climate Compact work stream for the commission added: ‘This Compact is for organisations who are committed to being leaders in the race to net-zero. It represents a significant step forward on the path to a new normal of sustainable business practice in a thriving green city.

‘The determination of the signatories to make a collective difference by committing to radically cutting their emissions is amazing and we hope it will set a benchmark that will encourage other businesses to join and other cities to replicate.’

Photo Credit – Tama66 (Pixabay)

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