A new project to help Edinburgh’s SMEs participate in the just transition to a net zero carbon economy, and support innovate de-carbonisation projects in the City, is being launched by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.
Supported by City of Edinburgh Council through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the Net Zero Edinburgh project will run over three years until end of March 2025.
Businesses taking part in the project will enjoy a range of free support including informative events, training workshops, 1-2-1 and group mentoring and access to toolkits and resources. There will also be limited spaces available for a cohort of companies who will receive tailored support to plan, write and deliver their own net zero plan.
Chamber Director of Projects, Mayan Grace, said, “As a Chamber, we are very aware that small and micro businesses need support and guidance to help them on their net zero journey and some feel unable to source and fund this support.
“In 2022, we surveyed our SME members on this issue. Forty-five percent of respondents declared a limited understanding of net zero, with the main barriers to progressing cited as lack of understanding and access to resources. Despite this, seventy-four percent of SMEs saw the transition to net zero as an opportunity for their business.”
The new project will take SMEs through a five-step journey from understanding through, measurement and assessment, planning, delivery and review.
In addition, and alongside Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council (EVOC), the Chamber will run a citywide outreach programme to help identify and support SMEs with innovative decarbonisation ideas and projects. This will include drop in clinics in the community, open access events, social media campaigns and direct business outreach.
Mayan added, “We believe this level of targeted support for SMEs is necessary to move the dial on net zero, at the pace required, and will help them adopt energy efficient and low carbon techniques, ultimately supporting the achievement of our net zero targets.”
Cllr Cammy Day, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council added:
“Safeguarding our climate is one of the Council’s key priorities and when we issued a call for bids for projects to deliver under the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in Edinburgh, we were clear that we would be particularly interested in proposals that supported our net-zero agenda. I am delighted that Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce brought forward this Net-Zero Edinburgh Project in response to this and that we have been able to fund the project.”
“Every individual and organisation in the city has a role to play in transforming Edinburgh to get to net-zero emissions by 2030. As a Council, we can’t do this alone and it is right that we offer support to small and micro businesses looking to play their part too. These businesses represent the lifeblood of communities across our capital city, and they should be at the forefront of our climate actions.
“This targeted and comprehensive project will equip local businesses with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to not only contribute to our shared climate responsibilities but also grow their businesses in a managed and sustainable way.
“I would like to thank the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, EVOC and all our other partners who have supported this vital project.”
This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.