New programme launches to help Scottish businesses cut costs and protect the planet 

ECCI Climate Springboard

ENVIRONMENTALLY conscious SMEs are being offered the chance to reduce their carbon footprint and lower energy bills thanks to a new partnership between Royal Bank of Scotland, the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI) and the University of Edinburgh. 

The free course allows businesses to identify the simple, cost-effective steps they can take to reduce emissions and save on outgoings while also helping the planet at the same time. 

Successful applicants will take part in three 2-hour workshops that begin by helping SMEs to understand their own energy and carbon usage data and how they can build their own tailored ‘Carbon Reduction Plan’.  

The free workshops also explain how taking positive environmental action can result in lower energy usage and therefore lower bills. Organisations can become more cost efficient by making positive changes such as changing boiler settings, installing smart lighting systems, swapping to sustainable suppliers and upgrading insulation. 

The scheme is currently accepting applications from all sectors, having already supported over 60 participants from industries such as manufacturing, charity and education.  

Applications for the next cohort close on 3rd October, with a later session set to launch at the start of November also welcoming candidates.  

Code Hostels completed the course earlier this year and has used the learnings from the programme to make sustainable improvements across the business, including buying more produce from local suppliers and switching to eco-friendly cleaning products. 

Talking of his experience, Jamie Greig, Operations and Design Consultant at Code Hostels, said: “The programme was a game changer for us. As a business, when you start looking at reducing emissions it can seem like an incredibly daunting process, and net zero targets can seem a long way off.  

“We found it really valuable to chat to the other groups on the cohort, and we quickly realised we weren’t alone in the challenges we were facing. 

“Sustainability in the hospitality industry is a personal passion of mine and we know that many other SMEs across the hospitality sector are experiencing the same challenges as we had at Code. I now run my own separate business, Our Property Bear, using energy monitors to help hotels and hostels monitor and reduce their energy consumption.” 

Judith Cruickshank, Chair, One Bank Scotland said: “Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted to work with the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh Climate Change Institute to deliver a programme which can make a real difference to SMEs across all sectors. 

“It offers the insight, learnings and access to experts to help businesses see the opportunities it can offer them – and see the potential tackling climate change could make.”  

Prof Dave Raey, Executive Director of ECCI, University of Edinburgh said: “The Climate Springboard programme is inspiring. The great engagement and responses from participating businesses is a testament to the fantastic work of the team here at Edinburgh Climate Change Institute and our partners at the Royal Bank of Scotland.  

“In simultaneously helping to cut energy costs and carbon emissions for such a wide array of businesses, they are delivering exactly the kinds of cost-effective climate action so desperately needed in every sector.” 

SMEs looking to learn more about their emissions and how they can start reducing them are invited to register their interest here. More information about the programme is available here.  

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