Members of the Business in the Community (BITC) Scotland Leadership Board have joined together to lead a new Climate Action Group in 2021. Chaired by Jo Dow, Chief Executive, Business Stream, the Group will focus on identifying, trailing, and scaling cohesive actions that will help businesses and communities accelerate a just transition towards a resilient, net zero carbon future. The work of the Group will be especially vital this year, as businesses prepare for COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November 2021.
Research conducted by Route2 for BITC in July 2020 shows a clear imperative for business to accelerate action towards net zero carbon. By forecasting UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by sector and region out to 2050 and applying an established social cost of carbon figure of USD 80 a tonne, the research shows that UK business could reduce the cost of its GHG emissions to society by GBP 1.1 trillion if net zero is achieved by 2030, rather than 2050.
The remit of the Group aligns with BITC’s Climate Action campaign, Challenge 2030: make the climate crisis history, which calls on all businesses to act now to embed action on the risks and opportunities of climate change within their core business strategy and across their whole value chain, to build back responsibly from COVID-19. This urges businesses to increase:
- The scale of ambition in their climate action plans that put targets and steps to manage the risks and opportunities of climate change into core strategy.
- The speed with which they will achieve net zero carbon targets aligned to the Paris agreement.
- The scope of their influence by collaborating with employees, suppliers, customers and sectors to unlock barriers to action.
Jo Dow, Chief Executive, Business Stream, says, “The business community has an important role to play in unlocking the potential of green growth and accelerating the journey to net zero. This isn’t an issue we can afford to simply pay lip service to and the priority for this Group will be to identify practical measures that will support businesses of all sizes to make a positive difference. I was delighted to be asked to Chair this Group and look forward to working with BiTC’s members and stakeholders to help deliver real change in this area.”
The Action Group has attracted a diverse range of national stakeholders from business, government, and the scientific community. Confirmed members so far include:
- Jo Dow, Chief Executive, Business Stream (Chair)
- Adam Liddle, Director of Sustainable Growth and Innovation, Jacobs
- Matthew Hall, Partner, PwC
- David Watt, Chair, Scottish Forum on Natural Capital
- Colin Seditas, Business and Public Sector Engagement, Scottish Government
- Jane Martin, Managing Director of Business Services and Advice, Scottish Enterprise
- Rachel McEwen, Chief Sustainability Officer, SSE
- Mandy Bailey, Business Growth Enabler, NatWest
- Hazel Gulliver, Director of Engagement, Scottish Power
- Alan Thornburrow, Scotland Director, Business in the Community
- Gudrun Cartwright, Climate Action Director, Business in the Community
Gudrun Cartwright, Climate Action Director, Business in the Community, says, “I am delighted that BITC’s Scottish Leadership Board have set up this Group to drive action to tackle the climate crisis, with Jo at the helm. With COP26 taking place in Glasgow in November there has never been a better opportunity to enable business action that accelerates a just transition to a resilient, net zero carbon world where people and nature thrive. I am excited about what we can achieve together.”