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Public and private sector organisations join to sign Edinburgh climate pledge



Six leading Edinburgh businesses and employers 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, NatWest Group, NHS Lothian, Robertson Group, The City of Edinburgh Council and The University of Edinburgh all confirming their commitment.

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.

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.
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Edinburgh Climate Commission chair Sam Gardner said: “As Scotland enters the 12-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.”

City of Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said: “Being part of the Edinburgh Climate Compact will help us to work closely with and learn from others organisations in the city, about the best ways that we can change as an employer in order to reduce our emissions and ensure that sustainable and climate friendly working practices are at the core of the council’s work.”

Royal Bank of Scotland managing director for retail banking Simon Watson said: “We are determined to lead on the collaboration and cooperation that is so critical to influencing the transition and that is why we are proud to be working with and learning from other employers in Edinburgh on this important agenda.”

University of Edinburgh principal and vice chancellor Peter Mathieson said: “Using our excellence in research and teaching, and by adapting how we operate as an institution, we are playing our part in helping combat the effects of climate change and finding innovative solutions to tackle the challenges it poses.

“By working with our civic partners and taking our own practical steps to make more sustainable choices, I believe we can encourage others to do likewise.”



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