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SCOUT Ready to Support COP26

With the UN’s Climate Change summit (COP26) due to take place in Glasgow next month, the world’s focus is rapidly turning to arguably the greatest challenge to ever face mankind.

UN Secretary General António Guterres, described a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a “code red for humanity”, as it detailed how human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways.

But scientists say a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast – and we all have a part to play.

In Scotland, industry generates around 25% of our greenhouse gas emissions; chemical industries are the second highest emitting sector only to oil and gas and make up about a third of the total industrial emissions. Scottish businesses – no matter their size – have an important role to play in reducing Scotland’s carbon footprint and creating sustainable solutions for the rest of the world.

The good news is the SCOUT Project is already helping Scottish SME’s play their part, within the chemical, biochemical and life science sectors.

SCOUT team member, Paul Blakeman explained, “Irrespective of the size of your company or operation, you will have inputs, processes and outputs, consuming energy or resources in some form or another. Looking at each of these in turn and evaluating their sustainability and environmental impact will help in developing an overall carbon strategy.

“Whilst having a carbon reduction ambition may not seem like an obvious priority for smaller businesses, as it is often seen as costly in terms of time and resources to deploy, it is in fact becoming increasingly important for two reasons. First, consumers are more and more likely to buy from companies who are proactively socially and environmentally responsible and secondly, in the words of the UN Secretary General, we are in a ‘code red’ situation and so, to be blunt, it should no longer be considered an option.”

But don’t worry, help is at hand.

SCOUT is a free service which aims to have a significant impact on advancing the manufacturing capabilities of SMEs within Scotland, leading to long-term transformational change. A principal element of this transformation relates to the theme of sustainable development, supporting companies in playing a role in preserving, protecting, and improving the quality of the environment.

In particular, the SCOUT team can help with:

  • Adoption of sustainable feedstocks –They can help you identify solutions for replacing carbon intensive materials used in the manufacturing of your product with bio-derived alternatives, mitigating climate change and safeguarding biodiversity*.
  • Implementing process efficiency – They can support energy systems transition* and reduce the energy consumed in the manufacturing of your products by helping to optimise your processes and adopt continuous manufacturing techniques.
  • Supply chain optimisation – They can help you develop more resilient, less carbon intensive supply chains, through operational improvements and supply chain assessment.
  • Commercialisation of novel sustainable solutions – They can help accelerate the route to market for products and services that work to tackle climate change, drawing on their broad technical expertise and significant experience of business growth.

SME’s account for over 99% of all private sector businesses in Scotland, accounting for over 50% of private sector employment. Therefore, accelerating the route to market for start-ups with sustainable innovations in key sectors can have a significant impact on the contribution that countries like Scotland make to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Small businesses also make up a key part of our local communities. SCOUT supports community adaptation to climate change* by small businesses to better embed within their communities as they adapt to, and prepare for, the impacts of climate change.

Throughout COP26 we will share some of the great carbon reduction work already underway with Scottish SME’s, in a campaign entitled, ‘Own the Challenge, Be the Change’, as they look to improve sustainability and reduce their environmental impact.

SCOUT is jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (managed by Scottish Enterprise) CPI, CMAC Future Manufacturing Research Hub (CMAC) and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC).

For more information and to get in touch, visit www.uk-cpi.com/scout.

* UN Presidential Themes

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