Community

There are countless ways that you and your community can get involved in Scotland's goal to become a Net Zero Nation. Whether you're an employee, a neighbour, a community group member or just someone wanting to do their bit towards a sustainable future, this page has all of the information and resources you need to get started. 

Woman and man outside talking

Get Involved

Whether you’re looking to start your own growing project, reduce waste, support active travel or just get inspired, your regional climate action hub can give you advice and support, share best practice, and connect you with other community groups to learn from.

There are currently two climate action hubs in Scotland: the North Highlands and Islands hub ( North Highlands & Islands Climate Hub (nhclimatehub.co.uk)) and the NESCAN Hub covering Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire ( Home (nescan.org)). Updates on hubs in development can be found at Community-led climate action - Climate change - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) 

Interested in volunteering? Find out what’s going on in your area at Volunteer Scotland Search | Help Make a Difference through Volunteering

Women hugging and smiling

Networking

Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (SCCAN) is a volunteer-led network open to any community group across Scotland that is taking action on the climate crisis and to any organisation that is involved with or supports community-led climate action. 

Climate Cafés are informal spaces for people to get together, share ideas, information and get involved in climate action. Cafés bring people together from across communities to focus on solutions. To find out about a café near you check Climate Café® – Welcome to the Climate Café® Hub

Young people laughing and chatting in a cafe

Adaptation

The Adaptation Scotland programme provides advice and support to help organisations, businesses and communities prepare for, and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Adaptation Scotland is a programme funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the sustainability charity Sniffer.

Adaptation Scotland: Home

Hand adjusting thermostat

Energy advice

Home Energy Scotland is a network of local advice centres across Scotland. As well as working directly with households, their advice centres partner with any community group or organisation that gives energy-saving advice, or that has potential to refer people vulnerable to fuel poverty. They offer free advice, support and training to staff and volunteers, as well as support with funding applications and access to a secure online referral portal. 
Get in touch with Home Energy Scotland to find out more about partnering with your local advice centre

Local Energy Scotland manages the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES). Cares encourages the local or community ownership of renewable energy across Scotland, whether commercial or community-owned. Its goal is that communities across Scotland are engaging, participating and benefiting in the energy transition to net zero. It aims to accelerate progress towards the Scottish Government’s targets of 2GW of community and locally owned energy by 2030 and decarbonising Scotland’s buildings. This is achieved through funding and support for community groups to install renewable energy generation.  Local Energy Scotland has a network of regional development officers who provide free impartial advice and support to communities with renewable energy projects. There is also a range of financial support available.
Visit Local Energy Scotland's website to find out more

Dog out for a walk

Active travel and sustainable transport

Energy Saving Trust deliver a number of initiatives on behalf of the Scottish Government that help community transport groups switch to the use of low-carbon vehicles, including an E-bike grant fund.
Switch to low carbon travel modes - Energy Saving Trust

Sustrans Scotland provides advice, support and funding that makes it easier for people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys.

Our work in Scotland - Sustrans.org.uk

Cycling Scotland offers a programme of expert support, including funding from Transport Scotland, to supports organisations across Scotland to take a leading role in increasing the number of people who cycle, creating sustainable communities.

Community - Cycling Friendly - Our Programmes - Cycling Scotland 

Path for All offers technical advice and support to community organisations to help them to create, promote and maintain safe, welcoming community paths and active routes for everyone. They also manage grants, including funding from Transport Scotland, designed to encourage people to travel more sustainably. 

Active Travel | Paths for All

Way to Work is a consortium of 15 partner organisations funded by Transport Scotland, joining forces to promote active and sustainable travel to workplaces across Scotland.The aim of the Way to Work website is to make it as easy as possible for Scottish workplaces to find support and take action on active and sustainable travel.

Home - Way To Work Scotland

Recycling bins

Reducing waste

Zero Waste Scotland provide advice and support to community groups, including delivery of cascade workshops on waste related topics and also links to funding opportunities.
What Zero Waste Scotland can offer community groups | Zero Waste Scotland 

Circular Communities Scotland in collaboration with the Edinburgh Tool Library and Edinburgh Remakery is setting up support network to enable the establishment of sharing libraries and repair cafes across Scotland. For more information about starting a sharing library or a repair café in your local community, please get in touch at shareandrepair@circularcommunities.scot

Circular Communities Scotland - Circular Communities Scotland

Hands holding plants

Food growing

Get Growing Scotland is brought to you by the Community Growing Forum Scotland, a group of grassroots projects and support organisations sharing information, inspiration, and expertise from communities and partners across Scotland.

GetGrowing Scotland – Every community can have a flourishing outdoor space for growing and nature activities. Let’s make it happen together.

Social Farms & Gardens’ small but dedicated team in Scotland draw on many years of experience to work directly with groups across Scotland, enabling them to develop and improve their greenspace and nature-based activities.

Scotland | Social Farms & Gardens (farmgarden.org.uk)

Children outside gardening

Funding

There are also a number of funding opportunities in addition to the Scottish Government programmes listed above. 

Detail on funding for rural community-led local development projects can be found at Rural Communities Ideas into Action Fund - Inspiring Scotland

Funding and support for the natural environment can be found at: Funding and Projects | NatureScot 

Funding Scotland lists funders with a track record of supporting projects in Scotland, and is run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. 

Woman recording video of herself

Other initiatives

Climate Challenge: 1.5° Films is a Film Access Scotland project that invites everyone to make 90-second films to share their thoughts on climate change and how it is affecting us as individuals, our communities, our families and our surroundings.

Climate Challenge: 1.5 Degrees Films – Film Access Scotland

Keep Scotland Beautiful is an environmental charity leading on a wide range of climate change engagement initiatives including educational programmes, climate literacy training, tackling litter and waste and protecting the places we live, work and visit. The Young Reporters for the Environment programme, (run by Foundation for Environment Education or FEE), gives young people a platform to voice their concerns about our environment.
Keep Scotland Beautiful

Community group outside working

Our policy

For more information on the Scottish Government's Community Climate Action Team policy supporting community-led climate action, contact ClimateChangeEngagement@gov.scot

Climate change: Community-led climate action - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)