Scotland’s Climate Week

A man leaning against a bicycle looks into the distance at the sunset behind wind turbines

13 – 19 September 2021
 

Ahead of COP26, this year’s Climate Week is an opportunity to build momentum before the summit.

This toolkit is for private, public and third sector organisations.
It includes information on delivering your own events and communications, with the aim of raising awareness of COP26, showcasing your organisation’s plans for COP26 during
Scotland’s Climate Week and helping to build an understanding of how everyone can play their part to help tackle the
global climate emergency. 

Throughout Scotland’s Climate Week, and in the lead up to COP26, businesses and organisations can showcase their climate leadership to the world and inspire others to take action. We’re encouraging businesses and organisations to:

  • celebrate and showcase what they’re already doing to tackle climate change in advance of COP26
  • commit to innovative actions they can take during COP26
  • promote activities or events that they will take forward during COP26
  • help build understanding of COP26 with employees, customers and wider stakeholders

Get Involved in #ScotClimateWeek

There are lots of ways to get involved in Scotland’s Climate Week. You can showcase your commitments and plans for net zero, make pledges for future commitments, share your plans with your customers or staff, or help to build awareness of climate change with employees, colleagues, customers or stakeholders – the opportunities are endless.

  • START A CONVERSATION – Run an online or in-person event with staff and stakeholders to discuss how they can take action on climate change and your organisation’s role in supporting this.
  • PLEDGE – Be part of the action around COP26 by making a pledge, as an organisation or as individuals, to take a specific action during COP26 (31 October to 12 November) and beyond.
  • SHOWCASE – Communicate to staff and customers about all of the work you’re already doing to tackle climate change.
  • AWARENESS – Raise awareness among your staff and customers about COP26, climate change and its consequences for Scotland.
  • TAKE ACTION – Encourage positive action at home, in the local community and within the workplace by making use of the resources in this toolkit.
  • SIGNPOST – Direct employees, customers and stakeholders to www.netzeronation.scot for advice and information on how they can help tackle the climate emergency.

Promote your activities using the hashtag #ScotClimateWeek to be part of the conversation on social media and help build momentum throughout Scotland’s Climate Week.

A young smiling woman packing clothes into a cardboard box

Run a climate event

 

During Scotland’s Climate Week we’re encouraging businesses and organisations to run their own climate events to highlight the global climate emergency and how your employees or customers can take action.

When hosting your own event, consider your audience (is it for internal staff or wider?) and whether an online or in-person event would be best for your organisation, given the COVID-19 guidance at the time.

We have a selection of Zoom and Teams background which you can download and use for any digital event you host. These can even be personalised with your own logo and branding:

Remember to share details of your planned events using the hashtag #ScotClimateWeek to show how your business or organisation is raising awareness.

 

Discussion Guide

To help you raise awareness of climate change, we’ve put together some key facts on the global climate emergency, Scotland’s net zero target, our just transition approach and COP26. You can use these points as a discussion guide to help support your conversations and events.

A man and a woman inspecting a tomato plant

Global climate emergency

  • Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing mankind. Scotland led the world in becoming one of the first nations to declare a global climate emergency in April 2019.
  • Immediate and urgent action is required to dramatically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, which are harmful to the atmosphere and lead to a rise in global temperatures, in order to prevent further irreversible damage to the planet from climate change.
  • Over two thirds (68%) of adults in Scotland view climate change as an immediate and urgent problem (Scottish Household Survey, 2019). This proportion has grown consistently since 2013.
  • Scotland needs to build resilience to the impacts of climate change which can’t be avoided, such as more extreme weather events and rising sea levels. This is called climate change adaptation. This means preparing for flooding, heatwaves and many other effects of climate change which we are experiencing now and will intensify in the future.
  • Climate change and nature loss are inextricably linked. Scotland has already lost nearly 25% of its wildlife, with birds, butterflies, mammals and moths showing an overall decline of 31% since 1994. However there is hope as 50% of adults in Scotland recently indicated they want to do more to help local wildlife.

Net zero

  • Scotland has set a target to reduce emissions to net zero by 2045, with interim targets of a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030 and 90% by 2040. We’re one of the first countries in the world to set these ambitious targets.
  • ‘Net zero emissions’ means that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere balances with the amount we’re able to take out of the atmosphere. We can achieve net zero by cutting our emissions to a minimum and capturing the emissions we can’t prevent by, for example, planting trees or using carbon capture technology.
  • Scotland’s climate change targets are ambitious and will need everyone in society, from Government to businesses, individuals, public and private sector organisations, and communities, to make lasting changes to the way we live and work.
  • Reaching net zero and preparing for the ongoing effects of climate change is key to tackling the global climate emergency.

Just transition

  • Meeting our climate ambition will require transformation across all sectors of our economy and society. The impact on workers, regions, communities and industries will vary.
  • Previous economic transitions, and indeed COVID-19, have shown how abrupt and unplanned shifts can increase inequalities. 
  • A just transition is about making sure that, as we reduce our emissions and respond to a changing climate, the journey is fair and creates a better future for everyone – regardless of where they live, what they do, and who they are.
  • A just transition is an opportunity to deliver on our social, economic and climate goals at the same time.
  • Scotland has taken world-leading action by embedding just transition principles into climate change legislation.

COP26

  • Scotland is proud to welcome the world’s biggest summit on climate change to Glasgow this November – the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
  • COP26 brings together heads of state, climate experts and negotiators to agree coordinated action to tackle the global climate emergency.
  • Climate change and nature loss are the greatest threats facing people and our planet. COP26 is the world’s best chance to limit global warming to 1.5° and bring about meaningful change to address these crises on a global scale.
  • COP26 gives us a unique opportunity to progress the society-wide transformation demanded by the climate and nature crises. We want to make sure it is a just transition and that we protect our planet in a way that leaves no-one behind.

Communicate positive behaviours

Many businesses and organisations have changed their working practices since the pandemic. And as we emerge from the pandemic we have an opportunity to encourage behaviours that can help tackle climate change and get us to net zero emissions. To help you discuss opportunities for taking action on climate change as part of your event, we have provided some information on positive behaviours below, including general business behaviours and others categorised under our key themes of transport, food, waste, energy, nature and outdoors.

A sapling seen from above is placed into the soil by a gloved hand

Business

  • Understand your impact – calculate your business or organisations own greenhouse gas emissions to better understand your impact on the climate.
  • Energy use – running your business or organisation on 100% renewable energy or 100% renewable heating.
  • Transport – investigate options for leasing, purchasing or travelling by ultra-low emission vehicles.
  • Supply chain – encouraging your suppliers to make changes to the ways they operate or sourcing local suppliers or products where possible.
  • Waste – seeking partnerships and opportunities to repurpose unavoidable waste products.

Transport

  • Active travel – walking, wheeling or cycling where possible. The Scottish Government has set a target to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030. You can help nature along the way too – where safe to do so, pick up and recycle litter.
  • Public transport – switching from private car use to public and shared transport can help reduce transport emissions. Using public transport can also help to reduce traffic on the roads, making journeys faster. One full double decker bus is the equivalent of removing 75 single occupancy cars from Scotland’s roads.
  • Ultra-low emission vehicles – encourage the use of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and electric bikes instead of petrol and diesel cars. The Scottish Government is phasing out the need for new petrol and diesel cars by 2032. Energy Saving Trust provides expert advice on reducing business transport costs and lowering emissions.
  • Financial support is available for individuals or businesses that are thinking about buying an electric car, van or e-bike. Click here for more information.
  • Click here for more information on active travel, electric vehicles or public transport.

Food

  • Plan meals – encourage staff to look at what is already in fridges and cupboards, then make a shopping list and stick to it, to help reduce food waste. The Scottish Government has committed to reducing food waste by 33% by 2025 (against 2013 levels).
  • Recycle unavoidable food waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings – using food waste recycling points around your premises or your recycling caddy at home. Create a natural composting area outdoors so unavoidable food waste can be recycled.
  • Growing your own – if they have space, encourage staff to grow their own fruit and vegetables, providing a range of healthy food and without the packaging. Perhaps consider setting up space in your business to help staff grow fruits, vegetables or herbs. You don’t need to have a garden – herbs can be planted in window boxes and small patio spaces could grow some potted fruit or veg.
  • Local, in-season food – support local producers and farmers by choosing local and in-season food where possible. Check out this Scottish seasonality calendar to understand what is in season when.
  • Find out more about eating greener.

Waste

  • Reduce packaging – reduce the amount of packaging in the goods you produce or by opting to buy items with less packaging. Reuse food containers to store food instead of using cling film or foil. The Scottish Government has committed to reducing waste by 15% and recycling 70% of waste by 2025.
  • Fast fashion – fast fashion describes low cost, mass-produced clothes. When buying new clothes, think about the ‘30-wear rule’ – will you wear it at least 30 times or is it fast fashion? Also think about sharing clothes with friends or buying second-hand items instead of new.
  • Shop greener – choose longer-life products by checking guarantee periods or use-by dates, or see what you can buy second-hand, at charity shops and online marketplaces.
  • Re-using products – if you can, try buying liquids and dry goods in refillable cartons that you can use again and again.
  • Click here for more information on how to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle.

Energy

  • Working habits – reduce transport emissions by continuing to use video-conferencing and avoid unnecessary business travel, particularly as lockdown restrictions ease. 
  • Heating – changes such as installing a room thermostat, investing in smart heating controls and getting your boiler checked once a year to ensure its efficient can help save energy and money at home or in the office. The Scottish Government is investing £1.6 billion in zero emissions heating for homes and workplaces. Support for businesses and individuals is provided by Home Energy Scotland.
  • Appliances – buying low energy models when items need replacing, and switching computers, laptops and kitchen appliances fully off (not just on stand-by) when not in use can help to reduce emissions and save on energy bills. Zero Waste Scotland provides support to businesses looking to reduce their energy use.
  • Click here for more information on home energy.

Nature and Outdoors

  • Nature – help nature thrive at work and home by adding flowering pots, window boxes, bird feeders and a source of water to encourage pollinators and birds to take refuge and refuel. NatureScot provides more ways to make space for nature.
  • Find out more about nature and the outdoors.

Discussion Questions

We’ve put together a handy list of potential discussion questions to help you get started with your event. These are categorised under the themes of transport, food, waste, energy, nature and the outdoors. Feel free to use these or any others you can think of to spark conversation.

A modern glass building is seen from below, framed by leaves from a nearby tree

Transport

  • Active travel – over half of the journeys we make in Scotland are under 5km and many could be taken using active travel (walking, wheeling or cycling). How often do you take the car for short journeys? What are the barriers preventing you from using active travel more often, and how can these be overcome?
  • Active travel – can you think of other benefits to using active travel over more traditional transport modes, such as cars? For example, reduced petrol costs, improved health and well-being from exercising etc.
  • Public transport – transport is Scotland’s biggest emitting sector. 40% of transport emissions come from cars. Can you identify occasions where your organisation or staff can use public or shared transport over private cars?

Food

  • Food waste – around one third of the food we produce is wasted worldwide every year. How much food do you throwaway each week? What would help you to reduce your volume of food waste, both in the workplace and at home?
  • Food waste – if food waste were a country, it would be the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter. Planning and smarter food shopping can reduce your food waste, and it’s also estimated the average Scottish household could save up to £437 each year. What are your top tips to ensure you only buy what you need to eat?
  • Buying locally and seasonally – where do you typically buy your food and do you check where it has come from? Do you try to buy food that is in-season? If not, what prevents you from doing so?

Waste

  • Circular economy – a ‘circular economy’ is a system in which goods and materials are kept in use for longer as we reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Discuss some actions you or your organisation could take to help us move towards a more circular economy in Scotland.
  • Fast fashion – fast fashion is a significant source of emissions and waste. Think about your wardrobe and the clothes you buy – do you tend to wear each item at least 30 times? What can you do with the items that you don’t wear as often?
  • Reduced consumption – around 80% of Scotland’s carbon footprint comes from all the goods, materials and services which we produce and use. Thinking about your organisation’s operations, how can you reduce the amount of unnecessary goods, materials and services that you consume, or throw out after just one use?

Energy

  • Working habits – can you think of the benefits of using video-conferencing technologies over in-person meetings? For example, reduced travel costs, reduced commuting time etc.
  • Heating – around one quarter of Scotland’s emissions come from our homes and workplaces. When working at home or in the office, how can you improve your energy efficiency? For example, only heating the room you’re using at home, turning down the hot water during summer months, better insulating doors, windows and ceilings etc.
  • Appliances – are there appliances around your home and your office you could use more efficiently or switch off when not in use?

Nature and Outdoors

  • Nature – how can you make your home or workplace more nature-friendly? Where can you add flowers, birdfeeders or a source of water? A pond is great, but even a bowl or saucer of water on a windowsill can help, with twigs or stones added so insects can rest above water. Feeders that attach to windows are a great way to observe local birds, particularly if you’re in an office, housebound or without a garden.

Make a pledge

 

After hosting your event and talking with staff and colleagues, you can make your own pledge to tackle climate change for the two weeks of COP26 (31 October – 12 November 2021). You could do this as a business or organisation, or encourage staff, stakeholders and / or customers to make their own pledges as individuals or in groups.
 

Example pledges

  • Join an official Race to Zero initiative. SMEs can sign up to the UK Business Climate Hub which provides lots of useful support, and large organisations can sign up to Business Ambition for 1.5oC.
  • Commit to using active travel (walking, wheeling, cycling) rather than driving whenever possible.
  • Reduce the amount of food surplus or food waste that your business or organisation produces by committing to recycling all food waste.
  • Develop/refresh an organisational environmental or sustainability strategy, with support from external organisations, such as Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
  • Turn off all computers, appliances and lights in the workplace when they’re not in use, particularly overnight and during the weekends.
  • Making a zero-waste commitment, for example switching to being plastic-free or putting in place options to share surplus useable goods through community or charity initiatives.
  • Commit to helping local wildlife by adding a source of water, flowering plants and a bird feeder to outdoor space. Staff could also commit to picking up and recycling a piece of litter on their daily walk or wheel.
  • Encourage individuals to pledge to make a shopping list every time they food shop to make sure they’re only buying what they need to eat, reducing food waste and saving money.

These are only some ideas – there are lots of things you can do to tackle climate change. Please tell us what you are doing! If your organisation or staff have committed to a pledge, we would love to hear about it. Post your pledge, either as an organisation or an individual, on social media and let us know by using #ScotClimateWeek and tagging @ScotGovNetZero.

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Resources

 

We have a range of marketing materials to help facilitate your conversations and to communicate climate actions to your audiences. All our content is available to view and download via the links below. These materials can be shared with your employees, stakeholders and customers through your social media channels, website and intranet.
 

Zoom and Teams Backgrounds

Backgrounds for use on Zoom and Teams, which can be used for your own online events and customised with your business or organisations logo.

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WeTransfer
 

Newsletter Headers

A Let's Do Net Zero and COP26 newsletter header, available in various formats.You can use these for any communications you wish to send to staff, stakeholders or customers via email.

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Email signatures

Use the Let’s Do Net Zero and COP26 signature to show your support throughout Scotland’s Climate Week. There is also the option to customise with your own organisation’s logo.

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Climate Emergency Film

This film helps raise awareness of the global climate emergency and can be used across your own organisation’s social media channels.

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Positive Action Films

To help support your employees, stakeholders and customers in taking positive action to tackle the global climate emergency and reduce their emissions, we have a range of short 15-second behaviour specific films that you can use on your organisation’s social media channels.

Transport

Dropbox

YouTube

WeTransfer


Food

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Energy

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Waste

Dropbox

YouTube

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Whatever you do for Scotland’s Climate Week, please remember to promote it on social media using #ScotClimateWeek and tagging @ScotGovNetZero.

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Find out more about how your business can do net zero.