A GROUP of Scotland’s leading businesses have joined forces to launch a new climate action initiative ahead of COP26.

Participating businesses who have come together to create the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration (SBCC) are from a range of key strategic economic sectors. They are: Aggreko, Diageo, EY, FirstGroup, Lloyds Banking Group, M&G, Scottish Power, Scottish Water and Wood.

The nine businesses represent around 25,000 employees in Scotland and 570,000 globally, with more than £92 billion in global revenue. SBCC’s wants to leverage combined scale and sustainability ambitions to accelerate the journey towards a net-zero future in Scotland.

SBCC is providing strategic direction and exploring practical, best practice action members can take – corporately and at employee levels – in the fight against climate change. Through a programme of collaboration in the build-up to COP26, SBCC aims to generate a meaningful business legacy from the global inter-governmental conference when it takes place in Glasgow next month.

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This work will culminate in a SBCC Pledge, to be announced during COP26, when other businesses will be invited to adopt the measures in the pledge. Following COP26, the group will meet on a biannual basis to share best practice, ensure the spirit of the SBCC Pledge is being observed and consider further ways to collaborate to work towards net zero.

Robin Watson, chief executive of Wood, said: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our generation. Achieving a net-zero future will require unprecedented levels of collaboration and alignment between government, investors, society and the business community.

“The SBCC offers an ideal platform for businesses in Scotland to engage in this important dialogue and to help shape some of the solutions we need.”

Sue Dawe, EY Scotland managing partner for financial services, said: “As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is right that we focus the same level of resolve on tackling sustainability – the other great global crisis of our time.

“We are proud to be playing our part, taking action in our own business – as well as working with other organisations through initiatives like the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration, the Sustainable Markets Initiative, the S30 forum of Chief Sustainability Officers and the World Economic Forum.

“While sustainability presents tremendous challenges, it is also the innovation opportunity of a generation.

“The business community is ready to take positive steps in the fight against climate change. Forums like the SBCC will help to identify opportunities to unlock the full potential of the private sector to drive progress and support the transition to a net-zero economy, with business and policy makers working closely together on this shared objective.

“Through collaboration like this we will find new ways to protect and create value from sustainability for all stakeholders.”

Keith Anderson, Chief Executive, Scottish Power, added: “As we work to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net-zero targets, companies like ours have a responsibility to lead by example and show how we’re making the transition to a cleaner and greener future a reality.”