What we do

Net zero framework

Cairngorm mountains

Our net zero framework

We're putting net zero at the heart of everything we do. Our net zero framework outlines our approach to help tackle climate change and address biodiversity loss. It focuses on economic opportunities that deliver benefits to the environment and society. Find out how we'll help shape Scotland’s net zero economic transition.

Net zero ambitions

For Scotland to achieve its net zero ambitions we all need to act now.

We're putting net zero at the heart of everything we do. Our net zero framework outlines our approach to help tackle climate change and address biodiversity loss.

A green recovery must not only fuel investment in green jobs and a decarbonised economy but must also be a just transition, which addresses inequalities and provides fair and high-value work.

Wind farm

Economic opportunities

While the climate and nature emergencies represent very serious and tangible risks to future prosperity and wellbeing, there are also significant economic opportunities. Scotland is well placed to build on its natural assets and expertise, to innovate, invest in and export our climate-related solutions to growing global markets.

We'll mobilise our expertise, influence, networks and funding to help shape and accelerate Scotland’s net zero economic transition. We'll incentivise and support businesses to commit to and realise their own net zero ambitions.

What is net zero?

Net zero is a term often used by governments and businesses to describe their ambitions to reduce carbon-related emissions.

Put simply, net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.

While helping businesses recover from the pandemic remains a priority, we also know our economy needs to change. We have to build back better.

This is the decade for decisive action and we're ready to rise to the challenge.

Electric fire engine

However, to effectively address the twin challenges of climate change and ecological decline, reducing emissions is only part of the picture. In common with other organisations, we use the term 'net zero' as shorthand to describe a broad range of activities that we support, including:

  • Reducing emissions
  • Adapting to the consequences of climate change that are already taking place
  • Protecting and improving natural capital and biodiversity
  • Supporting green jobs and a just transition for businesses, sectors and communities
  • Promoting and scaling up circular economy practices and business models

Our strategic ambitions

Our framework focuses on net zero economic opportunities that also deliver benefits to the environment and society. We're embedding a focus on net zero across everything we deliver as well as our internal operations. We'll do this by:

Five-year delivery plan 2021-26

Our net zero framework sets out how we're changing to meet our internal net zero target and influence wider decarbonisation through our external delivery. To accelerate the pace of change, we're working with partners to raise ambitions and take action. Key actions include: