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21 December 2020

Unique City Compact launched to catalyse action on climate change

Unique City Compact launched to catalyse action on climate change

Robertson joins leading Edinburgh employers and businesses to commit to significantly reducing emissions by 2030

Robertson Group has joined with five other leading Edinburgh businesses and employers to sign a pledge aimed at sparking radical action on climate change across the city.

Launched by the Edinburgh Climate Commission, the Edinburgh Climate Compact outlines a list of commitments which organisations taking part will need to adopt, to contribute to a green recovery and help Edinburgh reach its target of net zero emissions by 2030.

The six founding signatories comprise representatives from the private and public sector with Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, NatWest Group, NHS Lothian, Robertson Group, The City of Edinburgh Council and The University of Edinburgh all confirming their commitment to be leaders in the race to net zero

It is the first time in Scotland that employers spanning the health, finance, investment, construction, education, arts and culture and the public sector have come together to agree a significant reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions through their operations, influence and leadership, transport and buildings, to address climate change. 

Edinburgh Climate Commission Chair, Dr Sam Gardner, said:

"As Scotland enters the twelve-month countdown to hosting COP26, Edinburgh has a unique opportunity to show the world the power of collaboration and the difference we as a city can make to address the climate emergency.

"Edinburgh's key businesses and employers can, and must, show leadership in delivering real progress on the net-zero future of the city."

Robertson Group, Chief Executive, Elliot Robertson, said:

"The built environment is one of the largest industries which contributes towards climate change. As a responsible business, Robertson has been championing for changes in the sector for a number of years and has already declared a climate and biodiversity emergency along with other Tier One contractors.

"Our own efforts have seen us verified by One Carbon World as one of the first UK businesses in the built environment to achieve carbon neutrality.

"Our commitment to combat climate change extends to how we work with our supply chain and our customers, the greatest way to make change is collectively, which is why we are proud to represent the built environment as one of the founding partners of Edinburgh Climate Compact.

"Our 2030 Responsible Business Strategy sets out our ambitious targets for the next decade and we look forward to working with the other key sectors to share knowledge and lessons learned, so that together we can make a difference and deliver a net-zero future for Edinburgh and beyond."

As part of their role in leading on climate action in the Edinburgh, the signatories have agreed to 16 actions which will lead to clear change in their business practices in order to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These include:

  • Publicising what action is currently taken by each signatory to address climate change including the disclosure of current emission levels and publishing plans for how they plan to reduce their carbon emissions;

  • Committing to retrofitting owned buildings and decarbonising operations to become more energy efficient and sustainable;

  • Prioritising active and sustainable travel in their workforce and investing in a switch to zero-emissions company owned vehicles;

  • Providing training for staff to develop their awareness and understanding of climate change and changes in their behaviour which could lead to a reduction in emissions.

Commissioner Clare Foster, who led the Climate Compact workstream for the Commission, added:

"This Compact is for organisations who are committed to being leaders in the race to net-zero. It represents a significant step forward on the path to a new normal of sustainable business practice in a thriving green city.

"This level of collaboration between different sectors and organisations of this size has never been attempted before in Scotland when reducing emissions.

"The determination of the signatories to make a collective difference by committing to radically cutting their emissions is amazing and we hope it will set a benchmark that will encourage other businesses to join and other Cities to replicate."