A NEW organisation has launched to help business leaders, local authorities and landowners in Scotland meet their carbon zero targets.
The Centre for Strategic Climate Solutions will be headquartered in Edinburgh with a global reach.
It will primarily focus on projects in Scotland, the rest of the UK and New Zealand, before moving on later to Norway and Europe.
It also has plans to host a series of events around COP26 in Glasgow – the world’s largest gathering of environmental leaders – next year.
The key aim of the new centre is to help organisations get their action plans on reducing carbon emissions off the ground by accessing grants and managing large scale projects.
This allows bodies such as councils and businesses to start meeting their carbon reduction targets quickly and sustainably.
The centre will draw up strategies to address need, source funding and match schemes with landowners persuaded to change areas of land use to carbon capture – with tree planting and habitat enhancement the most proven and cost-effective method.
It also helps businesses reduce their carbon levels through an offsetting scheme which sees their own communities benefit directly with tree planting delivered locally wherever possible.
Founding members of the new centre include ecological and environmental experts Kaitiaki Consulting and business and administration group SmartPA, one of the world’s leading networks of remote working professionals.
The centre will initially base its HQ at SmartPA’s offices in Edinburgh’s New Town.
Ecological consultants attached to the centre are working from locations including the Highlands, Perth and Kinross, Edinburgh and the Lothians, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Angus, Moray and Ayrshire, parts of England including Yorkshire and Kent and in New Zealand.
Andrew Wright, CEO of SmartPA, said: “The climate emergency should be the number one priority for every business and civic leader across the world right now and we want to play a full and active part.
“By making a substantial financial commitment and making our global team available to facilitate this progressive and proven approach, we hope to make it easier for decision makers to give the green light to their own corporate social responsibility requirements.
“There can be no better investment opportunity right now than in the planet and in all our futures.
“We have worked long and hard with our colleagues at Kaitiaki Consulting on this programme to ensure it has low barriers of entry but high and long-term impacts for the common good.
“We are proud to be a founder member of the new centre and look forward to welcoming others on board.”
Alex Foulkes, managing director of Kaitiaki Consulting, said: “This is a hugely exciting chance to make a real impact in helping ensure nations can meet their net zero obligations as laid out by the Paris agreements.
“We are delighted to become a part of the new centre as it allows us to provide a beginning-to-end solution that enables organisations to act.
“Everyone wants to play their part in tacking the climate emergency, and some even have a legal and financial obligation to do so. But while there is the will and the necessity to do something, most simply don’t know how.
“This effectively gives thought leaders with the vision to do something a way to do it seamlessly, and in a manner that takes away risks and issues with administration – but crucially, while retaining governance and control.
“The size, professionalism and global reach of SmartPA means there is an entire team able to deal with the management of project, while our own ecological and environmental consultants are world leaders in their fields.
“Time is running out to act and we hope this will help accelerate the vital work being done.”
Kaitiaki Consulting (pronounced Ki-tay-ak-aay) is an environmental consultancy based in Scotland and New Zealand. We work to protect and restore habitats, biodiversity and ecological functions by partnering with organisations, businesses and individuals to tackle the climate emergency together.
Founded by conservationist Alex Foulkes, it includes around 20 leading environmental specialists and is the driving force behind the #BillionTreesScotland campaign to reforest large areas of the country and cut carbon emissions.
SmartPA is a world leading network of remote working professionals offering services including business administration function, marketing, HR, accounting and other skills.
Working in 12 countries across 14 languages, it now services more than 3,000 clients since it was set up 12 years ago and are experts in supporting post COVID19 recovery projects.