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Social Security Scotland staff take action to tackle climate change

A waterfall can be seen through leafy green trees.

Climate change has been making headlines for years now with the recent spate of natural disasters highlighting the need for action.

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is currently taking place in Glasgow bringing together politicians, scientists, experts and campaigners from across the globe to accelerate work towards climate change.

Scotland's progressive climate change legislation sets a target date for net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045 and calls for collective action for change. To achieve this, everyone must work together.

Social Security Scotland staff keen to take action participated in a recent Climate Solutions training programme led by the Royal Geographical Society of Scotland.

The programme was designed to give people a deeper understanding of climate change, help organisations prepare for transformation and identify opportunities for people to make a difference in their workplaces.

Following the course, a 12-month interim Climate Change Action Plan was developed by the 4 colleagues who participated. This focuses on ways in which Social Security Scotland can limit its environmental impact and includes innovative suggestions such as introducing a process that will measure the organisation’s carbon footprint across all of its offices.

The plan is built around 4 key themes: energy consumption, waste and circular economy, travel and transport, people and culture.

Ross Lockhart, Place Service Lead for Dundee, said:

“I found the programme very enlightening. I learned a lot about the impact climate change is already having on countries around the world.

“Social Security Scotland is going to continue to grow in size and as we do we have a responsibility to consider how we can do that in an environmentally responsible way. I look forward to driving forward the actions we’ve decided to take, including implementing an electric charging infrastructure into our offices and electric vehicles into our fleet.

Shahida Ahmed, Project Manager, said:

“The programme has increased my knowledge of climate science, solutions and tools available for organisations to use to solve climate change-related issues.

“It helped me to understand our obligation to act and ways in which we can do that. Working with 3 other colleagues we felt the development of an interim action plan will help us to establish our vision, current environmental impacts and baseline activities we need to consider before developing longer-term plans.”

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