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Climate Springboard showcase

NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose visited ECCI’s flagship low carbon building on Wednesday 11 January to learn about Climate Springboard – an innovative partnership between ECCI, the University of Edinburgh and Royal Bank aimed at training Scottish SMEs to respond to the climate emergency.

Since launching in 2021, nearly 50 Royal Bank business customers have been through the programme of workshops and one to one sessions led by ECCI’s net-zero experts. The SMEs represent a broad range of sectors and business sizes, but are all united in their bid to reduce emissions and realise the opportunities the net-zero transition provides.

Banking chief Alison Rose heard first-hand about the programme’s positive impacts from SMEs Foodmek - a Fife-based food processing machinery - and Edinburgh funeral directors William Purves, who described some of the actions they’ve been empowered to undertake to reduce their carbon emissions, as well as the barriers they face on the pathway to net zero.

Judith Cruickshank, Managing Director, Commercial Mid Market, Royal Bank, said: “The recent Climate Springboard showcase was a great opportunity to share with NatWest CEO Alison Rose (and local MSPs) the impact that the partnership between ECCI and the Royal Bank of Scotland is having.

“To date, almost 50 Royal Bank customers, across a range of sectors and sizes, have been through the programme and have identified opportunities to take action to reduce their carbon emissions – from the small steps to the large. They have also identified barriers that are preventing action which we need to work with other members of the ecosystem to address if we want to achieve our transition goals.”

Programme lead for ECCI, Alison Wood, said: “As well as sharing the many positive outcomes of the programme, the conversation provided the decision makers in the room with a great insight into how the challenges faced by SMEs are different from others in the economy, and highlighted the systematic changes needed to support SMEs. Many want to reduce their climate emissions but need support to discern which actions will make the biggest difference.”

Climate Springboard

Climate Springboard is a Royal Bank of Scotland-funded business support programme for Royal Bank customers delivered by the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, designed to enable SMEs to take action towards success in a net zero economy.

The programme enables businesses to respond to the climate emergency and realise the business opportunities the net-zero transition provides.

The programme comprises participative learning workshops where like-minded businesses come together to learn and share experiences and solutions - to provide SMEs with the knowledge, tools and confidence to take meaningful action and realise the business opportunities of climate action. Businesses learn from experts in the net zero economy and business pioneers, share experiences and learn from each other.

Photo credits: Front row: Paula Richie (Regional Enterprise Director, Royal Bank), Alison Rose (Natwest CEO), Alison Wood (Programme manager, ECCI), Tania Gillespie (Marketing Manager, William Purves Funeral Directors), Clare Wharmby (Carbon Innovation Manager, ECCI), Steve Mallows (Operations Manager, Foodmek), Scot Kelly (CEO, Foodmek), Judith Cruickshank (Managing Director, Commercial Mid Market, Royal Bank) (left to right); Back row: Douglas Lumsden (MSP North East Scotland), Jamie Brogan (Head of Climate Partnerships, ECCI), Liam Kerr (MSP North East Scotland, Dave Raey (Director of ECCI)