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SSN publishes new strategy to support public sector climate action

ECCI resident Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) has launched a new strategy which aims to support public sector action on the climate emergency and a sustainable green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

SSN will support over 600 members across Scotland's public bodies as they work towards net zero emission targets by 2045. The strategic framework will guide the SSN as they continue to facilitate and inform collaboration; build public sector capacity; and improve alignment and coordination with national policy priorities.

SSN is Scotland’s all-public-sector network which specialises in sustainability and climate change with a secretariat which is part of ECCI at the University of Edinburgh. The strategy aims to foster better practitioner-researcher collaboration into the future, working in collaboration with ECCI.

Kathryn Dapré, SSN Chair: “For over 20 years, the Sustainable Scotland Network has been a vital resource for public sector organisations in meeting their climate change obligations. It provides a platform for organisations to access information and resources, and to share best practice.

"As Scotland begins its recovery from this devastating health crisis, we have an opportunity – and indeed an obligation - to ensure this recovery is ‘green’ and carried out in such a way that we don’t exacerbate the lasting environmental damage caused by the climate crisis.

"SSN will continue to support the Scottish public sector in addressing the climate crisis – and now the Green Recovery – and we look forward to a better, more sustainable, and healthier future for us all.”

Member support across three net zero programmes

The strategy sets out the ambitions of the network, centered around three key themes:

  • Collaborating to develop Net Zero Places;
  • Leveraging influence towards Net Zero Indirect Emissions;
  • Networking to achieve Net Zero Public Sector Organisations.

Each programme will engage SSN members on their journey to net zero, creating consistent and effective approaches to public sector action through consistent guidance and methodologies; tools and frameworks; training and advice; sharing good practice and peer-to-peer learning; policy engagement and knowledge exchange.

A hub for public sector practitioners

As Scotland’s all-public sector network, SSN will be a central hub for all network members and partners in the sector. The strategy sets out how SSN will support practitioners through a central hub of regular, updated and coordinated information, advice, and support on public sector climate action as well as resources, events, training and communications.

George Tarvit said: “SSN has published its Strategy for 2020-2024, developed to support and empower public sector collaboration to accelerate action on climate change and deliver a sustainable future for all.

"The strategy sets out three programmes to drive action on net zero places, indirect emissions and public sector organisations. It also maps out the objectives, management arrangements and funding model to develop SSN into the 2020s and to ensure it is fit to support public bodies as they step up to address the climate emergency and a green recovery from COVID-19.

"SSN’s secretariat is part of ECCI at the University of Edinburgh, and the strategy aims to foster better practitioner-researcher collaboration into the future.”

Professor Dave Reay, Executive Director, ECCI, Policy Director, ClimateXChange, University of Edinburgh, said: 'If SSN did not exist you'd have to invent it. Our national climate change targets are world-leading, but realising a net zero Scotland needs everyone, and everywhere. Our public sector is right at the heart of this, with local authorities and public bodies covering every corner of the nation and working with every community within it.

"SSN provides the trusted partner for all public bodies to understand and implement the transition to net zero in a way which is locally appropriate, consistent with national priorities, and that ensures good practice is shared and enhanced.” Professor Dave Reay, Executive Director, ECCI

The strategy has been developed by the SSN Secretariat and the Steering Group, which is made up of climate change professionals across the public sector and was supported by the Scottish Government.

SSN continues to support the needs of all its public sector members and partners and will launch a series of workshops, events and resources over the next few months as well as an updated website.

Download the SSN Strategy 2020-24