Largest Organisations in Edinburgh Pledge Support For The City’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan
As world leaders gather in Paris to discuss global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming, some of Edinburgh’s largest organisations met on Tuesday 1 December to pledge their commitment to the City of Edinburgh Council led Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).
It is the first energy action plan for Edinburgh, aiming to transform the capital’s energy use by reducing demand and encouraging local generation.
As a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, Edinburgh joins thousands of European towns and cities in a commitment to reducing carbon. But the capital is going beyond the required 20% target with the most ambitious pledge in the UK, to reduce emissions by 42% by 2020. Edinburgh is already on track to meet this and can already account for a 34% reduction and is still working on further actions.
This meeting of eight of the city’s largest organisations (NHS Lothian, RBS, Standard Life, BT Scotland, University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College) is the first step in creating a collaborative partnership to find solutions to individual and shared energy challenges across the city.
The size of the organisations involved in this pioneer partnership means:
– The sphere of influence is over 50% of Edinburgh’s population – and the Council reaches all residents.
– The number of staff employed by the organisations and the Council amounts to 14% of the Capital’s population
– The number of students enrolled by the educational institutions would amount to 15% of Edinburgh’s population.
Environment Convener, Lesley Hinds said : “The SEAP is a city wide plan, not just a Council initiative. Everyone who lives and works in the city can play their part in reducing carbon emissions and the SEAP target is only achievable with city wide support. The SEAP will seek to develop that and therefore be constantly evolving to reflect this involvement with as many stakeholders as possible.
“The eight organisations who pledged today have a large sphere of influence throughout the city and our combined efforts to find innovative solutions to energy requirements and to reduce our carbon emissions, has the potential to make a much larger impact through this partnership.
“The Council will provide the leadership and commit resources for this to happen, but it will need all of us in Edinburgh to come together and work in partnership. It will encourage our new partners to play their part and it will need citizens and businesses looking at how they use energy in the home, at work and throughout the day.”
Representatives from over 50 local businesses, active in the energy/low carbon sector also attended the breakfast to hear more about the plan and it offered them the opportunity to contribute towards Edinburgh’s ambitious energy plans.
Professor Gill Hogg, Deputy Principal (External Relations) at Heriot-Watt University, said she hoped the development of a collaborative partnership which would include the Council and key partners would offer benefits and opportunities all round, especially to the environment.
“This is a practical step towards an ambitious goal. Heriot-Watt can offer the knowledge and expertise of our Energy Academy, which works to improve the understanding all elements of energy in transport, buildings, industry and the wider economy.
“The proposed partnership would allow our staff and students to share that expertise and hopefully offer them practical opportunities to contribute towards the wider aims of the project.”
Representatives from organisations (l-r) Prof Gill Hogg (Heriot-Watt University), George Curley (NHS Lothian), Grant Ferguson (Edinburgh Napier University), Alan Williamson (Edinburgh College), James Hatfield (Standard Life), Transport and Environment Convener Cllr Lesley Hinds, Council Leader Andrew Burns, Chief Executive of City of Edinburgh Council Andrew Kerr, Prof Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh and Catherine Stones (RBS). Representatives from organisations (l-r) Prof Gill Hogg (Heriot-Watt University), George Curley (NHS Lothian), Grant Ferguson (Edinburgh Napier University), Alan Williamson (Edinburgh College), James Hatfield (Standard Life), Transport and Environment Convener Cllr Lesley Hinds, Council Leader Andrew Burns, Chief Executive of City of Edinburgh Council Andrew Kerr, Prof Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh and Catherine Stones (RBS).