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Glasgow City Council

New Step Up to Net Zero programme will support SMEs in Challenge to become greener

published 24 February 2022

A new programme to support businesses in the city adopt circular business practices has been given the go ahead after funding was approved by the council's Central Administration Committee, today (24 February 2021).

Step Up to Net Zero will support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with the tools they need to develop and drive forward action plans to maximise value of products, services and systems and minimise waste, within their business.

It will also offer opportunities to upskill and retrain staff while helping businesses in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and grow green profits.

Linked to the Glasgow Green Deal mission that was launched during COP26, the project has been designed to demonstrate ways the city can meet the challenge of building a sustainable, circular economy in the face of a climate emergency.

The programme not only aims to support SMEs but also has an employability dimension where individuals will be upskilled/reskilled and trained in circularity.

Participating SMEs will be assessed through a circle assessment tool to improve current practice, with an action plan developed from this, encouraging the business to adopt more circular practices such as greater utilisation of repair, reuse and remanufacture within their organisation.

SMEs will also be supported by someone placed in the business to drive this action plan forward. The individual undertaking the placement will be trained throughout, gaining real industry insight through the work placement, helping move these individuals further towards meaningful employment.

This 12-month pilot project will create 40 job placements and provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities both for those not yet in the workplace, as well as those already in work and looking for re-skilling opportunities.

The broader business base will also benefit from data and insights captured by the project and shared to inform and inspire peers, through city-wide events.

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken said; "Achieving our sustainable ambition for Glasgow needs to be a collective effort, with everyone playing their part. We need our city's business base to adapt to sustainable practises a part of that effort and the council has a role in helping to create the conditions that will help make this transition possible.

"Evolving to a greener, more sustainable business model can be a daunting prospect for many SMEs and this programme will help by bringing in someone that focuses on this area, has external support through mentoring and training and can really drive forward action for a business."

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