Enterprise agencies use digital forecasting to help businesses zero in on green targets
Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have hailed the success of a two-month pilot that used digital forecasting to help 50 companies come up with accurate data about the environmental impact of their business activities.
The enterprise agencies engaged the services of data specialist Impact Forecast, which provided its digital forecasting tool and coached participating companies on how to produce carbon savings estimates. Funding for the pilot was provided by the European Regional Development Fund.
Lockerbie company MacRebur, which turns plastic waste into products used in the construction of asphalt roads, and technology company Clearview Intelligence both took part in the project.
MacRebur cofounder Nick Burnett said it was useful because it enabled the business to “quickly assess the carbon impacts of new projects in territories across the globe”.
Kelly Morris, head of client strategy and sustainability at Clearview Intelligence, added: “Using the Impact Forecast tool, we were able to analyse the carbon impact of relocating the manufacture of our SolarLite Active Road Stud from Malaysia to the UK.
“Our Carbon Impact Report was confirmed as not only valid and positive but significant, saving 49 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum, equal to driving a car six times around the world.
“This opportunity has proven to be a real catalyst for change and we will use the impact tool in future to modify our design and manufacturing methods even further to reduce more carbon.”
Rhona Allison, interim managing director of business growth at Scottish Enterprise, said that as customers and investors take a greater interest in companies’ carbon footprints “it is vital that businesses can effectively measure their green credentials”.
“We know that those companies who can provide credible low carbon figures will gain a competitive edge with customers, investors, funders and suppliers,” she said.
“Scottish Enterprise is supporting businesses to be more sustainable as well as cultivate economic climate opportunities as part of our net-zero framework that will help drive a greener economy in Scotland.”
Rachel Hunter, director of service delivery at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, added: “There has never been more attention on the need to address the impacts of climate change.
“As part of this we can expect customers to become increasingly discerning and want their suppliers to be taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the country’s net-zero targets.
“This pilot project has enabled companies to demonstrate to their customers, stakeholders and investors that they are doing just that. It supports them through their net-zero journey and helps them achieve their climate goals.”
Finance secretary Kate Forbes said using digital forecasting tools will make it easier for businesses to play their part in helping Scotland achieve its ambition to reach net zero by 2045.