Public sector leads journey to net zero thanks to Scottish loan schemes

scotland stock

Watch the video to learn more about the Scotland Recycling Fund and Scottish Public Sector Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme. 

A new feature film celebrating innovative energy efficiency projects in Scotland has been released by Salix. 

The film captures the experiences of three Scottish public sector organisations working to meet ambitious net zero targets.

Scotland has set its sights on reaching net zero, which involves securing a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount that's removed from the atmosphere, by 2045. 

This puts Scotland half a decade ahead of the UK government and global pledge to reach net zero by 2050.

Key stakeholders from The City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow Life and The University of St Andrews are featured in the video, developed by Salix to showcase the positive developments public sector bodies in Scotland are making towards net zero ambitions.

Additionally,speakers emphasise the importance of government funding, specifically loans, to unlock project progress.

Projects mentioned in the film have received government funding, delivered by Salix, through The Scotland Recycling Fund, Scottish Public Sector Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme, and historic Scottish Funding Council schemes.

Commenting on the film, Salix programme manager Maisie Loggie said: “We are proud to act as the delivery agent for multiple funding schemes in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council.

“The video features just a few of the public sector organisations in Scotland that we have worked with and showcases the positive impacts that decarbonisation projects have had on both people and the planet.”

Scotland’s capital is paving the way

The City of Edinburgh Council, featured in the film, has pledged to reach net zero by 2030, well in advance of the domestic-wide target set by the Scottish Government.

To support their ambitions, the council has completed dozens of projects using the Scotland Recycling Fund loan scheme.

Projects included LED lighting upgrades to the council’s Assembly Rooms, Usher Hall, and main bus station on Elder Street.

Energy and Sustainability Manager at Edinburgh City Council Andrew Crighton emphasised the significance of funding in making their objectives a reality. 

Andrew said: “Funding is important as it enables these projects to take place to meet the energy efficiency plans.

“If we didn’t have funding, we would lose the vast majority of our energy efficiency works.”

Community champions in Scotland’s largest city

The film also shares a glimpse into how energy efficiency projects support the mission and vision of charity Glasgow Life.

The organisation, which has been awarded £2 million in funding through the Scotland Recycling Fund, provides cultural and sporting programmes that promote inclusion, happiness, and health across the city of Glasgow.

Head of infrastructure support at Glasgow Life Isabel Brown said: “Finding funding for our projects in the past was incredibly challenging – Salix made it really easy.”

Funding has supported the charity to undertake multiple projects, including the installation of more efficient heating and lighting technologies at Kelvingrove Museum, the Old Fruitmarket and the Royal Concert Halls. 

These historic buildings are the venues for many of the city’s cultural events and concerts, with the Royal Concert Halls acting as a home to the BBC Scottish Orchestra. 

Isabel added: “The upgrades make a huge difference to the community using the buildings.”

Scaling sustainability in student-centric St Andrews

The University of St Andrews has introduced more than two hundred decarbonisation projects thanks to funding through Scottish government loan schemes, and the schemes delivered on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. 

The university, which is the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, has made sustainability a part of its institutional strategy and set a net zero target of 2035 - ten years ahead of the nation’s goal. 

The film provides a behind-the-scenes look at the university’s biomass plant which has saved more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon since its installation. 

The plant supplies heat to the university buildings that sit five kilometres away in the town centre.

The film also showcases a solar array project that covers an area equating to two and a half football pitches, generating renewable energy with an associated cost saving of £150,000 per year. 

St Andrews has clear ambitions for the future, but it depends on funding to make these plans a reality. 

Sustainability integration manager at the University of St Andrews Keith Thomason said: “We can come up with a lot of different ideas, but if you can’t fund them, you can’t make them happen.”

Delve into the detail and watch the film today!

The 15-minute film is now available to watch on the Salix YouTube page.