Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (03.08.16)

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.14.11Scotland second only to Sweden in reducing greenhouse gas emissions 

New figures released have shown that Scotland has achieved second place in our reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Western Europe over the last quarter of a century.

Figures released by the Scottish Government reveal that the country managed a reduction of 39.5 per cent from 1990 to 2014.

This compares to 33 per cent for the UK as a whole. Sweden managed to take the top spot with a decline of 54.5 per cent over the same period.

Commenting on the latest figures, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Scotland is a world-leader in tackling climate change, and these figures reaffirm that Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK as a whole and punch above its weight in international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

But she added: “Climate change is a global challenge and other countries must step up to match Scotland’s levels of ambition and action if the goal in last year’s international Paris Climate Change Agreement of limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius is to be realised.”

More on this story.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.09.14Scottish Enterprise boost to 231 entrepreneurs

Scottish Enterprise is supporting 231 early stage companies with targeted training and support designed to increase ambition and competitiveness in SMEs, as well as creating internationally competitive ventures.

Help to entrepreneurs includes its High Growth Spinout and Start-Up programmes, and partnerships with other organisations and Scottish universities on initiatives such as Engage Invest Exploit.

Eleanor Mitchell, high growth ventures director at Scottish Enterprise said: “Companies like Shot Scope, East Coast Oil and Gas, Mironid, SIRAKOSS and TC Biopharm are perfect examples of many commercially viable, innovative and passionate companies looking to do great things in and beyond Scotland.

“It is so important to equip our early stage entrepreneurs from the beginning to think big and approach their ideas strategically, so that they have the best chance of success.

“By focussing entrepreneurship support at the crucial earlier stages of growth, we will help more companies develop sustainably, yet at pace, which will have a positive impact on the economy.”

More on this story.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.17.57New telecoms company sets living wage challenge for the market 

TenTel has set out to challenge the market by taking an innovative approach to business which includes paying all staff a minimum of the living wage from the outset.

Company bosses credit their provision of the living wage as one of the reasons they are able to attract and retain a high standard of employees to deliver a world-class service.

Their provision of the living wage as a minimum to all members of staff regardless of their age is one of the reasons they received accreditation from Investors In Young People Scotland, which recognises their work towards supporting young jobseekers and employees.

“As an accredited living wage employer we understand that better paid staff nurture a happier, more productive working environment,” said managing director Robert McKechnie.

Since it was launched in April 2014, more than 500 organisations in Scotland have signed up to the scheme to become accredited as official living wage employers, giving their workers at least £8.25 per hour.

More in The National.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.25.16Low-carbon energies generate 70% of Scots electricity

Nuclear power and renewables combined generated 71.3% of Scotland’s electricity.

Nuclear power has remained a constant in Scotland and the latest DUKES statistics show across the UK its contribution rose from 19% in 2014 to 21% last year. Coupled with renewables (24.6%) low-carbon technologies are now generating almost half the UK’s electricity.

Gas remains the largest form of electricity generation with 30%, but coal’s contribution to the grid continues to fall and is now at 22%. This is to be expected with the accelerating trend in closing coal-fired power stations after the UK Dept. of Energy announced that all coal-fired plants must cease operations by 2025.

More on Scottish Energy News.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.30.53Engineers and academics working to address waste processing challenge

One of Scotland’s leading treatments solutions providers is working closely with Robert Gordon University to address the significant challenge of treatment and processing of waste produced by Scotland’s industries. The three-year project will see RGU’s School of Engineering teaming up with Ross-shire based company Sureclean as part of a £249,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Globally, it is the norm for waste to be accumulated and stored through time as local treatment opportunities are not available. This is stored in large quantities in tanks and lagoons with treatment costing up to £3.5m per lagoon.

KTP Associate Shoja Shokofan will work with Sureclean’s operations manager Richard Walker to design the system, while the project’s principle investigator (PI), RGU lecturer Dr Mamdud Hossain, will be the knowledgebase supervisor.

Full story in The National.


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About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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