Nikki Flanders. Managing Director, SSE Energy Customer Solutions

Now the dust has settled on another COP, it’s a reminder that while high level policy discussions are critical, we must return to placing action at the forefront of our minds and get on with decarbonising our economy.

The complexity of getting to Net Zero is huge and diplomats and policymakers have a tough job navigating the global challenges and nuances.

As business leaders, I believe we must concentrate on decarbonising our business operations and supporting our customers in their decarbonisation efforts. There is so much we can do by pulling together and treating this as a team challenge, not by operating in silos.

All of us who run businesses can make a difference and should not be dissuaded by the enormity of the challenge.

Decarbonisation not only makes sound environmental sense, but also sound business sense. Businesses can benefit from the Net Zero economy in several ways.

Firstly, there is the opportunity to provide services or support to a growth market.

Whether it be the construction of a wind farm, development of an EV charging hub or decarbonisation of the building stock, there are a swathe of opportunities to push your business’ service that weren’t around a decade ago.

These opportunities will only become more prevalent as we accelerate action to reach the ultimate target of Net Zero by 2045 in Scotland. The economy can’t decarbonise without the support of a thriving business community that has the skills and expertise needed to cut emissions.

Every industry has an opportunity to buy in, from construction and engineering to traditional tertiary sectors such as hospitality and corporate services.

Secondly, businesses can capitalise on more than just a booming growth industry.

A Net Zero economy powered by low-cost renewable energy and supported by more energy-efficient buildings and appliances offers businesses better protection against the risk of future price shocks from the global energy market.

The stability of a home-grown, secure, and clean energy system can give businesses the confidence to plan, grow and invest for the longer haul.

Businesses won’t have to operating in the shadow of an international energy market driven by volatile fossil fuels, haunted by the energy crisis of 2021 and 2022.

Across SSE, we’re building the largescale low-carbon infrastructure to bring the benefits of cheaper and cleaner energy through to businesses.

This includes building the world’s largest offshore wind farm, quadrupling renewables capacity by 2032 and transforming electricity networks to transport this energy to homes and businesses across the country.

SSE customers can also benefit from a range of solutions brought direct to their business, enabling them to reduce their own emissions and energy costs, while improving their sustainability credentials.

While COP can accentuate the scale of the global challenge to tackle climate change, I hope businesses are excited by the opportunities that Net Zero can bring – cheaper and cleaner energy, green skills and jobs, and ultimately economic growth.