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Net Zero Ready - Scotland Ups the Pace

01 October 2019


Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Net Zero Ready (Members Event)

Scotland ups the pace on the Global Climate Emergency

So how are you approaching it? How will you respond to new net zero targets? How will your organisation up its game? Who do you need to connect with to unlock our potential?

Addressing climate change and implementing sustainable solutions is about radical collaboration and shared effort. No one is going it alone. So how do you forge the right path and focus efforts and decision making now?

Join us on 1 October where we will hear from leaders from across our sector on how they are responding to and using the new targets to forge new opportunities. You’ll have a chance to consider and discuss what's needed - from transformational change to practical solutions.

This is a member event and spaces are available for free to SSN members - please contact for details.


The day will feature a panel discussion and Q&A followed by networking lunch and an afternoon workshop where delegates will be able to work through a three-horizons framework to understand where the public sector needs to be and what we need in order to get there. We will pinpoint and share live solutions and areas of practice and what is required to scale and shift to meet the new targets. Feedback and input will be shared directly with Scottish Government as part of their consultion with the public sector on reporting and the climate emergency.

10:30 Arrival and registration with refreshments

11:00 Opening/Welcome Kate Dapré, SSN Chair, Head of Energy and Sustainability, NHS National Services Scotland

11:10 Keynote speaker Clare Hamilton, Deputy Director, Head of Climate Change Division, Scottish Government

11:30 - 12:40 Opening panel

Chaired by John Wincott, SSN Vice Chair, Environmental Services Coordinator, Fife College The panel will be a lively conversation focused on critical questions prompting discussion on the public sector’s response to the global climate emergency and how to help deliver the transformation to a zero-carbon society. Panellists are invited to speak from experience and offer real examples of what has worked, what they found challenging and when partnership and collaboration played a key

Confirmed panellists:

  • Sam Gardner, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability, Scottish Power
  • George Gillespie, Executive Director of Neighborhoods and Sustainability, Glasgow City Council
  • Daisy Narayanan, Director of Urbanism, Sustrans, City of Edinburgh Council
  • Sharon Pfleger, Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health, NHS Highland
  • David Wilson, Programme Director, Scottish National Investment Bank

12:40 Networking and lunch

1:15pm - 1:30pm Introduction to the workshops: Three Horizons exercise

The aim of the workshop session is to identify transformational practice on a range of key themes for the public sector in delivering new Net Zero targets. The 3 Horizon framework will be used as a backdrop to facilitate discussion. Delegates will work in small groups to share areas of practice and examples across sectors and will come together to map out where they need to be in order to deliver new targets against a climate emergency timeline. The workshop will be energetic and fun, drawing out discussion and give members an opportunity to investigate and share examples of solutions and live projects/actions that work, and what needs to happen to enable them further.

Each group will be supported by a facilitator and note taker.

Workshop facilitation:

  • Lead facilitation: Dr Alex Hilliam, Director, Hilliam Research and Analysis
  • Anna Beswick, Progamme Manager, Adaptation Scotland
  • Diane Duncan, Head of Low Carbon, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Dave Gorman, Director of the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, University of Edinburgh
  • Catriona Patterson, Green Arts Manager, Creative Carbon Scotland
  • Clare Wharmby, Innovation Manager, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
  • Ruth Wolstenholme, Managing Director, Sniffer

2:45pm - 3:00pm Break and refreshments

3:00pm - 3:50pm Workshop regroup and feedback

3:50pm - 4:00pm Closing remarks and next steps Kate Dapré, SSN Chair


The SSN team will produce a short report of feedback and findings based on the workshop and share this with the Scottish Government as part of the wider consultation.

Speaker biographies

Kathryn Dapré, Head of Energy and Sustainability, NHS Scotland (SSN Chair)

Kate Dapré is Head of Energy and Sustainability within NHS National Services Scotland and took up the role of SSN Chair at the beginning of the year. Kate’s team provide professional support to NHS Scotland boards, Scottish Government and other stakeholders in relation to all aspects of climate change resilience, energy management and sustainability for the NHS estate. Kate has been involved in sustainability and climate change work for over 20 years. Following a period in energy consultancy where she worked with a range of public and private sector clients, she joined the NHS in 2012. She has overseen the implementation of the first Energy Performance Contracts on the NHS Scotland estate and more recently, has overseen the development of the NHS Sustainability Action campaign to encourage sustainability behaviour change across the service.


Sam Gardner, Head of Climate Change and Sustainability, Scottish Power

Sam Gardner recently started at Scottish Power in the newly created role of Head of Climate Change and Sustainability where he is driving forward a programme of work designed to ensure Scottish Power plays its full part in tackling climate change. He previously worked for WWF Scotland for 12 years, most recently as Deputy Director, before that he enjoyed a period as Acting Director, was Head of Policy for five years and Senior Climate and Energy Policy Officer for five years. Sam’s work was leading the WWF Scotland team to advocate for lasting solutions to the environmental and climate change crisis. His work covered the introduction of the first Climate Change Scotland Act in 2009 and its implementation over the last ten years. He has worked closely with stakeholders from across industry, academia and the public sector on the transition to net zero, in particular on electric vehicles, low carbon infrastructure, renewable heat and the power sector. Sam previously worked for SEPA and the RSPB in Scotland.

Sam has an Ecological Science (Hons) degree from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in environmental policy development from UCL. Sam has been a Board member of Stop Climate Chaos and is currently on the Board of Scottish Environment LINK.

George Gillespie, Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, Glasgow City Council

George Gillespie is Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Sustainability for Glasgow City Council with responsibility for roads, lighting, cleansing, parks, waste management, environmental health, scientific services, trading standards and community safety.

He is a Chartered Civil Engineer with extensive experience within roads and transportation together with the delivery of wide-ranging frontline services and the successful management of major projects. He has held a number of senior positions within the former Strathclyde Regional Council, and with Glasgow City Council as Head of Roads, Head of Service Delivery and Assistant Director prior to his most recent, current appointment in March 2018.

Daisy Narayanan, Director of Urbanism, Sustrans

Daisy Narayanan is the Director of Urbanism for Sustrans, currently on secondment to the City of Edinburgh Council to lead the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation programme.

In Sustrans, her role involves interweaving policy, public realm design and a broad integration of key place principles to help create liveable towns and cities, within the remit of Sustrans vision and mission. As Project Director in the City of Edinburgh Council, she is taking forward Edinburgh’s aspirations to enhance the city centre as a world class place to live, work and visit.

Daisy is on the Board of Architecture & Design Scotland and a member of Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund panel. She was on the Active Travel Task Force set up by the Minister for Transport and the Islands. She will join the Scottish Transport Awards judging panel from 2020.

Drawing on her previous experience working as an architect and urban designer in India, Singapore, England and Scotland, Daisy believes passionately in the importance of creating places for people: places that reflect and complement the communities that live in them. A music aficionado, a bookworm and a linguist, Daisy spends her time enjoying the Scottish outdoors with her husband and two children.

Sharon Pfleger, Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health, NHS Highland

Sharon currently works in NHS Highland in Inverness as a Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health. Her public health role focusses on the use of medicines at a population level- developing policy and practice covering everything from postcode prescribing, smoking cessation, sexual health, vaccination, emergency planning, value for money and making difficult decisions.

In recent years she has become acutely aware that healthcare is actually damaging the planet and that climate change is also damaging not only the planet’s health but that of our public too. It is for her work with the One Health Breakthrough Partnership (OHBP) that Sharon is here today. She is a founding member of this unique public sector collaboration between NHS Highland, Scottish Water, SEPA and the Highlands and Islands Enterprise working together on a wicked problem.

David Wilson, Programme Director, Scottish National Investment Bank in the Scottish Government

David has extensive experience of working in Government on economic matters. He recently re-joined the government to implement the Government’s proposals for a mission-oriented public investment bank in Scotland. For the last 3 years, David was Executive Director of the International Public Policy Institute at the University of Strathclyde. He was also appointed by Ministers as a Commissioner on the Scottish Fiscal Commission, the public body tasked with forecasting Scottish GDP and likely revenues from the devolved taxes in Scotland. During his earlier period in the Scottish Government, David held Director roles on Communications and Ministerial Support, Director of Energy and Climate Change, and Fisheries. His early career was as an economist, with a focus on economic regulation, including a period as Deputy Director General for Scotland at Ofgem.

Panel Chair

John Wincott, Environmental Services Coordinator, Fife College (SSN Vice Chair)

John’s passion for sustainability, the environment and renewable energy fits perfectly with his role as Environmental Services Coordinator at Fife College. In this position, John leads the college in tackling the challenges around sustainability and climate change, and is especially keen to involve the students in as many projects as possible. In addition to his role at Fife College, John is appointed to the Office Bearers' Group of the Environmental Association for Universities and College. Previous to his role at Fife College, John was Executive Spokesperson for Environment and Transport for Fife Council, where he was engaged in a variety of activities from energy strategy to recycling. John joined the SSN Steering Group in 2018 and became Vice-Chair this summer.

Lead Workshop Facilitator

Dr Alex Hilliam, Director, Hilliam Research and Analysis

Alex is a highly experienced social researcher and behaviour change specialist. His work focuses on supporting organisations to develop, implement and evaluate low carbon and sustainability-related behaviour change projects, interventions and evaluations.

Alex focuses his work on bridging the gaps between theory and practical application to ensure that clients can make positive decisions to move their projects forward. He operates at a both a strategic level, for example advising policy teams and senior managers on their approach to sustainability, and on a practical level through supporting change projects ‘on the ground’. Recent and current clients include NHS Scotland, The Scottish Government, Cycling Scotland, Living Streets Scotland and Sustrans.

He has experience of a range of behaviour change techniques and is a leading expert in the Scottish Government’s ISM (Individual, Social and Material) tool. Prior to setting up his own business in 2016, Alex worked as a Behaviour Change Specialist at the environmental charity, Changeworks. He also spent 5 years working in the market research industry, where much of his work focused on evaluating or informing social marketing campaigns using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods. Alex obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2004.

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