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Public Sector Climate Consultation - Have your say by 4 December

27 November 2019

It's time to put forward your view on the role of the SSN and Public Bodies on tackling climate change

Our Chair, Kate Dapré urges members, partners and supporters to have their say on the role of the SSN and future public bodies duties on sustainability and climate change.

Several weeks ago the Scottish Government launched its consultation on proposals to the role of Public Sector Bodies in tackling climate change. This consultation asks how the public sector can raise ambition and deliver joined-up action on climate change.

A step change is clearly required – but what does our sector need in order to get there?

The consultation includes questions on some key items for our members and partners. Indeed, for anyone who has an interest in seeing Scotland’s public sector deliver on net zero and bring communities, businesses and policy with us.

The Scottish Government asks us to respond to related issues of setting targets and reporting, collaboration and leadership. All of which are critical components of delivering on Scotland’s ambitious new net zero target.

Running throughout this consultation and the wider ‘Big Climate Conversation’ sparked by the new target is the question: what does our sector need in order to increase our actions and step up the pace?

Capacity and skills – yes. Excellent practice in reporting, monitoring and governance – clearly. Leadership, absolutely. An ability to collaborate and work across organisations – unquestionably.

We actually have a unique mechanism that delivers against each point. It’s the SSN.

The SSN is truly unique – we are a member-led Network of sustainability professionals working across Scotland’s public sector. We have members in every public body in the country. Our cross-sector approach means we have breadth and depth in nearly every organisation in the country. Collaboration and partnership, sharing of good practice, capacity building and support for senior practitioner leadership is at our core.

As for engagement, awareness and buy-in – our Network includes all 180 public bodies classed as major players. The whole of the NHS, all 32 local authorities, Scotland’s higher and further education institutions and other bodies such as SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Prison Service, Scottish Fire & Rescue, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Water, Visit Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise among others.

Our power lies in our collaborative approach and our ability to convene across our sector. We’ve been doing this since 2002, some of us for even longer! I personally have found huge value in the Network through being able to discuss climate change delivery challenges with public sector peers who understand the unique issues we face and who can suggest innovative and effective ways of overcoming these..

The Public Sector Bodies consultation indicates changes to the financial support given by the Scottish Government to the SSN secretariat and we are working with the Government and other partners to keep the Network viable. But we can’t do this alone. We need Network members and participants to voice their support and ensure that the SSN is well placed to continue to make delivery of the sustainability and climate agenda a priority. If you have questions about this, or would like to know how to help or contribute, please get in touch with the secretariat team using:

Responding to the online consultation is your chance to contribute your knowledge and expertise on delivering sustainability from a professional, practitioner, organisational and sector perspective.

The Steering Group has drafted a response to the consultation and we have shared this draft with our members and partners. Our aim is to encourage you and your organisation to respond and to make sure that you have a voice in this critical period.

Important links

The SSN Steering Group strongly encourages you to connect with us over this period and welcome support and ideas from members, partners and stakeholders. Please let us know your suggestions, or offers of support, by contacting the Secretariat at ECCI or getting in touch with the steering group via:

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