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Sustainable Scotland Network launches new strategy

16 September 2020

New SSN strategy to support public sector climate action

On 16 September 2020, Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN), launched its new strategy which aims to support public sector action on the climate emergency and support a sustainable green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

SSN, Scotland’s all-public-sector network which specialises in sustainability and climate change will support over 600 members across Scotland's public bodies as they work towards net zero emission targets by 2045. The strategic framework will guide the SSN as they continue to facilitate and inform collaboration; build public sector capacity; and improve alignment and coordination with national policy priorities.

Kathryn Dapré, SSN Chair: “For over 20 years, the Sustainable Scotland Network has been a vital resource for public sector organisations in meeting their climate change obligations. It provides a platform for organisations to access information and resources, and to share best practice.

As Scotland begins its recovery from this devastating health crisis, we have an opportunity – and indeed an obligation - to ensure this recovery is ‘green’ and carried out in such a way that we don’t exacerbate the lasting environmental damage caused by the climate crisis.

SSN will continue to support the Scottish public sector in addressing the climate crisis – and now the Green Recovery – and we look forward to a better, more sustainable, and healthier future for us all.”

Member support across three net zero programmes

The strategy sets out the ambitions of the network, centered around three key themes:

Each programme will engage SSN members on their journey to net zero, creating consistent and effective approaches to public sector action through consistent guidance and methodologies; tools and frameworks; training and advice; sharing good practice and peer-to-peer learning; policy engagement and knowledge exchange.

A hub for public sector practitioners

As Scotland’s all-public-sector network, SSN will be a central hub for all network members and partners in the sector. The strategy sets out how SSN will support practitioners through a central hub of regular updates and coordinated information, advice, and support on public sector climate action as well as resources, events, training and communications.

Professor Dave Reay, Executive Director, ECCI, Policy Director, ClimateXChange, University of Edinburgh, said: 'If SSN did not exist you'd have to invent it. Our national climate change targets are world-leading, but realising a net zero Scotland needs everyone, and everywhere. Our public sector is right at the heart of this, with local authorities and public bodies covering every corner of the nation and working with every community within it. SSN provides the trusted partner for all public bodies to understand and implement the transition to net zero in a way which is locally appropriate, consistent with national priorities, and that ensures good practice is shared and enhanced.”

The strategy has been developed by the SSN Secretariat and the Steering Group, which is made up of climate change professionals across the public sector.

SSN continues to support the needs of all its public sector members and partners and will launch a series of workshops, events and resources over the next few months as well as an updated website.

SSN hosted an online launch event on 16 September to introduce the strategy to members and stakeholders. Event slides are now available on our website and the full recording will be available shortly.

Download the SSN Strategy 2020-24 here.

The development of this strategy was supported by the Scottish Government.

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