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2022 The Year of Authentic Climate Action: Leading a Net Zero Life and Running a Net Zero Business

2021 is remembered for the growing climate movement that resulted in a new climate agreement at COP26 in Glasgow and for the COVID-19 pandemic remaining a top priority for governments and the public. Like many of us in the sustainable business space, I took some time off during the winter break to unwind and look back over the past year. But from the headlines in the news and my LinkedIn feed, it is clear that the work never stops - from the energy price crisis to demands for more joined-up green policymaking and economic recovery from the pandemic.

With this in mind, why not set sustainable New Year resolutions that can help positively impact our environment and community? Why not start taking action to live a Net Zero life or become a Net Zero business?

New research from National Grid shows that a third of UK adults (33%) plan to set New Year resolutions that tackle climate change.

It is a New Year, but it’s the same planet. We need to ACT. These are the steps I will be taking to achieve net zero in my home and work life:

Walking, cycling and public transport

How we travel can make a difference in the fight against climate change. This year I will be focusing on walking, cycling and using public transport. By choosing to travel by public transport, a few days a week, you can reduce both your and your city’s carbon footprint. It’s up to us to make a positive impact on harmful emissions.

Decreasing our daily meat consumption

We have reduced our meat consumption to 50/30, including fish. We only buy meat that is produced locally in Ayrshire. In 2022, we will grow more of our own produce and continue to shop locally. Home-grown produce is known for its nutritional benefits as well as being healthier and tastier.

Shopping locally means we can get there easier by foot or by bicycle, no need to use the car. This way, we can reduce our carbon footprint and enjoy unique items that are not mass-produced. Additionally, interacting with small business owners can create cohesive communities and encourage people to stay in their local area.

Daily meat consumption in the UK has decreased by 17% over the past decade, according to a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

Educating young people for the future

Fostering a better understanding of how our daily activities harm our environment and how we, as a community, can prevent this, is essential for young people. I will continue to embrace the #GetOnWithIt mindset in my day to day life, to drive action over words. Investing in and empowering young people to use their voice and their creativity to protect their future.

I am committed to increasing my focus and effort as a STEM Ambassador, engaging with primary and secondary school kids to build on their enthusiasm for change.

Supporting SMEs in their Net-Zero journeys

We will continue to provide consultancy, technology solutions and training to SMEs particularly in the real estate sector. Our campaign for #NetZeroKnowHow across the Commercial Real Estate market will continue to develop and help Smaller Businesses, Property Investors and Property Owners on their journey to Net Zero Carbon for both new and existing buildings.

Energy Consumption

This year we will document our journey demonstrating how to ‘green’ an existing business in the Highlands. It is a new and exciting project for us, and we hope it will be a source of inspiration for anyone looking to make a positive impact.

Final thoughts

Make 2022 the year of authentic climate action. Make sure you or your business starts taking steps towards net zero. We cannot wait for another year, another CEO or board, to make sustainability a priority.

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