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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.


How we’re helping to lead Scotland’s third sector towards a net zero future

In 2019, the Scottish Government set an ambitious target – to reach net zero emissions by 2045.

As one of the first nations in the world to declare a climate emergency, the Scottish Government recognises that we need to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. But in order to achieve this target everyone needs to play their part, and that includes the third sector.

Scotland’s third sector includes over 46,000 voluntary organisations and around 6,000 social enterprises – a sizable chunk of Scotland’s workforce. Our sector is responsible for carbon emissions, through our buildings, travel, waste and supply chain. However, much of our activity also has a positive impact on climate and nature, for example repair cafes and rewilding projects.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations across the sector have been trying to balance increased running costs alongside increasing demand for their services. These demands, and the need to meet them, often mean that acting on emissions can fall by the wayside for organisations that don’t have an environmental focus.

Figuring out how you can take action on climate change can be daunting

We know that learning about climate change and net zero can be overwhelming – there's so much to read, watch and think about. That’s why we created the Growing Climate Confidence website and pulled together resources that we think are interesting, from top tips to policy reports, all in one place.

We also share stories of how others have successfully reduced their emissions and taken ownership of their net zero journey. Alongside that, we’ve created the Growing Climate Confidence scorecard which we designed to help organisations assess where they are on their net zero journey, and where they can find support to make necessary changes.

Why we must grow climate confidence

No matter what your organisation does or what its mission is, one thing is clear: in order for you to do your work you need a stable climate.

We already see the impact that the climate crisis has on people both here in the UK and across the world. As the world continues to warm, we stand on the precipice of driving our climate into irreversible change, the results of which will have a huge impact on vulnerable people and communities.

However, we can change direction. We can choose a different path. We can create a future where our most disadvantaged people and communities can benefit from a greener, more sustainable way of life. We can build a society which has warmer homes, better public transport, locally sourced, healthier food, more secure, skilled jobs and a more resilient and future-proofed local economy. We can create a more resilient and adaptable third sector that will protect those most affected by climate change.

We can take climate action now.

Who the growing climate confidence scorecard is for

The scorecard is primarily aimed at Scottish third sector organisations to help them assess where they are on their net zero journey and to figure out what support they need to progress towards eliminating emissions.

Who is the Growing Climate Confidence team?

Growing Climate Confidence is delivered by SCVO, on behalf of the Third Sector Net Zero Steering Group and Scotland Funders Forum. SCVO and CEIS are the lead partners in a consortium made up of multiple partners from across Scotland’s third sector. These partners are:

  • Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
  • Circular Communities Scotland
  • Community Enterprise
  • Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAs)
  • Firstport
  • Social Enterprise Scotland (SES)
  • Social Investment Scotland (SIS)
  • Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (SCCAN)
  • Scottish Community Alliance
  • Scottish Communities Finance
  • Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire (VANL) - representing Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs)

The net zero scorecard itself was developed by Small99, an organisation with expertise in sustainability. Funding for the project as a whole comes from Third Sector Unit at the Scottish Government, and from South Lanarkshire Council.

Why it matters to our partners

By working with a range of sector partners, we not only hope to reach a large cross-section of industry organisations, but we also aim to use their particular skills and expertise to drive this project forward. Through collaboration, we can achieve great results not just for the sector, but for the country as a whole. Here is why Growing Climate Confidence matters to our partners:

“Our work at CEIS is focused on delivering a more inclusive economy for Scotland. This cannot be achieved without ensuring that we reduce our carbon emissions and take positive climate action across all aspects of our operations. This not only applies to CEIS but all social enterprises and businesses. For this reason, we have come together with 11 other third sector intermediary and support organisation to collaboratively address the challenge of supporting the sector to take positive action on the climate emergency.” - CEIS

"Social enterprises are innovative businesses that exist to deliver a specific social or environmental mission. As the intermediary body for social enterprises in Scotland, we are committed to supporting organisations at all stages of their journey to address the challenges posed by the climate emergency. That’s why we are delighted to launch the Climate Confident Scotland website and resources in collaboration with other third sector organisations, which will provide practical support and funding sources for the sector to take meaningful action." - Social Enterprise Scotland

“The Climate Confident resource provides practical support for organisations to make meaningful changes, both large and small. Changing how we travel is one key part of the climate change solution and choosing to cycle, walk or wheel instead of taking the car when possible, makes a difference. Organisations can use the resource to identify funding sources and wider support to take action.” - Cycling Scotland

Find out what you can do to reduce your emissions now

Our Net Zero Scorecard is a simple, free-to-access tool that you can use to get some insight into what your organisation is already doing to reduce its emissions and show you where you can do more. It also offers guidance and support on how to take the next step in that journey.

The scorecard only takes a few minutes to fill in and asks a series of simple questions about what your organisation is already doing across the categories that are responsible for the highest emissions.

Learn more about the scorecard and to get your own personalised scores here

Last modified on 30 May 2024