Acting head of the Scottish NetZero Community
Acting head of the Scottish NetZero Community
Introduce yourself. Tell us who you are and what you do. Can you sum up your role in a few sentences?
I’m Gavin Tweedie, firstly an outdoor enthusiast who wants us to leave the world in a better place than we made it. Wild swimming is one of my passions and it’s made me notice why we must take more care of the environment. But it’s not wild swimming alone that led me here, it’s my business career.
Following two decades as an entrepreneur working with North American high-tech companies, I refocused my efforts in Scotland to give back, dividing my time with a portfolio of business and community building work, converging on a NetZero and Sustainable future, sharing my experience, skills, and network with early stage companies.
I am Chair of the Scottish NetZero Community, a community interest group helping Scottish organisations to accelerate NetZero adoption and enable climate positive action globally. I also mentor apprenticeship teams on the Fuel Change low carbon program Fuel Change to tackle climate challenges. I am learning a lot as a mentor, more than I expected and I encourage others to give it a go.
My role is to grow the community, build partnerships and ensure Scottish businesses are provided with the support to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their competitiveness.
What does success look like to you?
If you ask me at the end of 2021 what I want us to have accomplished. It’s not just about mobilising ourselves now to attend the Cop26 event. No, it’s much much more.
- It’s creating more widespread awareness of NetZero actions we can take now.
- It’s to have inspired the next generation to choose a career path in green technology products and services.
- It’s to have helped create a pipeline of green jobs and stimulated domestic and international trade.
- It’s to have helped encourage more innovative start-ups to be founded and creatively tackle big challenges in low carbon & sustainable transport, energy, construction, marine, aviation, mining etc.
Every company that is able to increase it’s revenues and forge new successful partnerships because of participation in the NetZero community is a key goal realised. In 2022 and beyond, we must build on this momentum to create an enduring legacy towards NetZero ahead of schedule.
What does the term ‘just transition’ mean to you?
This means preparing and enabling for a change to a new low carbon economy, more climate friendly, climate-smart approach which we’ll refer to here as “green”. I think most people want to preserve the environment, biodiversity and generally do some good in the world. That’s what “green-thinking” is about. The act of bringing green thinking into everyday life and the choices we make every day. Making green products available to us in the shops, so our purchase decisions start to have a direct impact on climate change. Training a green workforce, creating green jobs, investment to support the creation of green companies, products and services and stimulating demand and trade for green products and services bringing about a more sustainable, low carbon economy that will slow the effects of climate change.
Why is a ‘just transition’ important?
At the centre of ‘just transition’ is doing the right thing to preserve society, the environment and the economy. The single biggest influencer on this is funding and investment, without which there can be no transition. In the context of creating a low carbon economy, there is no alternative. Traditional industries like oil and gas have already seen massive job losses and reductions in investment, with highly skilled and valuable workforces needing to be transitioned to green sectors such as renewables for example. Today, there are trillions of dollars invested in assets. Many of these fund portfolios no longer meet the Environmental, Societal or Governance (ESG) goals of asset owners and investors. Eg Blackrock investments are actively withdrawing support from funds not meeting their sustainability criteria. As funding is redirected to green finance and green projects, this will flow down the supply chains creating mass disruption to non-green, non sustainable industries that have historically relied on that funding, such as fossil fuel based industries. A new generation of companies will emerge as a result of “just transition” and we need to be ready with the right skills, investment and support network to make that happen.
Join the race to zero today.
Please help accelerate the race to NetZero Now by signing up to the NetZero community today. It’s a voluntary community interest group where everyone is welcome. We have a fabulous and growing support network loaded with companies, thought leaders and individuals who are ready to give their time, energy, and are open to partnerships to create the solutions and trade opportunities that will provide the funding to fight back against climate change and the effects of C-19. I Look forward to speaking soon.
Finally, Something people might not know about you that makes you memorable:
I’ve swum with great white sharks in South Africa, an experience I do not intend to repeat!