Small and Medium Enterprises Workshop Sept 7

Date and time

September 7th


Refreshments & networking from 9.30. Lunch provided at 12.30


Postgraduate Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh


Rachel Dunk ( and Lisa Gibson ( at Crichton Carbon Centre


In 2009, the Scottish Government passed legislation to reduce GHG emissions by 80% (below 1990 levels) by 2050, with an interim target of 42% by 2020 (Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009). To date, the focus of climate change legislation, as well as voluntary action, have been large enterprises, which include the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS – the traded sector) and the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES). While the focus for policy instruments and proposed mandatory emission reporting schemes are at present (and should be) the traded sector and other enterprises with sufficiently high emissions such that the costs of participating are compensated by savings realised, smaller organisations will (of necessity) have to contribute to future emissions reductions.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) comprise a significant part of the economy (99.8% of all UK enterprises), as well as generating a significant proportion of business related emissions. It is clear that engaging SMEs in measuring and reducing carbon emissions is a vital part of the drive to meet national targets. However, it is also widely recognised that particular barriers (e.g. limited expertise and resource) curb the ability of SMEs to monitor and improve their environmental performance. When considering carbon emission reductions in rural SMEs these barriers are compounded by poor transport infrastructure and long distances to service centres.

Workshop Overview

This is the first workshop in a series of stakeholder events/consultations to explore and reach consensus on common measures to evaluate carbon in SMEs. As this is a complex multi-faceted issue, this first workshop will focus on a number of core issues and also provide an opportunity to identify topics for future focus.
This interactive event will feature short scene setting presentations followed by round table discussions of the key questions. We would welcome input prior to the event regarding the key questions (from workshop participants or those unable to attend) – please email your views to


09:30 Registration, refreshments & networking opportunity
10:00 Welcome & overview of workshop
10:10 What is an SME? What issues do SMEs face in carbon accounting?
10:20 A whistle-stop tour of standards and methodologies applicable to SMEs
10:30 Break out groups – all addressing Key Question 1
Key Question 1: Boundaries and sub-categories – who should the SME rule book cover?
11:10 Report back on Key Question 1
11:20 Break-out groups – all addressing Key Question 2
Key Question 2: What are the significant scope 3 emission sources in SMEs and how should we account for them?
12:00 Report back on Key Question 2
12:20 Wrap up and close
12:30 Sandwich lunch and further networking opportunity

Download the full agenda