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Sustainability Footprints in SMEs: Strategy and Case Studies for Entrepreneurs and Small Business by Lowellyne James

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6The Politics of Sustainability

6.1 Introduction

This chapter describes the policymaking climate under which each case study organization operates. Background information on each policymaking institution is provided as well as statements from key policymakers or advisors, which provide insight into the philosophical, cultural, and strategic context of sustainability footprint implementation within Scotland.

Scotland, the cradle of capitalist thinking as espoused by intellectual giants such as Adam Smith, now stands at the crest of a new wave of ecoinnovations such as wind energy, wave energy, tidal energy, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). This hive of scientific and industrial endeavor is supported by robust government statutory initiatives [1] such as the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, which aims to cut Scotland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by setting an interim 42% reduction target for 2020, with the legislative power for this to be adjusted based on expert advice, and an 80% reduction target for 2050. The act requires that the Scottish Government set annual targets for the period 2010–2050 with the stipulation that continued reductions are 3% lower than the previous year from 2020 onward [2]. The Scottish Government is leading this transition to a low-carbon economy by enshrining the requirement for regular reporting of GHG emission performance by public bodies. The Environmental Economic Analysis Unit provides environmental data such as GHG emissions to allow Scottish ...

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