Scotland’s economic development agency has launched a free online tool to support businesses to develop sustainability plans.

Scottish Enterprise’s new platform helps firms by making recommendations across five key areas on how they can develop a “practical, data-led and people-focused” road map to net zero.

Companies using the ‘net zero accelerator’ can analyse the impact of their operations on the environment to help them set climate targets as well as identify opportunities to innovate or adapt.

According to the Office for National Statistics, only 23 per cent of companies with 250 or more employees have a climate change strategy in place.

Figures from the British Business Bank highlight that only nine per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are measuring their carbon footprint.

However, research from the Fraser of Allander Institute shows that 59 per cent of Scottish businesses have either committed to, or achieved, net zero targets, slightly ahead of the rest of the UK at around 57 per cent.

According to Scottish Enterprise, businesses are opting to become greener due to demand from consumers as well as attracting staff and government support available to sustainable initiatives.

Ian Carstairs, sustainability team leader at Scottish Enterprise/supplied

Ian Carstairs, sustainability team leader at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland hosted Cop26 in Glasgow last year but we need to maintain the momentum and encourage action to further the economic and ecological advantage for Scotland.

“We are supporting more businesses to reduce their environmental impact and have made great progress with a quarter of our projects in 2021-22 equating to over 3,250 green jobs and delivering a reduction of over 280,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“The free tool launching [on Monday] will help more companies accelerate their journey to net zero as Scotland has huge potential in this area and we are fully committed to grasping the net zero opportunities that will deliver a just and fair economic transformation.”

It comes after Scottish Enterprise updating its net zero framework, which focuses on areas such as innovation, place development and climate training for its employees.