In addition, the Environment Agency in England admitted last week that it intended to relocate at-risk coastal communities ‘away from harm rather than trying to protect them from the inevitable impacts of rising seas. from sea level”.
Even the positive news that Scotland has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 12% from 2019 to 2020 comes with a warning from ministers that we should prepare for the 2021 figures to ‘rebound considerably’ “, as the decline was caused by the drop in air travel. and car journeys during pandemic shutdowns rather than actions that can be sustained beyond lockdown.
Specialized in science, we have many customers who develop and implement positive solutions to fight against climate change. The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Center (IBioIC) advocates and supports the shift to sustainable natural materials on an industrial scale. This involves working to optimize more natural products for manufacturing, allowing us to move away from fossil fuel-based manufacturing towards these greener alternatives.
Companies that are already delivering bioeconomic benefits include MiAlgae which harnesses microalgae, rather than wild fish, as a sustainable source of omega-3s; IndiNature which uses natural materials for the insulation of residential and commercial properties and CuanTec which recovers discarded fish shells destined for waste and transforms them into biodegradable and compostable food packaging.
Last week, I attended IBioIC’s first post-lockdown conference. Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Enterprise for the Scottish Government, shared that the targets set in the 2013 Industrial Biotech Ten Year Plan will be achieved ahead of schedule. As a result, new targets have been set to deliver 220 active industrial biotech companies, £1.2 billion in revenue and over 4,000 direct employees by 2025.
This is really positive news and there is a lot of work and collaboration going on, but there is still a lot to do. And if we’re going to make real progress towards net zero, we all need to learn more about it and then take collective action. So what could get in the way?
This is a sweeping generalization, but in my experience scientists tend to be very modest about their accomplishments and are often reluctant to put their heads above the parapet. This is the case even when we see huge potential interest in their work. I used to think it was a Scottish psychological issue, but working across the UK with many clients, it extends beyond the border!
One of the few silver linings of Covid is an increased interest in science among all audiences, from politicians to the public. Before the pandemic, could you imagine drug discovery and infection rates being featured daily in every national newscast? We are all much more attuned to science and how it can solve key issues ranging from health to climate change. What a great opportunity to tap into that appetite and interest.
The scientific sector is full of jargon and technical information, but with the right support, it is possible to cut through this to reveal the scientific gold. Effective communications that can translate complex concepts into compelling and engaging content are key to sustaining and maximizing this new and widespread interest in science, from improving health outcomes to tackling climate change.