Social Investment Scotland launches £5m net zero transition fund

Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has launched a £5m fund to help social enterprises, charities and community organisations make the transition to net zero emissions.

Managed by SIS, the fund will provide loans between £10,000 and £1.5m to help organisations with waste reduction, minimising energy consumption, transitioning to sustainable transport options and adoption of circular economy business models.

Some smaller grants of up to £20,000 may also be available alongside loans to organisations with a particular focus on circular economy projects.

These organisations have a key role to play in ensuring that this transition is fair and just

The fund is part of the Scottish government’s £30m Third Sector Growth Fund, announced in March this year. It is run in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), an environmental nonprofit funded by the Scottish government and the European Regional Development Fund.

Earlier this year, a survey of Scotland social ventures revealed that almost 50% of respondents thought the environment is either “not important” or “moderately important” to their organisation. The survey also found that 80% of organisations had not set a carbon neutral target and only 28% had an environmental policy.

However, Iain Gulland, CEO of ZWS, said: “Many social enterprises and charities in Scotland are leading the way with imaginative and ground-breaking ways to help us reduce the destructive impact of waste on our planet and meet our net zero targets”.

But, he added: “We know financial obstacles can restrict their progress, or sometimes even prevent them from launching at all”.

Chris Jamieson, head of investments at SIS, said: “Scotland’s transition to a net zero economy requires bold and innovative solutions from every sector of our economy, including our social enterprise and third sectors. These organisations have a key role to play in ensuring that this transition is fair and just, due to their ability to deliver social and environmental impact.”

Social enterprises interested in applying for funding can find more information here.

Header image: Hey Girls, an East Lothian based community interest company that aims to eradicate period poverty, was a finalist in the 'Heroes of Net Zero' competition for small businesses in November 2021 (photo courtesy Hey Girls).

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