Scotland - a world-class location for global low-carbon investment

Scotland grasped the opportunity at COP26 to showcase its strengths in low carbon technologies to the world, along with its commitment to working closely with other nations towards a greener, sustainable future for all. Mark Hallan, our head of global investment, explains.

The COP26 climate summit was one of the biggest global events ever held in Scotland, with more than 40,000 registered visitors in attendance. Global leaders from almost 200 countries arrived on our shores. The eyes of the world were very much on Scotland.

Now, the delegates have gone, the media has departed, and Glasgow has been able to return to normality. It's time to reflect on what was achieved over the past couple of weeks.

Mark Hallan, Head of Global Investment, Scottish Development International at Scottish Enterprise

"Ahead of COP26, everyone at Scottish Enterprise spoke about "grasping the climate opportunity" and showcasing the very best Scotland has to offer on the world’s biggest stage. And we certainly did that in terms of global companies choosing our country to develop their innovative, low-carbon activities."

Mark Hallan, Director of Global Investment, Scottish Development International at Scottish Enterprise

Investment projects and global partnerships

Alongside our partners across the public and private sectors, Scottish Enterprise announced many inward investment projects and global partnerships throughout COP26.

These enviable initiatives will both boost Scotland’s economy and help tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time.

A perfect example is the incredibly exciting project unveiled by Dutch-headquartered global health and nutrition company DSM.

DSM, in a joint announcement with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, revealed that its feed additive, Bovaer, which results in a 30% or more reduction in methane produced by cattle, will be globally manufactured in Scotland at the firm’s site in Dalry, North Ayrshire.

This £100 million project is the result of a long-term strategic investment by DSM into improving sustainability. The engineering and construction of a large-scale production facility is the next step, supported by a £10 million funding package from Scottish Enterprise that will create and safeguard hundreds of high-quality jobs.

Pictured: Geraldine Matchett, co-CEO of Royal DSM with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Enterprise managing director Linda Hanna at the DSM deal announcement. 

From left to right: Geraldine Matchett, co-CEO, Royal DSM, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland and Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Scottish Enterprise.

DSM’s announcement was timely, following the statement from US President Joe Biden at COP26 that more than 80 countries have signed up to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

He described methane as "one of the most potent greenhouse gases there is". So, DSM’s decision to undertake this project in Scotland provides recognition of the stance we’ve taken around climate change and our capability to make a difference.

Another priority area in achieving net zero targets worldwide is decarbonising heating systems, which accounts for more than 40% of global CO2 emissions. A significant inward investment project announced during COP26 showed Scotland is leading the way in this sphere as well.

Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe revealed that it would invest £15 million in its manufacturing facility in Livingston to develop the next generation of heat pumps.

Scottish Enterprise is contributing to the company’s investment project with a wide package of support, including £1.8 million of grant funding, creating and protecting almost 400 jobs.

We also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company, enabling development of a low carbon heat pump centre of excellence in Scotland.

The technology developed by Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe in Scotland and exported across Europe demonstrates the pioneering low carbon manufacturing innovation taking place in our country.

Scotland’s low-carbon strengths were also underlined during COP26 when Scottish Enterprise signed an MoU with Japanese company, Marubeni Corporation. The agreement will see both parties work in partnership to explore opportunities in floating offshore wind and green hydrogen.

Several areas of collaboration were identified, including the creation of decarbonisation projects, the establishment of an offshore wind supply chain, and plans to host joint educational programs between Japanese and Scottish university students.

The MoU with Marubeni will strengthen our valued relationship with the company and support Scotland’s net zero ambitions.

And finally, global wellbeing organisation Therme Group named Glasgow as the location for its second UK resort.

Therme agreed heads of terms with property company Peel L&C on a waterfront site next to the city's Riverside Museum.

Known as Therme Scotland, the facility is expected to be 320,000 square feet in size and cost approximately £100 million to build. It will include an indoor water park, extensive thermal pools, a spa, and a health and wellbeing centre. The planning application is expected to be submitted in 2022.

The proposed Therme Scotland development

As part of this exciting development, Edinburgh-based vertical farming company, Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), announced a partnership with Therme that will use IGS technology to grow fresh produce on urban farms within its centres across Europe. The move will ensure greener, home-grown ingredients in the group’s restaurants, bars and skincare products.

Sustainable economic growth

All these announcements show that companies across the world see Scotland as the place to undertake low-carbon projects due to the supportive policy environment, strong science and technology base, and world-class talent.

It also validates the new strategic approach set out by the Scottish Government for attracting investment that aligns with our national values, and positions inward investment to play an important role in achieving Scotland’s net zero targets.

We are confident all those who attended COP26 will have left with a positive impression of Scotland’s low-carbon capabilities.

But more can, and must, be done.

Our inward investment specialists based around the world will continue to highlight why Scotland is the perfect location for companies to achieve their net zero ambitions, while delivering economic opportunities for our communities in the process.


 

Mark's commentary was published by Scottish Business Insider on 19 November 2021. 

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