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Edinburgh is harnessing data-driven innovation to create greener supply chains for those delivering the City’s infrastructure. Edinburgh and the South East Scotland City region have signed a £1.3 billion City Region Deal with the UK and Scottish Governments, which brings together councils, universities, and businesses. This will invest in R&D, Innovation, Skills, Transport, Culture, and Housing.

While the Deal itself is not specifically about climate innovation, the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) – Climate-KIC’s partner in Scotland – is helping harness the investment for green growth in the region, with a focus on greening supply chains.


ECCI and Edinburgh University have run a pilot – or ‘Pathfinder’ – project to deploy innovative low-carbon solutions into the supply chain of City Deal funded buildings and services.

The two organisations worked with procurers, contractors and their suppliers to explore low carbon innovation with the construction processes for University developments and infrastructure funded by the City Deal. 

The pilot explored a variety of ways to make supply chains, including Data Driven Innovations, Circular Economy models, Energy Management, new materials, mobility, and finance systems which could support greener supply chains.

The project identified how procurement could be used to implement existing low carbon solutions into new construction and infrastructure. It provided training to procurement professionals and their supply chain, and supported integration of new and existing innovations into the supply chain, helping deliver more sustainable and efficient buildings.

Following the successful Pathfinder project, the ECCI and the University of Edinburgh are now developing a programme to scale up supply chain innovation. This ‘Demonstrator’ stage will create a support programme for supply chain ‘intrapreneurs’, and industry procurement processes.

This will help the University, and eventually the City, develop a built environment that supports innovation, has low carbon emissions, and advances the population’s wellbeing.

Featured Projects in The Edinburgh City Region

Edinburgh Procurement Pathfinder

An EIT Climate-KIC Pathfinder project explored how to bring sustainability and carbon-impact focus to the University of Edinburgh’s procurement and construction activity, driving increased sustainability throughout their supply chains.

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Financing Sustainable Cities

The Pathfinder project also brought together investors, local government and innovators to identify ingredients for local development, and identify specific investment opportunities and action plans. The programme lays the groundwork for tailored Sustainable Cities Finance Programmes that will be rolled out to other Cities across Europe.

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