Scottish public sector reduces emission levels

| Global Environmental Processes

Report details the extent to which public bodies in Scotland have reduced carbon emissions and eliminated excessive waste in the region.

A report has highlighted the efforts of 180 public bodies across Scotland in reducing carbon emissions from the public sector last year. An overall 8% reduction in emissions is a result of factors including the direct efforts of public bodies through emission reduction projects and increased use of renewables, and a cleaner electricity grid. These all point to the public sector driving forward action in moving Scotland towards a low carbon society.

The document is the second of its kind, which details Scotland’s public bodies climate change activities, following the introduction of mandatory reporting by the Scottish Government under the Climate Change (Duties of Public Bodies: Reporting Requirements) (Scotland) Order 2015.

Produced and published by Keep Scotland Beautiful on behalf of the Scottish Government as part of the charity’s work to support and develop the Sustainable Scotland Network, the document also details that since 2015/16:

* There has been a 20% increase in carbon savings from implementation of mitigation projects across the sector
* There has been a 20% increase in reported carbon savings from renewable generation.
* There was a reduction in 6% of waste tonnage going to landfill
* There was a 2.2% drop in electricity consumption

In addition, almost 60% of public bodies reported renewable generation – with solar panels featuring prominently, closely followed by biomass generation.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “These figures show the public sector is helping us drive forward Scotland’s transformation into a low carbon society. It’s great to see that across the region, public bodies have identified a range of measures and are developing innovative projects to cut carbon emissions. The public sector has a key role to play, showing collective leadership to achieve transformational change.

“Scotland is well placed to continue to lead the way internationally when it comes to decarbonising our economy. In achieving sustained progress against ambitious statutory emissions reduction targets, the Scottish Government is committed to supporting the public sector, businesses and communities towards a low carbon transition.”

The annual reporting structure is intended to help public bodies identify operational inefficiencies, increase transparency and to encourage debate and discussion leading to improved sustainability performance.

George Tarvit, Sustainability and Climate Change Manager, Keep Scotland Beautiful commented: “Keep Scotland Beautiful is proud to have managed the Sustainable Scotland Network on behalf of the Scottish Government for the past decade, to help the public sector identify opportunities and challenges for tackling climate change. The report that we have published today demonstrates that Scotland’s public bodies are engaged and active in addressing their climate change impacts. With a reduction in emissions and the underlying consumption of energy, plus the scaling up of saving from renewables, we can see that the public sector in Scotland is moving in the right direction in transforming Scotland into a low carbon nation.

“As a network that aims to share good practice, the Sustainable Scotland Network is continuing to work with its public sector members to collectively bring forward further climate change innovations and cost effective solutions.”

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