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2022/23 Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Analysis Report

Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) has published the Analysis Report of the 2022/23 Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reports. The analysis provides a thorough breakdown of public sector greenhouse gas emissions and climate change adaptation activity across 188 ‘major players’ public bodies.

The comprehensive report presents key findings on public sector emissions, projects, renewables, targets and adaptation. The report also spotlights a range of projects and initiatives from annual reports, demonstrating the range of climate action taking place across the public sector.

This year saw 100% compliance from the 188 ‘major players’ in the public sector that are required to report, with a continued improvement of data capture and reporting quality.

This year’s SSN analysis report provides more detailed analysis of the completeness of reporting across public bodies, the materiality of various emission sources to different sub-sectors, and insight on progress being made year-on-year.

Key Findings: 

  • 2,786,823 tCO2e total emissions were reported over Scopes 1, 2 and 3 sources.
  • Scope 1 and Scope 2 reported emissions have decreased 2% and 10% respectively since 2021/22.
  • 52,460 tCO2e were saved due to carbon reduction projects.
  • 362 GWh renewable energy was generated – equivalent to generation in 2021/22.
  • Annual gas consumption fell by nearly 5% from 2021/22 and is the lowest since reporting began in 2015/16.
  • Fleet emissions increased 5% from 2021/22.
  • Emissions from procurement are largely under-reported
  • Scope 3 emissions increased by 21% compared to 2021/22, largely due to an increase in reporting of student commuting and term time travel in the education sector.
  • 70% of bodies are undertaking some form of climate risk assessment, which is an increase of 4% on last year

John Wincott, Chair of the Sustainable Scotland Network said:

“I am extremely pleased to see the publication of our analysis report of the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties mandatory reports 2022/23. Our report provides analysis and insights on public bodies’ progress in tackling climate change, including action to reduce emissions and work to address adaptation and build resilience. 

The report also shows the scale of the challenge and the progress being made across the public sector. 

There are examples of impressive work on climate action, and areas of real progress and innovation. However, it is clear that more is needed to tackle our emissions, for example, from heating public sector buildings, and to continue reducing emissions from transport. And more is needed to drive clarity, consistency and action on adaptation - an area which is going to become ever more important over time.

Moving forward to this year’s reporting process, SSN will continue working with our members and partners to drive improvement in reporting quality and the use of reporting data to inform policy, investment and practice, as well as providing a range of support services to accelerate public sector climate action”.

Going Forward

SSN is now preparing to support 2023/24 reporting by public bodies. SSN will continue to work with the Scottish Government, the SSN Steering Group and key partners to progress more coordinated and consistent reporting, and to build capacity to address mitigation, adaptation and sustainability aspects of the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties. This includes supporting efforts to use reporting data to better inform leadership decision-making and the development of robust plans to achieve emissions reduction targets and to develop resilience to the impacts of a changing climate.

SSN looks forward to unpacking the report in our communications over the next few months.

Download full report.

Find out more on SSN’s Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reporting work.