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Continued decline in emissions from Scotland’s public sector - SSN report

Scotland’s public sector is continuing to drive down emissions, new analysis from the Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) – Scotland’s biggest network of public sector sustainability professionals, co-delivered by ECCI – shows.

The SSN’s annual analysis, published last week, brings together the reported data from 150 public bodies.

The individual reports reflect activity and impact in areas such as carbon reduction, adaptation, governance and procurement. They provide a picture of how the Scottish public sector is responding to the challenge of climate change.

Driving down emissions

SSN’s analysis – the latest in a series of annual reports on the data – considers the breakdown of emissions across all sectors, emission reduction projects and renewable energy initiatives.

Data reported for 2017/18 shows that the overall decline in corporate emissions from the public sector continues, with a 4.6% reduction compared to last year’s reporting period and an 11.8% reduction compared to 2015/16.

Public bodies’ emissions in 2017/18 were reported to be 2,882,788 tCO2e, with 83,230 tCO2e saved from projects and 294 GWh of renewable energy (electricity and heat) generated over the period.

Improved reporting 2017/18

SSN’s analysis reveals that in addition to a year-on-year decrease in emissions since reporting became mandatory, public bodies’ reporting is improving. This includes the submission of higher quality information and data submitted, and a broader reporting scope. However, SSN’s analysis also shows that more work is needed to improve the setting and reporting of emission reduction targets, and to better track and report progress against targets.

SSN, supported by the Scottish Government, is continuing to work with its network members throughout the public sector to build capacity to take action on climate change. It will use annual reporting to inform and scale up action to help meet Scotland’s emission reduction targets.

Climate leadership

SSN Director George Tarvit said: “Climate change reporting is becoming embedded in Scotland’s public sector.

“Increasingly, organisations are looking to how measuring, monitoring and sharing data can contribute positively to leadership and action on climate change."

“The SSN is working closely with network members and our wider stakeholders to ensure reporting is used to inform better decisions, share successful initiatives, and create the impact we need to address the challenges of climate change.”

Find out more

Would you like more information on the SSN’s report, or to search the individual organisational reports from each public body?