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Meeting the Needs…Priorities, Actions and Targets for sustainable development in Scotland

DescriptionThe Scottish Executive's statement on Sustainable Development
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateApril 30, 2002


    Scottish Executive Environment Group

    Meeting the Needs…Priorities, Actions and Targets for sustainable development in Scotland

    April 2002
    Paper 2002/14

    This document is also available in pdf format (77k)


    Sustainable development
    The Vision
    Giving Impetus to Sustainable Development
    Measuring Progress


    "Just as every decision and action is targeted at closing the opportunity gap, so too will all our work be judged against how well we conserve and sustain the environment that our children will inherit from us. Scotland is a land of many riches; our natural resources and the talents of our people. Our responsibility to future generations is to conserve, protect and harness all those resources"

    That is what I said to Parliament on 9 January 2002 when I set out the priorities for the Scottish Ministers in the year to come.

    I am determined that government in Scotland takes a lead in making sure the Scotland being built today meets the needs of tomorrow's generations. While there is much yet to be done, this statement on Sustainable Development makes a start in articulating the principles and priorities that will frame our future actions.

    Too often the environment is dismissed as the concern of those who are not confronted with bread and butter issues. But the reality is the people who have the most urgent environmental concerns are those who daily cope with the consequences of a poor quality of life, conditioned by their environment.

    To right these wrongs we must set priorities:

    • Resource Use. Taking only those resources we need for today means we leave potential for the next generation.
    • Energy. Making best use of energy, conserving fossil fuels and reducing climate change.
    • Travel. Scotland's transport needs are increasing but we must tackle traffic congestion and minimise wasteful journeys.

    First Minister
    April 2002

    1. The Scottish Executive is committed to sustainable development - it has been a central element of our Programmes for Government and its key role was reaffirmed in Parliament on 9 January 2002. Sustainable development is about combining economic progress with social and environmental justice.
    2. The Priorities of the Scottish Executive

      That the Parliament agrees that the Executive's priorities across Scotland must be to deliver first class public services that help create a Scotland full of opportunity, where children can reach their full potential, and that in 2002 this will mean working in partnership to improve the health service and the health of all, to achieve high employment and promote educational opportunities, to reduce crime and the fear of crime, to build an integrated transport system which meets the needs of all users and to promote sustainable development across Scotland.

      Scottish Executive Motion approved by Parliament on 9 January 2002

    3. When people are asked to behave sustainably they often respond "Define it and we will do it". There are many definitions of what is meant by sustainable development. In essence they derive from an acknowledgement that the pursuit of economic growth has to be done in such a way that it does not harm the environment or squander the natural resources on which we depend. It has to distribute the wealth it creates to enhance standards of living and to eradicate poverty in Scotland and across the globe. Fundamentally, sustainable development for the Scottish Executive is described by the Brundtland definition:
    4. "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

    5. But such a definition, although cogently setting out our ambition, needs to be broken down further to identify the actions and changes in current behaviour required to make Scotland sustainable. For this we need a vision of what we are trying to create in a sustainable Scotland. This document marks the beginning of an ongoing process to define what we mean by a sustainable Scotland and identify how we intend to get there.
    1. The fundamental aim of sustainable development is to secure the future. We have seen how actions in the past have made life more difficult for us today. Developing sustainably means ensuring that our actions today do not limit our quality of life in the future. So our vision is based on the principles that we should:
    • have regard for others who do not have access to the same level of resources, and the wealth generated
    • minimise the impact of our actions on future generations by radically reducing our use of resources and by minimising environmental impacts
    • live within the capacity of the planet to sustain our activities and to replenish resources which we use.

    Have regard for others

    1. Both environmental and social justice are central to our view of sustainable development: we need to be confident about the present lives of our people before we can make progress on future lives. We have in place a robust strategy for social justice. Social justice for us includes a healthy nation in which everyone can live in good health or has access to help if that is not the case. It means ensuring everyone can afford to heat their homes, and making the most of the resource which our people, of all ages, represent by providing education which enables people to reach their full potential.
    2. We have published a strategic action plan, "Our National Health". It describes how we will achieve, over time, our core aims of building a national effort to improve health, reducing inequalities in health, and making the NHS a national health service, not a national illness service. This is an integral part of sustainable development. The underpinning principles are the same: social justice, and taking individual and collective responsibility for actions which may allow others to make best use of finite resources, today and tomorrow.
    3. There are communities in Scotland who feel that their quality of life and hopes for the future are stunted by the legacy of past environmental degradation, poor quality homes and the consequences of socially and environmentally-regrettable methods of disposing of wastes and discharging pollution. For these reasons, we are committed to environmental justice: fundamentally that means ensuring that people do not live in degraded surroundings and it means not making unrealistic demands on the environment to absorb waste and pollution.
    4. People should have much greater access to services and goods without needing to travel. Communities should be planned with travel minimisation as a goal. We should plan in the knowledge that change is part of the future - so the transport systems of the mid-century will serve all the people.
    5. Minimise the impact of our actions

    6. We should promote and reward methods of production which reduce resource and energy use and which minimise pollution. These will often bring financial savings to the investor, reduce the risk that communities may live next to sources of pollution and nuisance, safeguard the environment and make better use of the world's resources.
    7. We will care more about our sources of goods and services. We will insist on knowing where our raw materials came from and how their replenishment has been ensured. We will want to be certain that our prosperity has not been gained by putting at a disadvantage communities in other places.
    8. This will mean doing things differently - increasing the eco-effectiveness of our businesses; developing business opportunities to secure higher environmental standards; improving the built environment through investments in energy efficiency and waste management.
    9. Live within the capacity of the planet

    10. If we are to meet the challenge of satisfying our needs and promoting prosperity, whilst at the same time safeguarding the natural heritage, then simply we must be more efficient in using resources. Our immediate task is to reduce waste and recover what is useful.
    11. We will use far less energy to secure our prosperity than we need now and we will derive the bulk of it from sources whose long term security is assured. That probably means that we will use a greater variety of energy sources and regard fossil fuels as a diminishing resource for whose replacement we have to plan.
    1. Sustainable development is about holistic thinking and promoting integration rather than about making trade-offs. It will not be achieved simply by weighing competing demands in the balance. It is not a matter of economic development versus environment but of development based on proper management of environmental resources and consideration of full life cycle impacts and costs. We are committed to development but it must be development which both protects our environment and enhances our quality of life.
    2. We have made clear statements on the Scottish economy in "A Smart, Successful Scotland" which charts a way forward based on global connections, growing businesses and having every Scot ready for tomorrow's jobs. Conventionally, the measure of success will be reflected in more jobs; greater productivity and improved quality of life for us all. However, the challenge of sustainable development is that these outcomes must be achieved whilst not requiring more than our fair share of the world's resources; and without giving rise to unacceptable discharges of pollutants.
    3. We acknowledge that there are some good examples of innovative ways of working which accelerate progress towards more sustainable development. However, these are by no means the norm. Good examples should not mask the fact that we have to change substantially the way we do things at a policy, business and personal level.
    4. The powers of the Scottish Executive cover a huge range enabling us to make real progress towards our sustainable development goals. However, achieving integration of social, economic and environmental concerns is an enormous challenge. As a first step, we have put in place formal arrangements for integration in the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Sustainable Scotland. Chaired by the First Minister, the committee can oversee the design and implementation of our strategies and policies aimed at achieving sustainable development and environmental justice.
    1. Policy-makers are familiar with their own territory but feel adrift when faced with the immense breadth of ideas which sustainable development can raise. We recognised the need to identify priority areas which decision-makers can consider in their own business and which should lead to more sustainable outcomes. In this way, many people can progress sustainable development in a practical, down to earth fashion.
    2. We have concluded that our main priority areas are:
    • Resource use: we need to understand where our materials come from; how they are replaced; what happens to the community which supplied them; how they were brought to our use; what we did with them and how they went to their next use.
    • Energy: the excessive use of fossil fuels is at the core of many sustainable development problems. We can use less energy and generate power from renewable sources. We must ensure that the quality of our housing stock provides affordable warmth to the poorest in our communities.
    • Travel: moving people and goods and delivering services generate transport demands. Better land use planning, alternative service delivery and sustainable transport systems can reduce our impacts.
    1. These priorities bring action on key concerns of today but they also prepare the way for the new actions and attitudes needed for the future world set out in our vision. For example, making the right decisions on location of development, delivery of services and the transport systems that connect them is at the core of sustainable development.
    1. The priority areas will take us a long way in the delivery of an environmentally-just and sustainable Scotland. Taken with the programmes on social justice and economic development they provide an integrated programme able to engage the attention of all policy makers and programme managers.
    2. Resource Use

    3. For many sectors of Scottish life, the most obvious symptom of poor resource use is the generation of waste. The bulk of our waste goes to landfill - a terrible waste of useful material, much of which has considerable potential value. As well as being an economic opportunity lost, waste to landfill is a blight on the communities who live near landfill sites. On environmental justice grounds we are determined to reduce the waste going to landfill. We are determined to have the National Waste Strategy in place later this year. We wish to see active markets for goods and materials which have previous uses - either genuine re-use or standardised recycled raw materials. We want to see materials used which have pedigrees - such as wood from sustainably-managed forests.
    4. Our decisions on purchasing at any level drive resource decisions. Our decisions whether or not to buy a particular product can determine whether or not that product is made and the extent to which it can be repaired or recycled. Within the Scottish Executive we are taking an active approach to purchasing with an eye to the sustainable development consequences. We now buy electricity, in company with almost 30 other public sector bodies, from sources which do not pay the Climate Change Levy. That decision has delivered electricity at lower cost and has also given strong encouragement to the renewable energy market. There is scope for and advantage to all our public bodies taking a target-based approach to sustainable procurement, for their recycling and waste minimisation and, overall, for their resource use.
    5. We are investing heavily in water: 3.5 billion over 7 years. This will provide much better waste water treatment, new methods of disposing of sludge and a radical improvement to drinking water quality. A strategic approach to water catchment management is being developed under the Water Framework Directive. This will improve the water environment for the whole of Scotland, bringing benefits across the board from communities to biodiversity.
    6. "A Forward Strategy for Scottish Agriculture" places a strong focus on the relationship between our environment and the way in which we produce food and other agricultural products. The vision is of Scottish farming playing a major role in the sustainability of rural areas. Environmental policies will be developed in partnership with the farming industry and the environmental sector, making use of the wide ranging expertise and good practice that already exists. There will be a gradual move towards more integrated, whole farm methods of improving the environment.
    7. Our "Strategic Framework for the Scottish Sea Fishing Industry" sets out a number of aims to deliver the best possible conditions for the successful operation of the Scottish industry. At the heart of the strategic agenda must be the sustainability of fish stocks. The current state of white-fish stocks only serves to confirm this priority. This means that stocks must be maintained within safe biological limits. Our fundamental aim is to protect and, if possible, enhance fish stocks in order to secure the long-term future of the industry.
    8. The biodiversity of the planet is a vital resource for our future. Indeed, for many people, the maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity is the core issue of sustainable development. Our work on Natura 2000 and biodiversity is delivering real changes to the way in which we view natural heritage. The new National Park authorities have statutory remits to pursue their objectives having regard to sustainable development. Intrinsically, the idea of a national park is based on concern for sustainable development but our new framework brings together an overt demand to develop, protect and enhance sustainably. Access to the countryside will give many people a real opportunity to engage with nature, adding to the general penetration of awareness of sustainable development.
    9. Energy

    10. Scotland is an energy-rich nation and it is right that Scotland should greatly improve its energy efficiency across the economy, and develop further its considerable renewable energy resources. The established hydro power stations, mainly in the North of Scotland, currently meet up to 10% of Scottish demand for electricity. The Scottish Renewables Obligation projects currently meet 1% of Scottish demand, with the same again expected to be commissioned by 2003, taking the contribution from renewables to around 12% by then.
    11. Scotland's potential for further renewable energy development is massive. The country has around 23% of the total European wind energy resource both on-shore and off-shore, as well as other potential resources. We intend to use the new Renewables Obligation Scotland (ROS) to increase the proportion of electricity generated in Scotland from renewable energy at least to 18% by 2010 from 11-12% now. Much of this extra capacity is expected to be provided by on-shore wind. There is strong commercial interest in Scotland's abundant renewable resource which is key to exceeding the 18% overall renewable energy objective for 2010. We are keen to see if this can be taken further: in his speech in February 2002 on environmental justice, the First Minister announced his intention to consult on increasing this target to 30% by 2020.
    12. Encouragement of the various technologies is not of itself enough; the planning regime and grid infrastructure are also vitally important. The new renewable energy planning guidelines (NPPG6) are helping developers and local authorities to better balance our policies of supporting renewable energy developments and their local impacts. We were pleased that the PIU study "The Energy Review" (2002) highlighted so strongly, as two of its priority recommendations, an emphasis on energy efficiency across the economy, and a new drive to increase the amount of renewable energy in use, with new targets post-2010. We will be consulting on how it will deliver in both of these important and devolved areas of energy policy.
    13. Fuel Poverty

    14. Throughout Scotland, an unacceptable number of households are experiencing fuel poverty. Fuel-poor households are those which cannot afford to keep adequately warm at reasonable costs. It is clear that the experience of fuel poverty affects an individual's quality of life and can impose wider costs on the community. The most vulnerable people - pensioners living on their own - live in homes that are the least energy efficient. One in four single pensioners live in homes with the worst record in energy efficiency. We are committed to tackling fuel poverty in Scotland, and through the Central Heating Programme we will ensure that all council houses have central heating by April 2004; that all housing association tenants have central heating during 2004; and that all over 60s have central heating by March 2006. In addition, we are working with partner organisations to look at what more can be done, and during 2002 we will be publishing our strategy for tackling fuel poverty. We will follow this up with a report on progress at least every 4 years.
    15. The Scottish Executive already has a good track record of working with business, particularly SMEs, in Scotland to improve energy efficiency. All new buildings need to be more energy efficient. The nature of the construction industry in Scotland has permitted the setting of standards in excess of those to be introduced in England and Wales and our standards are now more akin to the requirements in Scandinavia. The amended building standards which came into force on 4 March 2002 will typically improve the thermal performance of new construction by 25 to 30%.
    16. Travel Minimisation

    17. The planning system has an important role to play in promoting and delivering sustainable development. Planning is essentially about the integration of economic, social and environmental issues over space. In addition it also seeks to deliver long-term solutions rather than provide a series of quick fixes. NPPG1 "The Planning System" sets out how planning should encourage sustainable development. Planning should support better access by foot, cycle and public transport, as well as by car. NPPG1 sets out key objectives which are further developed in NPPG17 "Transport and Planning" and Planning Advice Note 57 "Transport and Planning". The recently announced National Planning Policy Guideline for West Edinburgh is also intended to integrate new modern transport investment with land use development in this nationally important location.
    18. We proposed in 2001 a National Planning Framework that would set out a view of how Scotland would develop spatially. It would concentrate on settlement pattern, population and household change, economic prospects, environmental challenges, and strategic priorities for transport and other infrastructure investment. Sustainable development would be integral to such a framework. We also proposed that the development planning system could be streamlined with only the four main city regions continuing to produce two tiers of development plan. This proposal recognises the critical interaction of sustainable land use and transport planning that is required to make the city regions work. Decisions on the way forward will be made later in 2002.
    19. We have been committed to strategic environmental assessment since 1999 and the new Directive means that our early adoption of the approach can now be implemented with rigour to standards agreed across Europe. The initial impact will be felt on development control but in time the process should apply to the formation of many policies and programmes. In particular, it will enable us to take a rounder view of new development proposals. We are determined that future major developments will be properly appraised for their lifetime effects.
    20. The Transport Delivery Report for Scotland articulates our vision for transport - working together to build a sustainable, effective and integrated transport system - and provide a framework for how transport in Scotland will be delivered in a sustainable way. The challenge is now to deliver transport improvements consistent with that vision and appropriate to the needs of different parts of Scotland. This requires change in our travel behaviour and attitudes particularly to the use of public transport.

    21. Road traffic is predicted to grow by 27% over present levels by 2021 and this is unsustainable. Roads will be further congested affecting the reliability of journey times - a major issue for business - and causing further damage to the environment. We will strive to stabilise road traffic at 2001 levels (in vehicle kilometres) by 2021, through investing in an integrated package of measures - modernising and improving public transport, promoting alternatives to the private car, and targeted motorway and trunk road improvements. For years, rural transport has been in decline, aggravating the decline of many villages and cutting rural populations off from jobs and services. Now we are funding hundreds of rural transport initiatives across the length and breadth of Scotland. Many are small scale like the Argyll Transport Volunteers project and the various community minibus schemes in the Highlands and Islands, but they are marked by innovation. Reversal of rural transport failings will not come overnight but we are seeing significant improvements.

    22. Our aim is to tackle the challenge of congestion and to promote a bigger and better public transport system.
    23. We are also developing a set of transport progress indicators. Monitoring is an important tool and will allow the Scottish Executive to make best use of its resources in the long-term, allowing adjustments to both programmes and funding, whilst keeping its long-term vision in place.
    24. We published Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance which is now being used in the appraisal of all transport policies and projects. Effective and robust appraisal will help ensure that transport development, in whatever form, delivers maximum benefits to Scotland and is consistent with our goals for sustainable development.
    1. If we are to make progress we need some measures of the distance travelled, the distance still to run and the ultimate destination. We have set out, in our vision, some aspects of the goal and we do that with some confidence. Scotland will definitely be on the right road if we manage resources better, use less energy and secure it from renewable sources, and design our communities and the services they need better. Measuring progress on these must therefore be in the cause of sustainability.
    2. Our vision is wider than this, however. We have clearly set out programmes on health, education, social justice, crime and transport which are central to our sustainable development approach. Measurement of their achievement is vital and is part of our effort on sustainable development, and we will refine and enhance our measurement methods over time.
    3. Indicators and Targets

    4. Alongside those programmes we need a way of looking at progress in the longer term - we need indicators of sustainable development. The Scottish Executive launched its consultation, Checking for Change, in May 2001, asking for views on ways in which progress towards more sustainable development could be measured using indicators. Many valuable contributions were received which led us to conclude that the Scottish Executive indicators of sustainable development must be able to:
    • reflect Scottish circumstances and, in particular, the distinctive Scottish priorities of resource use, energy and travel.
    • be able to be compared with other indicator systems as used in other parts of the United Kingdom, Europe and at world level. For example, our matrix of indicators can be compared to the UK headline indicators.
    • be applied practically at a local level.
    1. We have initially adopted the 24 indicators listed at the end of this paper. This is a developing process and we will review their usefulness in 2003 in light of emerging opinion - for example as expressed at the World Summit. For each indicator we have given a common name, a description of its relevance for sustainable development, information on how we intend to measure it and information about the current level and targets or trends. We will publish full data on each indicator later in the year. As part of this we will look at differences across Scotland including differences between urban and rural areas.
    2. For some of the indicators we have already set targets and have in place programmes intended to drive towards the targets we declare. For some, we intend to set targets in the light of further policy and scientific work. For other indicators, it will be more appropriate to monitor the trend than to set a target. As we develop the range of indicators and refine the process of setting and measuring targets we will also move, progressively, to expanding the time horizon towards 2030-40.
    3. Our declaration of commitment and the setting of ways of measuring progress would mean little if we were not willing to report on how well Scotland performs. We intend to report regularly on the progress made with the matters set out in this document. We also want to develop our vision in partnership with Scotland. Our initial indicator set and our priority areas provide a starting framework for developing ideas. We see this framework evolving over time and want to engage with Scotland to refine the vision and to work towards longer term ambitions for Scotland.
    1. We recognise that there is a lack of proper debate about the course sustainable development should take in Scotland. We are committed to establishing a forum for sustainable development which will include representatives from the public and private sectors, the trades unions, and the environmental NGOs. We expect the forum to contribute to the development of the strategy set out in this document and to assist in driving forward sustainable development throughout Scotland.
    2. Overall, the UK Sustainable Development Commission - which has two members looking particularly to Scottish interests - will take an overview of progress in Scotland. The Commission reports to the Prime Minister and to First Ministers in the devolved administrations. We value the Commission and will continue the regular contact already established.
    3. Conclusion

    4. Delivering this range of action involves a huge range of actors. Making progress on resource use, energy and travel alone cannot be done by single portfolio Ministers - it demands shared perception of what is needed and an agreed set of priorities. That is one purpose of this document - to form the basis of the integrated approach which the Scottish Executive has put in place.
    5. We believe that "Meeting the Needs…" marks an important step forward in the journey to a sustainable Scotland. We plan to keep the vision set out in this document under review and to amend and expand it as we make progress. We will report on the status of indicators of sustainable development and add to these indicators as and when additional measures are necessary to clarify our aspirations and chart progress towards them. We welcome comments, suggestions and new ideas - sustainable development is an endeavour to which we all must contribute. Our future depends on it.
    6. Further Information

    7. We publish most of our information about sustainable development in Scotland on the website: www.sustainable.scotland.gov.uk.

    If you do not find there the information you seek, or have ideas to propose the Sustainable Development Team would be pleased to hear from you.


    Sustainable Development Team
    Scottish Executive
    Victoria Quay
    EH6 6QQ

    Telephone: 0131 244 7711
    Fax: 0131 244 0195
    e-mail: sustainable@scotland.gov.uk



    Indicator Name



    Current Level

    Current Target/ Trend


    Sustainable Prosperity

    Delivering a sustainable economy means enhancing prosperity while reducing our impact on the environment. In particular we need to reduce the carbon intensity of the Scottish economy.

    Index of CO 2 emissions divided by GDP

    80 in 1999 (1)

    No target - the absolute value has no significance but a reducing trend is desirable


    Work: people as a resource

    A high employment rate is a key sustainable development objective. Employment enables people to meet their own needs and by contributing to the economy they benefit the whole of society.

    Percentage of unemployed working age people

    (Social Justice Milestone 13)

    5.8% (2)

    No target - a downward trend is desirable: the Executive is committed to reducing the percentage of working age people who are unemployed


    Population structure

    A sustainable Scotland will include a balance of children, people of working age and older people. We need to ensure that we retain the talents and skills of people of all ages.

    Proportion of population which is working age

    62% (3)

    No target - an assessment over time of the trend and rate of change will need to be made.


    Waste: production

    Waste material represents a valuable resource. We need to reduce the amount of material we dispose of, and do more to minimise our waste, reuse it and recycle.

    Municipal waste arisings in million tonnes of waste (4)

    2.9 million tonnes (5)

    2.6 million tonnes by 2010, 2.3 million tonnes by 2020 (6)


    Waste: recycling

    Increasing recycling of materials is part of our strategy to improve resource efficiency - doing more with less.

    Percentage of total household waste recycled


    Waste targets, including a recycling target, will be set in the light of the National Waste Plan to be finalised in late 2002


    Waste: landfilled

    The bulk of our waste goes to landfill - this represents a waste of useful material as well as a blight on the communities who live near landfill sites. Our priority is to reduce landfilling of biodegradable waste.

    Biodegradable municipal wastes land-filled in million tonnes

    1.7 million tonnes (7)

    1.25 million tonnes by 2010 (8)


    Climate change

    Our climate in Scotland is changing to become wetter and wilder. The changing climate is associated with the emission of greenhouse gases. We need to act to reduce those emissions and to deal with the harmful consequences of climate change such as flooding.

    Million tonnes of greenhouse gases carbon equivalent

    19.9 million tonnes carbon equivalent (9)

    We will make an equitable contribution to the UK Kyoto target


    Air quality

    Scotland has a good record on air quality but we can do better. Controlling air pollution is a key sustainable development objective in order to reduce the risks of harm to our health and environment.

    Number of Air Quality Management Areas

    3 Air Quality Management Areas (10)

    1 Air Quality Management Area by 2010 (11)


    Water quality

    Sustainable development means managing our impact on the environment. River quality is important because rivers are a major source of water used for drinking and by industry and leisure. Rivers also support a wide variety of wildlife.

    Kilometres identified as poor or seriously polluted

    1169 km (12)

    Current target is to improve 315 km by 2006-07



    The biodiversity of the planet is a vital resource for our future. Making Biodiversity Action Plans successful is a key task in protecting biodiversity in Scotland.

    Percentages of Biodiversity Action Plan species and habitats which are identified as stable or increasing (13)

    Species: 28%

    Habitats: 44% (14)

    No current target - targets to be developed as part of ongoing work.


    Sea Fisheries

    We need to live within the capacity of the planet to sustain our activities and replenish resources which we use. Sea fisheries is a key area where this applies.

    Proportion of fish stocks which are within safe biological limits

    14% (15)

    No current target - but ambition to ensure that all major species in Scottish waters are within safe biological limits.



    Energy: consumed

    Delivering a more sustainable economy requires doing more with less. We are doing a great deal to encourage energy efficiency. An energy use figure is currently not available at Scotland level, so we are using electricity consumed as a proxy measure.

    Electricity consumed in gigaWatt hours

    32,691 Gig Watt hours


    No target - but commitment to reduce the amount of non-renewable energy consumed in Scotland.


    Energy: renewable

    Renewable sources of energy can provide the energy we need without using up finite resources. Scotland has a huge potential for renewable energy and the Executive has already published a target for 2010. In addition it will be consulting soon on a further increase in the proportion of our energy which comes from renewable sources.

    Percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources

    10.4% (17)

    18% by 2010. We will shortly be consulting on setting a more demanding target for 2020.



    Travel: distance

    Road traffic is forecast to rise by 27% by 2021. This increase is unsustainable. People should have much greater access to services and goods without needing to travel. Sustainable communities are ones which are planned with travel minimisation as a goal.

    Total vehicle kilometres

    43, 208 million vehicle km


    To stabilise road traffic to 2001 levels by 2021


    Travel: industry

    Encouraging more freight to be lifted by other routes will help to reduce traffic on our roads.

    Freight intensity (relationship between tonne kilometres moved and GDP)

    96.5 in 2000 (1995 = 100) (19)

    To transfer 21 million lorry miles per year off Scottish roads onto rail and water by March 2003


    Travel: mode

    Cars do not use resources as efficiently as other forms of transport. Encouraging people to travel to work without using their car is a good way to use resources better, as well as cutting pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and congestion on our roads.

    Percentage of journeys to work not using car

    33% (20)

    The Scottish Executive published "Scotland's Transport: Delivering Improvements" on 21 March 2002 setting out its vision for the future of transport in Scotland. We will publish further information on transport indicators and targets later in 2002.


    Travel: accessibility

    Accessibility to transport is a key issue for social justice, sustainable development and particularly rural Scotland. We need to ensure that more Scottish households are able to choose sustainable forms of transport.

    Percentage of Scottish households within 6 minutes walk of a bus service

    85% (21)

    Social Justice


    Home life

    Making the most of our greatest resource - our people - means giving every child the best possible start in life. Poverty of income and of opportunity in childhood are more likely to lead to poverty of experience as a young person and adult.

    Percentage of children living in workless households (Social Justice Milestone 1)

    15% (22)

    No target - commitment to reduce the proportion of children living in workless households


    Preparing for Life

    Education and training are central to enabling every child to reach their full potential. We want to see a Scotland in which every young person has the opportunities, skills and support to make a successful transition to working life and active citizenship.

    Percentage of 16-19 year olds who are not in education, training or employment

    (Social Justice Milestone 7)

    14% (23)

    Halving the proportion.

    Our long term target is to ensure that all 16-19 year olds are in education, training or employment.


    Fuel poverty

    Sustainable communities are those where people can afford to keep adequately warm at reasonable cost. We are committed to tackling the energy inefficiency which causes fuel poverty.

    Total number of people living in fuel poverty (24)


    None by 2016


    Social concern

    Part of sustainable development is having regard for others who do not have access to the same level of resources. We are committed to tackling homelessness.

    Number of homeless people entitled to permanent accommodation

    Of 34100 households assessed as homeless in 1999-

    2000, 20400 were entitled to permanent accommodation (25)

    All by 2012



    Reducing crime is an important element in creating sustainable communities.

    Total number of crimes

    423,172 crimes in 2000

    10% reduction in domestic housebreaking by April 2004. (26) Local targets for other crimes are being set by police forces.



    Sustainable communities are ones in which every person both contributes to, and benefits from, the community in which they live. A high level of volunteering is a useful indicator of sustainable communities.

    Percentage of people taking part in voluntary activities

    (Social Justice Milestone 28)

    27% (27)

    No target but commitment to increase the number of people from across all communities taking part in voluntary activities



    Sustainable development includes a healthy nation in which everyone can live in good health or has access to help if that is not the case.

    Life expectancy at birth

    Males: 72.6 years

    Females: 78.0 years (1997-99)

    No current target - An indicator of "expected years of healthy life" is currently being developed. This will take into account the quality of life as well as years of life.


    1. Where the index had a value of 100 in 1990. Sources: "Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990- 1999" published by NETCEN in February 2002 and "Gross Domestic Product for Scotland for the 3rd Quarter of 2001", SE.
    2. ILO definition. Spring quarter, 2001: Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics
    3. Source: The Registrar-General's 2000 mid year estimates of population, proportion of females aged 16-59 and males aged 16-64
    4. Controlled waste collected by or on behalf of local authorities
    5. Source: SEPA Waste Data Digest 2001, table 1: total controlled waste collected by or for local authorities (includes household, civic amenity sites, commercial and industrial waste) 2,896,773 tonnes in 1998.
    6. Targets for waste reduction based on National Waste Strategy Table 3 voluntary target to reduce municipal waste arising by 1% pa. Targets to 2010 = 2.6 million tonnes and 2020 = 2.3 million tonnes.
    7. SEPA Data Digest Table 18 gives current (1998) total household waste to landfill = 2.9 million tonnes; assume 60% is biodegradable.
    8. Based on assumption that 60% of municipal waste is biodegradable and 2010 Landfill Directive target is 75% of reported 1995 levels (total municipal waste reported as 2.8 million tonnes)
    9. 1999 figure; 1990 figure was 20.9 MtC. Source: "Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990-1999" published by NETCEN in February 2002
    10. There are 32 local authorities in Scotland. Only 3 Air Quality Management Areas have been declared covering a small part of 3 different local authorities in Scotland.
    11. The objectives and number of pollutants in the Air Quality Strategy is subject to review with the likelihood that there will be tightening and expansion respectively over time. This might affect the nature of future projections.
    12. Data for 1999, based on SEPA's new Digitised River Network as described in SEPA Annual Report 2000/2001. Of the 25,455 km of river in the new Digitised River Network, some 12,823 km are currently not monitored but most of these will be of fair quality or better.
    13. Based on the quinquennial appraisal of performance against the biodiversity action plans for habitats and species. Figures from the 2001 report to the Scottish Biodiversity Group.
    14. The "current level" figures are the proportion of habitats and species currently present in Scotland with assessments of "recovered", "signs of recovery" and "no change", rather than "in decline".
    15. Three out of 21 stocks in Scottish waters are within safe biological limits. The figure refers only to finfish and does not include shellfish.
    16. Data for 2000-2001. Source: www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/envonline. Excludes electricity from wind or landfill gas which power about 0.5% of electricity generated.
    17. Data for 1999-2000. Source: Key Scottish Environment Statistics, 2001
    18. Source: Table 6.1 of Scottish Transport Statistics no.20 (2001 edition)
    19. This is an index (1995 =100) which is calculated from the ratio of two indices: (a) road freight, measured in terms of tonne-kilometres moved on journeys originating in Scotland, as published in Tables 3.1 and 3.3 of Scottish Transport Statistics and (b) the "output" measure of Gross Domestic Product for Scotland as published in Table 1.2 of Scottish Economic Statistics.
    20. Source: Table 12.17 of "Scottish Transport Statistics No:20 (2001 edition)". Notes: for 2000; the Scottish Household Survey collects the usual main method of travel to work only for those whose current situation was described as self-employed, employed full-time or employed part-time, and who did not work at/from home; "car" includes "van".
    21. Source: Table 1 of "Transport Across Scotland…". Scottish Household Survey results for the two-year period 1999-00; the interviewer asks the householder how long he/she thinks it would take the interviewer to walk to the nearest bus stop or place where one can get a bus.
    22. Spring quarter: Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics
    23. Spring quarter: Labour Force Survey, Office of National Statistics
    24. Scottish House Condition Survey 1996. Notes: Two definitions of fuel poverty were used in the survey, (a) Households that spend 10% or more of income on all fuel use and (b) Households that spend 10% or more of income on heating.
    25. Source: Housing Trends in Scotland HSG/2002/1
    26. Success will be measured at April 2004 against the 3-year average (1997-2000) of 27,926 occurrences.
    27. Scottish Household Survey 2000


    Small changes in the way we perform everyday tasks can have huge impacts on Scotland's environment.

    Walking short distances rather than using the car, or being careful not to overfill the kettle are just two positive steps we can all take.

    This butterfly represents the beauty and fragility of Scotland's environment. The motif will be utilised extensively by the Scottish Executive and its partners in their efforts to persuade people they can do a little to change a lot.