Policy actions  2 of 3

Sustainability targets

We recognise that we have a responsibility to challenge ourselves to achieve the best results in terms of meeting sustainability criteria.

We have set ambitious targets for improving the environmental performance of our estate. 

To meet these targets we will need to become more efficient, more resourceful, and smarter about the way we carry out our day-to-day business.

Carbon emissions

In our Carbon Management Plan we set a single target, to reduce our carbon emissions by 30% by March 2020, compared with the 2009 to 2010 baseline.

We also set an interim target to reduce our carbon emissions by 15% by March 2015. We came close to meeting this, achieving a reduction of 14.2%.

Our carbon emissions come from electricity use, direct fuel use (gas and oil), waste, business travel and fleet activity, water use, and our marine operations. 

Our carbon emissions targets apply specifically to the areas where we have the best opportunities to make improvements that can be sustained, therefore we exclude our Marine Scotland research and surveillance activities from our measured carbon footprint.

Waste

Through educating our staff and working with our waste contractor, we aim to increase recycling levels across our estate by 80% by March 2020, compared with the 2009 to 2010 baseline.

Travel

In order for us to carry out our duties, our staff need to travel to meet stakeholders, partners and colleagues. Our government travel strategy encourages all Scottish Government staff to travel using the greenest and most cost-effective method available.

The travel strategy identifies four targets to be achieved by March 2020, in comparison with baselines set in 2013 to 2014 .

Our targets are:

  • 40% reduction in business-related travel emissions
  • 50% reduction in business flights to and from London
  • 50% increase in meetings using remote video or audio communication, preventing the need for travel
  • 20 percentage point increase in the proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles in the Pool Car and Government Car Service fleets

By March 2018, our progress against the four targets was:

  • 21% reduction in business-related travel emissions (including air, rail, hire cars, private cars and taxis)
  • 65% reduction in flights to and from London (covering Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Inverness airports, and the five major London airports)
  • estimated 200% increase in meetings held using remote communication technologies
  • 3.5 percentage point increase in the proportion of electric and hybrid fleet vehicles