Enterprise organisations compliance with climate change and sustainable tourism legislation: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

Highlands and Islands Enterprise did not calculate the carbon footprint of the NC500 or the Sutherland Space Hub prior to them being sold to the private sector.

Please advise under FOI what action the Scottish Government takes to ensure that the enterprise organisations act in a manner which is compatible with the legislation on climate change and sustainable tourism.


As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'.Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

The Climate Change Act (Scotland) 2009 sets out climate change duties and reporting requirements for all major players in the public sector, including the enterprise agencies.

We introduced required sustainability reporting in 2015, by an Order under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. This aligns with section 44 of the Climate Change Act, which places duties on all public bodies to carry out their activities and operations in ways that help contribute to achieving our emissions targets, and to act sustainably.

You can view the enterprise agencies' Climate Change Duties reports on the Sustainable Scotland Network website.

There is no legislation in relation to sustainable tourism, however Scottish Government’s work focuses on delivery of Scotland Outlook 2030 (SO2030), which places sustainability at its core. SO2030, is the tourism contribution to the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET). The first commitment in the SO2030 national tourism strategy, is that “Scotland’s tourism sector will make a full contribution to our national ambition to become a net-zero society by 2045".

All enterprise agencies are active members of the Tourism & Hospitality Industry Leadership Group, supporting the delivery of SO2030's ambitions and sharing their knowledge and expertise.

The Tourism and Hospitality Industry Leadership Group (ILG) has been established to support, grow and realise the potential of Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sectors. The group focuses on strategic issues such as acceleration to Net Zero in the sector. It combines leadership, collaboration and partnership and will drive industry, Scottish Ministers and agencies on how to achieve the long term vision and outcomes outlined in SO2030.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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