Zero Emission Taskforce recommendation report: Scottish Government response

Sets out our response to the Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce report.

Chapter 8 Understanding the wider impacts

Recommendation 8:

Social housing providers should continue to evaluate their wider impacts and ongoing contribution to tackling the climate emergency, through systematic monitoring and measurement.

Our response:

The Scottish Government would welcome the sector adopting a strategic approach to the climate emergency and encourage them to share information and learning with other housing associations and housing providers.

Action 33.

Social landlords, with the support of sector representative bodies, may wish to develop broader sustainability or ESG strategies to assess the impact of their organisation as a whole and ongoing action required to tackle the climate emergency.

Scottish Government response

The Scottish Government would welcome social landlords in developing a strategic and whole organisation approach to their response to the climate emergency.

Action 34.

A monitoring and evaluation framework should be developed for future energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation programmes to ensure consistent methodologies and comparable data. This should have an outcomes-based approach based on actual performance data and feedback from the occupiers. Evaluation should recognise the impact of the rebound effect (e.g. where potential energy savings are absorbed through comfort increases) and the other positive outcomes for tenants (e.g. improved health and wellbeing, increased satisfaction) as well as unintended negative outcomes. Tenants should be part of the design process in terms of evaluation. This activity should be funded by the Scottish Government, and reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Housing Net Zero Technical Steering Group

Scottish Government response

The Scottish Government is in agreement that there should be a consistent measuring and evaluation of energy and efficiency and heat decarbonisation to ensure consistent methodologies and comparable data. The proposed EESSH2 review will set out to clarify consistent measures and standards for heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency programmes.

Action 35.

In line with recommendations by the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland and Scotland’s Climate Assembly, the Scottish Government should explore a whole life cycle approach to assessing costs and environmental impacts, which includes not only direct (Scope 1) greenhouse gas emissions but also indirect (Scope 2 and 3) emissions’. This should build on Zero Waste Scotland’s previous research (Embodied carbon: status quo and suggested roadmap) and involve input from the proposed Housing Net Zero Technical Steering Group as new technologies and retrofit solutions emerge.

Scottish Government response

Scotland’s Climate Assembly recommended that we take into account the whole life carbon costs and environmental impact of new and existing homes. In our response to the recommendations of the Assembly, we noted that, whilst the issue of whole life carbon costs is not currently addressed by building regulations in Scotland or, indeed, anywhere in the UK, we recognise the benefit of any action which raises awareness of the broader environmental impact of development and influences development decisions. We have committed to investigate opportunities for whole life emissions reporting, through building regulations or by other means, and propose to provide an update on this before the end of 2022.



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