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The SSN is the national network for public sector sustainability and climate change professionals. It exists to support these professionals and their organisations, so that the public sector is better able to deliver on sustainable development and climate change.

Our vision

A committed and ambitious public sector that works together to deliver innovative, impactful, evidence-based action on sustainable development.

The SSN is Scotland’s network for public sector professionals engaged in sustainability and climate action. We showcase action taken to reduce emissions and we support deeper commitment, action and innovation on climate change and sustainability.

Our strategic partners are drawn from the sectors named in Public Bodies Climate Change Duties – including NHS Scotland, EAUC Scotland, COSLA and other major players.

SSN is supported by a secretariat delivered by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation and Sniffer with principal funding from the Scottish Government.

Our aims

The SSN supports members and public sector organisations to address their climate change duties and demonstrate leadership on climate change and sustainable development. We aim to progress the virtuous cycle of:

  • Raising awareness and understanding of climate change and sustainability across the Public Sector.
  • Building capacity to scale up and improve public sector action on climate change at officer, leadership and project levels.
  • Ensuring climate change reporting is effective and efficient and supports decision making across the Public Sector.

The Scottish Government published the Climate Change Plan in early 2018, setting out the policies and proposals that everyone in Scotland needs to work together on to help tackle climate change. The Climate Change Plan includes a monitoring framework, and the Scottish Government is establishing a Governance Board to oversee progress. There is more work to do to ensure that the right structures are in place to drive delivery, but we are clear that public bodies and the SSN have a crucial role to play here, as well as in the development of the Second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, which is due for publication in 2019. 

Structure of the SSN

SSN is funded through a Scottish Government contract that provides for a secretariat and an associated work programme. The secretariat is based at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) and is a partnership between ECCI and the charity Sniffer (also based at ECCI).


SSN membership is open to all public sector professionals with a focus on delivering positive action on climate change and sustainability.

The Network offers a programme of support, capacity building, communications and events focused on key themes and offering peer-to-peer support and wider networking opportunities. Our member updates, newsletter and website provide platform for communications and resources from and to the wider sustainability and low carbon community.

Find out more and become a member!

Steering Group

The Steering Group provides a senior-level, trusted space for public sector practitioners and decision-makers to engage directly with the Scottish Government, to work directly with peers from across the public sector, and to steer the development of SSN.

The Steering Group is made up of SSN members, strategic partners, the Scottish Government, and delivery partners ECCI, and Sniffer. The Steering Group can also have observers who bring specific skills and experience. Find out more about the Steering Group here.


The small secretariat team of six people is based in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. Find out more about the team and get in touch here.