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SSN Publishes 2017/18 Analysis of Public Sector Emissions

6 March 2019

Analysis of corporate emissions reporting from public bodies shows continued decline in emissions

7 March 2019

The Sustainable Scotland Network published its annual analysis of Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reports (Section 3) for the period 2017/18 today.

Public sector reporting provides useful insight on how the Scottish public sector is responding to the challenge of climate change. Individual reports reflect activity and impact on areas such as carbon reduction, adaptation, governance and procurement.

SSN publishes an annual summary analysis of the reported data from 150 public bodies. The analysis focuses only on the data gathered for Section 3 on Corporate Emissions. Our analysis considers the breakdown of emissions across all sectors, emission reduction projects and renewable energy initiatives.

Data reported for 2017/18 shows that the overall decline in corporate emissions from the public sector continues – with a 4.6% reduction compared to last year’s reporting period and an 11.8% reduction compared to 2015/16.

Public bodies’ emissions in 2017/18 were reported to be 2,882,788 tCO2e, with 83,230 tCO2e saved from projects and 294 GWh of renewable energy (electricity and heat) generated over the period.

Improved reporting 2017/18

This is the third year of mandatory reporting, and SSN’s third such analysis report. Our analysis reveals that in addition to a year-on-year decrease in emissions since reporting became mandatory, public bodies’ reporting is improving, with higher quality information and data submitted, requiring fewer checks and corrections. It is clear that reporting is maturing and many organisations are widening the scope of what they report on. However, SSN’s analysis also shows that more work is needed to improve the setting and reporting of emission reduction targets, and to better track and report progress against targets.

SSN, supported by the Scottish Government, is continuing to work with its network members throughout the public sector to build capacity to take action on climate change and to use annual reporting to inform and scale up action to help meet Scotland’s emission reduction targets.

George Tarvit, SSN Director said:

“Climate Change reporting is becoming embedded in Scotland’s public sector and increasingly organisations are looking to how measuring, monitoring and sharing data can contribute positively to leadership and action on climate change."

George continued:

“The SSN is working closely with Network members and our wider stakeholders to ensure reporting matures, and is used to inform better decisions, share successful initiatives, and create the impact we need to address the challenges of climate change.

“We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the reporting this year and for their hard work in sharing this valuable data. We know that public bodies are supportive of the reporting process and we know that the SSN members are determined to ensure that reporting has a positive impact.”

In addition to the high-level analysis published today and available here, the SSN publishes all individual Public Bodies’ Climate Change Duties reports online.

Reports from each of the three mandatory reporting years, plus those produced in the initial trial year, can be found on the SSN website. For more information and to search the individual organisational reports visit the Reports section of our website here.

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