Building a Sustainable Scotland: Sustainable Development and the Spending Review 2002
To be an organisation that supports Ministers effectively, is focused on the efficient delivery of better public services, and is perceived by its stakeholders to be modern and well run
Greening the Operations of the Scottish Executive
The Scottish Executive's revised Greening Government policy was published in September 2001. The policy sets out what we can and should do to promote sustainable development and sets targets for environmental improvements across the Scottish Executive Estate. The overall aim is to improve our environmental performance and reduce adverse environmental impacts of our activities and operations. Our actions will be consistent with the W-E-T priorities. We have already delivered against stretching targets. The objective for the period ahead will be to maintain this level of performance.
The Scottish Executive sets and reviews corporate environmental performance targets to measure the environmental impacts of its operations and reports on these targets annually. The Executive has continued to make good progress on greening its operations in 2001-2002. The most recent report on the Scottish Executive's environmental performance - for 2000-2001 - was published in December 2001. Key achievements secured to date are:
Maintaining a successful Environmental Management System and retaining ISO 14001 certification at Victoria Quay since its award in April 1998.
In April 2000 we adopted a target of reducing energy usage by 5% to 233kWh/m2 by 2004. During 2001-2002 the amount of energy consumption for the whole of the Executive Estate amounted to 205kWh/m2. This progress has been made through a rolling programme of building maintenance and the introduction of effective energy efficient measures.
Our electricity contract with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) not only provides Climate Change Levy exempt energy to the Executive but also to 30 Scottish public sector organisations covering 619 sites by ensuring that for every kWh of electricity purchased, a kWh of electricity is generated from a renewable source.
The amount of waste recycled in 2001-2002 was 44% compared to the 1999-2000 figure of 25% and 40% in 2000-2001. Our target was to reduce office waste being taken to landfill by increasing the amount of waste being recovered to 50%. Our main method of meeting this target is recycling although other methods, such as recovery and re-use of furniture and IT equipment, although much harder to measure, have played an important part. Given the rate of waste being recycled it is highly likely that the recovery target has not only been reached but also exceeded.
An ongoing programme of measures is in place to reduce our water consumption, to help meet our target of 10m3 per person per year by March 2004 (compared with 11.69m3 in 1999-2000). 2001-2002 saw a decrease in our average water consumption per person per year to 10.17m3 from the 2000-2001 figure of 12.42m3.
70% of the Executive Core Vehicle Fleet, including the Government Car Service, are now alternative fuel vehicles - 111 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and 2 electric powered - compared to 54% in 2000-2001.
Over the next year we will focus on implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) across the Executive Estate and thereafter, each building will decide when to seek ISO 14001 accreditation, within a time frame of around two years.
Other key challenges will be to meet our revised Greening Government targets in key areas like energy consumption, waste and transport. We plan to build on our Communication Strategy by setting up an Environmental Forum in order to share best practice. There are also plans to introduce electronic records and document management systems. A Travel Plan covering the four main Edinburgh buildings is planned and will be extended to the two Glasgow buildings. We are also looking at alternative working patterns that could have environmental benefits for the Executive as well as creating a better work-life balance for staff.
The principal aim of the Executive's relocation policy is to ensure that government in Scotland is efficient and decentralised as part of a vision of more accessible, open and responsive government. In pursuing objectives of efficiency and effectiveness in choosing the location of public bodies the policy has regard both to the environmental impact and the Social Justice aims of Meeting the Needs... In considering the potential benefits of different locations, therefore, information about the social and economic conditions is sought along with information on factors such as the availability of public transport. In seeking information from LECs and local authorities we have also made clear our interest in the environmental performance of buildings both where existing buildings are considered or new build planned.
The Executive's Learning Strategy prioritises resource allocation on learning and developing opportunities which develop core business skills. These opportunities are available to all staff through the corporate training programme and include better policy making and written communication skills. These support Meeting the Needs... by addressing the importance of mainstreaming sustainable development within the policy process across all portfolios. Particular examples of this are the use of case study material in the Policy Environment in Scotland course, which specifically illustrates the cross-cutting nature of sustainable development, as well as using sustainable development as an example in testing out the policy proofing exercise in the Minutes to Ministers course. Working practices which promote the sustainability of our human resources in terms of the health, wellbeing and good management of staff are also promoted through our emphasis on developing good people management skills and specifically through such courses as Diversity Awareness, Managing Pressure and the Senior Manager's Role in Managing Stress which are also delivered through the Corporate Learning Programme.
The Executive's diversity strategy Positive About You seeks to make the best use of both Scotland's and the Executive's talents to provide a better service to Scotland and its people. The Strategy sets challenging targets for the recruitment and progression of under-represented groups and we are making progress towards meeting these targets.
To raise awareness of diversity issues, we are rolling out our programme of diversity awareness training and now include a diversity module in the Executive's induction programme. Our staff networks continue to provide support and information for individuals and a sounding board for personnel policy development. We are supporting work life balance through the extension of alternative working patterns, to be piloted in the autumn, the launch of a new job share bank and a review of the Executive's current childcare provision. We are also seeking to bring on, and bring in talent. Within the constraints of the budget we continue to recruit staff at all levels into the Executive including into the Senior Civil Service. This summer has seen the inaugural summer diversity placement scheme which gave twenty-five students from ethnic minority backgrounds paid training placements; modern methods including the use of assessment centres in recruitment and promotion have created a more level playing field for candidates. The Scottish Executive is an Investor in People and has been awarded the Employment Services Disability Symbol.
The shape of the organisation is being changed to reflect both the increasing use of information technology and in response to the volume and nature of the work generated by Devolution - particularly parliamentary business and the focus on policy development. Administrative grades (Band A) have fallen from 40% of the total in April 1999 to 34% in April 2002 with corresponding increases in the proportion of junior (Band B) and middle management (Band C) grades. This trend will continue as we seek to streamline our business processes to release resources within the budget for development work.