The Scottish Government Public Sector Sustainability Report 2011-12

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Public Sector Sustainability Report

Introduction

In January 2012, the Scottish Government issued guidance on Sustainability Reporting to all public sector bodies in Scotland. The purpose of the reporting is to improve performance management in relation to sustainability, through greater accountability and transparency. This is the Scottish Government’s first Sustainability Report in this format.

The Scottish Government has a diverse estate covering the length and breadth of Scotland. We have an obligation to continually reduce the impact we have on our environment. Our first Carbon Management Plan was published in 2009 and is currently being reviewed to better reflect our changing size and shape.

In July 2012 we were awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of responsible carbon management over the last three years and our commitment to further improvement.

In accordance with the guidance, this report highlights our high level performance for financial years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 in a number of key areas: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy use, waste management, water consumption, action on biodiversity and sustainable procurement.

We currently have targets for the CO2 emissions associated with our buildings and business travel, the waste that we produce and the water that we consume. At present our targets are:

  • Reduce CO2 emissions caused by energy use in our buildings by 30% from
    1999-00 levels, by March 2020.
  • Reduce total waste arisings by 25% by March 2020, relative to 2006-07 levels.
  • Reduce carbon emissions from travel necessary for the Scottish Government’s administrative operations by 40% by March 2020, against 2005-06 levels.
  • Reduce the average water consumption in our key buildings to 5.5m3 per person per year, by March 2020.

We are currently reviewing our targets to take account of the changes in size and complexity of our estate. Our intention is to have revised targets in place for inclusion in our report on our performance in 2012-13.

Performance Overview for 2011-12

Greenhouse Gas Emissions 39,171 tCO2e
Energy consumption of buildings 45 million kWh
Energy consumption of marine operations (air and sea) 62 million kWh
Total energy expenditure (excluding CRC) £3,071,327
CRC expenditure £196,143
Total waste arisings 1,545 tonnes
Recycle/reuse rate (excluding special waste) 72%
Landfill avoidance rate 79%
Total waste arisings expenditure £293,196
Total water consumption 117800 m3
Total water expenditure £806,507

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

GHG emissions table

GHG emissions from major Scottish Government sources per year

GHG emissions from major Scottish Government sources per year

Targets and Commentary

Boundary: 63 sites (per CRC obligations to 2011-12) where the SG is liable for energy directly to utility providers.

Chart: The first column of each pair above illustrates emissions by their source; the second column illustrates the proportion of emissions by GHG scope. Scope 1 covers direct emissions from sources that we own or control, Scope 2 covers indirect emissions associated with the generation of electricity we purchase, and Scope 3 covers emissions that are a consequence of our activities but from sources that we do not own or control. 'Other fuels for buildings' essentially covers gas-oil used for heating and liquid fuel used in fire services training.

Performance: There is an overall downward trend with gas showing modest reductions. Marine Scotland operations account for the majority of Scope 1 emissions. This reflects the changed shape and diversity of the SG estate and the challenges it faces in reducing emissions.

Notes: All emissions data are taken from the 2011 Guidelines to Defra/DECC's GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting.

Direct Business Impacts

Our Carbon Management Plan has a target to reduce our total Greenhouse Gas emissions by 20% by 2014. The Carbon Management Plan and targets are currently under review to better reflect the changing size and shape of our estate. The most significant change to occur since the original plan was drafted is that Marine Scotland premises and activities became part of our core estate at the beginning of the 2009-10 financial year.

Indirect Business Impacts

We are continuously working with our partners to improve the overall environmental performance of our estate. As the prominent public sector organisation in Scotland we are acutely aware of our responsibility to reduce our emissions and demonstrate good practice.

ENERGY USE

energy use table

Scottish Government energy use per year

Scottish Government energy use per year

Targets and Commentary

Boundary: 63 sites (per CRC obligations to 2011-12) where the SG is liable for energy directly to utility providers.

Chart: For each type of energy use, the columns illustrate associated emissions by their source. Marine operations include gas-oil used in science and enforcement vessels, and aviation fuel used for surveillance aircraft.

Expenditure on other fuels includes gas-oil used in buildings and fuel used for marine operations.

Performance: Good control of heating during late 2010-early 2011 period. Marine operations reduced over the period of this report due to rationalisation of vessels and reduced aerial activities in Scotland. An added incentive to reduce emissions is the payments for which the Scottish Government is liable under the CRC scheme, currently set at £12 per tonne of CO2 emitted.

Direct Business Impacts

We are working with our partner, MITIE Technical Facilities Management, on energy efficiency measures to improve the environmental performance of our estate. This is an important part of our Facilities Management strategy. Energy efficiency projects such as voltage optimisation for major buildings and replacing Building Management Systems are contributing towards realising our targets. In addition the installation of automatic meter readers (AMR) has allowed improved monitoring of energy use.

Indirect Business Impacts

Encouraging environmentally smart behaviour amongst our staff not only contributes to our energy efficiency as a business but also to the overall performance of Scotland as a whole as these behaviours are transferrable to the domestic setting.

WASTE

Waste Disposal table

Scottish Government waste disposal per year

Scottish Government waste disposal per year

Targets and Commentary

Boundary: 63 sites (per CRC obligations to 2011-12) where the SG is liable for energy directly to utility providers. Chosen to ensure consistency between reporting scenarios.

Chart: For each waste disposal route, the columns illustrate associated indirect emissions by their source.

Performance: In 2009-10 waste disposal information was only available for 16 buildings and the amount of waste attributed to remaining buildings where waste data were not recorded was estimated using the number of full-time equivalent staff (FTE) multiplied by the total waste disposed per FTE in known buildings. In 2010-11, April and May were, for all but our six largest buildings, estimated based on the first ten months of a new waste contract that commenced in June 2010.

A significant proportion of our waste reported under general waste (i.e., considered sent to landfill) in 2010-11 was actually separated offsite and sent for recycling, but corrected management information was not available retrospectively. Currently the SG averages approximately 72% direct recycling on site through bin separation. A further 20% recycling is achieved through landfill avoidance practices within Material Recycling Facilities used by the contractors. The increase in total waste arisings is due mainly to the restructuring of our organisation and associated staff moves that have encouraged the disposal of stored or surplus items.

Direct Business Impacts

Disposal of waste to landfill has the highest process emissions compared with those associated with open or closed loop recycling for our major waste streams. The higher the recorded landfill figures, the more disproportionate effect there would be on our total emissions. We work closely with Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) who have undertaken site surveys and made recommendations on how we can further improve our waste disposal.

Indirect Business Impacts

We work closely with our partners on waste disposal and our MITIE cleaning and waste contract currently sets a target of 80% of recycling of the waste streams covered. There is also an expectation of unspecified year on year increases, through innovation, to stay abreast of all legislative changes and to sustain and hopefully increase the recycling rate. Our catering contractor, Sodexo, is working with us on a range of measures to reduce waste. The Scottish Government has recently signed up to the Hospitality and Food Service Voluntary Agreement and has committed to being a Client Supporter and leader for Scottish businesses in this area. The voluntary commitment has three main areas of focus: reducing food waste; optimising packaging and increasing recycling rates.

BUSINESS TRAVEL

business travel table

Emissions from Scottish Government business travel per year

Emissions from Scottish Government business travel per year

Targets and Commentary

Boundary: All Directorates of the core Scottish Government.

Chart: Illustrates associated indirect emissions by their source. 'Road fleet' comprises vehicles owned by the Scottish Government. 'Other business travel' includes private cars, hire cars, taxis, buses and motorbikes; emissions from private cars represent approximately three-quarters of this section. Travel recorded via paid Travel & Subsistence (T&S) claims is incorporated in each travel mode.

Performance: There is little evidence of any modal shift from air to rail, but there is a marked and continuing reduction in the emissions from air travel. T&S claims are not live data, i.e., they are submitted after the travel has taken place and therefore do not fully reflect shifts in modal activity throughout the year. The SG is committed to a 40% reduction in business travel emissions, covering all modes, against 2005-06 levels by 2020.

Direct Business Impacts

There has been a steady reduction in business travel, particularly in air travel. The SG provides and actively encourages alternative means of participating at meetings by, for example, video conferencing. While the priority lies with reducing the overall emissions relative to our activities we are committed to taking action to help address the impacts of those emissions we cannot avoid. To that end we introduced a carbon levy on specific modes of travel on 1 June 2006 which supports an international knowledge transfer project on climate change emissions reduction.

Indirect Business Impacts

By encouraging greater use of IT options and video conference facilities as alternatives to attending meetings in person the SG is leading by example.

WATER USE

Water Use table

Scottish Government water supplied and disposed per year

Scottish Government water supplied and disposed per year

Targets and Commentary

Boundary: 63 sites (per CRC obligations to 2011-12). Chosen to ensure consistency between reporting scenarios. Excludes unmetered sites that are billed according to rateable value, and sites where the Scottish Government's water use is included in an overall accommodation charge.

Chart: Illustrates associated indirect emissions from water supply and disposal; trend line illustrates the volume of water supplied.

Performance: Water supply reflects the diverse nature of our estate with Marine Scotland use a factor in the increases in 2010-11 and 2011-12. A new research building has been commissioned at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen.

Direct Business Impacts

The SG is currently working to identify improvements to its estate that will have a positive impact on water usage. For example, installation of electronic sensor taps and investigation of installation of grey water systems.

Indirect Business Impacts

By continually looking to improve the environmental performance of its estate the SG is leading by example. It is aware of the impact the environmental performance of its estate has on the wider performance of Scotland as a whole.

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION

Commentary

Planning for the risks and opportunities presented by the changing climate is essential for business continuity and efficiency. The Scottish Government is committed to strengthening its business continuity management in line with the approach outlined in Adaptation Scotland's Climate Change Adaptation Workbook. The Workbook is available from:

http://www.adaptationscotland.org.uk/3/105/0/Adapting-to-Climate-Change--Workbook-for-Public-Sector-Organisations.aspx

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Commentary

The majority of procedures contained within the Environmental Management System operated at our Victoria Quay building are now covered by the wider set of contractual obligations of our project and planned maintenance contract. We are also investigating the improved efficiency of the online edition of the EMS software, Greencode.

We are participating in the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Revisited (CMR) programme, which operates in parallel with our in-house Energy Efficiency Programme (EEP). Both initiatives are built around sets of projects. These projects are designed specifically to reduce our GHG emissions through better technology, better management and better behaviour, and to stabilise or reduce our utility costs. CMR will help us prioritise projects and forecast the potential savings, while the EEP is the system that will document and deliver those projects. Our achievement in 2012 of the Carbon Trust Standard for our built estate is a powerful incentive to further the environment in which emissions reductions are made possible.

BIODIVERSITY

Targets and Commentary

Biodiversity is essential for sustaining the natural living systems and ecosystems that provide us with food, fuel, health, wealth, and other vital services. The Scottish Government believes that responsible organisations must take action to protect biodiversity in their operations wherever possible. We follow biodiversity sensitive practice in the maintenance of our green areas which include a biodiversity pond and wildflower meadow area at our building at Victoria Quay in Edinburgh and a hay meadow and pond at the Ellis Building in Aberdeen. Both these and other green areas across our estate support local biodiversity.

Direct Business Impacts

These areas contribute to the wellbeing of staff and visitors through their use and enjoyment of these areas. The pond and meadow at Victoria Quay is provided with an interpretation board to help raise awareness of native species.

Indirect Business Impacts

It is too early to gauge the impact on local biodiversity, particularly at our Aberdeen site. However, by including and maintaining such areas around our sites we are encouraging local biodiversity and that can only be positive. The pond and meadow at Victoria Quay was constructed in partnership with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers over a series of action days that were also attended by many Scottish Government staff.

SUSTAINABLE PROCUREMENT

Targets and Commentary

The actions of the public sector have a huge impact on society, the economy and the environment and in no area is this more obvious than how we spend public funds. Procurement is a key means of delivering the Scottish Government's priorities and underpins the achievement of the social, economic and environmental benefits that sustainable economic growth demands.

Sustainability is at the heart of Scotland’s public procurement reform programme. The Sustainable Procurement Bill, currently out to consultation signals the important role that sustainable public procurement can play in supporting Scotland's economic recovery. This Bill calls for a culture change in how public bodies procure goods and services, to deliver social, environmental and community benefits. The consultation paper on the Bill proposes measures to support innovation, to create jobs, and to ensure that procurement processes and systems are transparent, streamlined,and business-friendly.

Direct Business Impacts

Legislation permits inclusion of environmental factors in public procurement and we promote minimum environmental standards and performance characteristics of goods and services through a variety of existing policies and tools, such as:

  • Scottish Sustainable Procurement Action Plan: this is designed to assist us build sustainable procurement into our corporate culture, take proper account of sustainability in procurement activities, and to be able to demonstrate how this is being achieved.
  • Flexible Framework: a useful and easy means of self assessing an organisation's performance on sustainable procurement, helping them to prioritise the areas for improvement.
  • Training in the Marrakech Approach: this is a risk and opportunity based methodology that enables organisations to identify priority categories of spend and secure sustainable outcomes through the procurement process for these categories. Along with other public bodies, we have piloted and rolled out this training.
  • Procurement Capability Assessment: organisations that participate in the PCA Programme are assessed on sustainable procurement using a number of questions such as:
    • Can the organisation demonstrate clear leadership and commitment from Senior Management towards sustainable procurement?
    • Do contracts demonstrate strong management of sustainability responsibility in the supply chain? Has the exposure to risk been analysed?
    • To what extent does the organisation take account of its sustainability in its procurement activity? For example, evidence of clear sustainable targets and community benefit deliverables.
    • To what extent does the organisation monitor its progress towards demonstrating sustainable procurement practices and processes?
  • Procurement Journey: this refers to sustainable procurement including guidance and tools, such as the sustainability test and whole life costing methodology.
  • Indirect Business Impacts
  • Our Procurement and Commercial Directorate is working in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland to embed the internationally respected Marrakech Approach to Sustainable Public Procurement into all of our procurement systems and processes. This will provide the tools and support to allow buyers to embed sustainability at every opportunity.