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Mu Phàrlamaid na h-Alba

Sustainability

The Scottish Parliament is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and using fewer resources.

Read our environmental policy

Annual sustainable development report

The Parliament’s environmental impact from 2020 to 2021 is set out in the sustainable development report.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development means the development of societies which can survive and prosper in the long term.  The concept emerged when people began to realise that some types of economic activity were harming societies and the environment.

For a number of years the Scottish Parliament has been working towards using sustainable development as a lens for parliamentary  scrutiny.  Our aim is to support more holistic consideration of public policy, draft legislation and budget proposals, so as to increase policy coherence.

One of the ways we are doing this is through our sustainable development impact assessment (SDIA) tool.  This is a discursive tool, designed to help users engage with a subject and unpack it through group discussion, leading to a deeper and broader analysis.

As well as supporting more rigorous scrutiny, the tool can help with other types of decision-making processes, such as developing procurement contracts, or managing facilities.

Recommended version of our SDIA tool for those external to the Scottish Parliament. Version 2.2 of the tool gives equal weight to the various aspects of sustainable development

Recommended version of our SDIA tool for use in the Scottish Parliament  - on scrutiny and corporate/operational matters. Version 3 of the tool includes some added focus on topics central to the Scottish Parliament’s strategic plan – human rights, equalities, climate change and participation.

Biodiversity

How the Parliament’s local ecosystem is supported and protected is set out in the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) biodiversity statement.

Biodiversity is the range of living things and systems on Earth. It includes:

  • animal and plant species
  • genes
  • ecosystems
  • landscapes

The more plant, insect and animal species there are in one area, the greater the biodiversity and the healthier the ecosystem.

BSL: watch Biodiversity Statement 2021 

Reducing our carbon footprint

We plan to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 66% in 2026. We will achieve this by reducing our gas and electricity usage and cutting down on business travel. These emissions will also decrease through grid decarbonisation as the UK power grid moves to more sustainable energy sources.

Our targets are set out in the latest Carbon Management Plan.

Energy performance certificate

The Parliament updated its energy performance certificate on 16 August 2019. The Parliament’s EPC rating is C.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures a building's carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions are rated on a scale of A to G, with A being the least polluting.

Environmental management system

The Scottish Parliament has adopted an environmental policy. To ensure this is properly followed, it uses an internationally recognised environmental management system (EMS).

"ISO 14001:2015" sets the standards that organisations should follow to help them

  • reduce waste
  • improve resource efficiency
  • cut waste management costs

The Parliament building and the surrounding grounds received its ISO 14001:2015 certificate from the International Organisation for Standardisation in September 2017.


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