Our Response to Climate Change

Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises that climate change is a symptom of unsustainable development, caused by the emission, and increasing concentration, of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere.  We recognise that people - through consumption of resources that lead to the emission of greenhouse gasses – are the main drivers of climate change, and people - through actions to reduce emissions and adapt to impact - are the main agents in taking positive action to address climate change.  We also acknowledge that we ourselves play an important role in raising awareness and understanding, taking and empowering action, and reporting progress on tackling climate change. 

We work collaboratively with others to influence and enable action on climate change. Our response to climate change includes working to influence policy at Government level while also developing carbon literacy and facilitating action on climate change at all levels throughout our Programmes. We are also committed to measuring, managing and reporting our own climate change commitments on mitigation, adaptation and sustainability.


Influencing policy 

Influencing policy

Keep Scotland Beautiful works to shape and influence legislation, policy and practice to promote and support action across the public, private and voluntary sectors on local, national and global sustainability issues. 

This includes engaging directly with the Scottish Government, politicians at all levels, local authorities, the wider public sector, the private sector and third sector on a wide range of relevant policy agendas in Scotland. 

We are also actively engaged in international policy discussions, particularly on sustainable development education,  and in Europe through the Clean Europe Network (CEN) and European Litter Prevention Association (ELPA). 

We also seek to make links between the work of Keep Scotland Beautiful at a national and local level to other relevant policy areas including health, economy and justice, and promoting collaboration between public, private and third sector organisations and local communities. 

Some of the key areas of policy that Keep Scotland Beautiful works with include climate change, sustainability, local environmental quality and sustainable development education.

Our Programmes

Our work on climate change can be seen in our three main areas of focus: 

Sustainability & Climate Change

Climate Change and Sustainable Development:

As part of our work on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Keep Scotland Beautiful enables action on sustainable development by working with organisations and communities to change behaviour to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact. 

Our work on Climate Change and Sustainable Development includes managing the Sustainable Scotland Network, a network for public sector climate change and sustainable development practitioners, and the management and development of the Climate Challenge Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.  This programme involves training, capacity building, and peer-to-peer learning and collaboration in order to enable and empower action on climate change and sustainable development by the public sector and communities. 


Sustainable Development Education

Sustainable Development Education

As part of our work on Sustainable Development Education, Keep Scotland Beautiful provides sustainable development education initiatives in the classroom and beyond, encouraging action and behavioural change which will leave an enduring legacy for Scotland. It’s part of our work to make Scotland clean, green and more sustainable. 

Our work on Sustainable Development Education includes: raising awareness of the global conversations going on and the opportunity for people of all ages, from their schools, places of work and home and family life to join in; growing their understanding of the issues, causes and effects, people and events so that they know what the conversations are about; improving their critical, creative and compassionate communication skills so they have the capacity to join in a truly diverse, global, reciprocal, society-led conversation; working with others to co-operate, take decisions and take collaborative action.


Local Environmental Quality

Local Environmental Quality

As part of our work on Local Environmental Quality, Keep Scotland Beautiful provides advice, support and training to others to achieve clean and safe local environments and to change behaviour. Some of the ways in which our work on Local Environmental Quality is contributing to the organisations work on climate change includes encouraging sustainable practice in management or green spaces through our awards and recognition schemes, supporting community engagement with local food, biodiversity, and litter and waste.

Our climate change commitments 

All staff photo

Keep Scotland Beautiful  is committed to demonstrating leadership and action on climate change. This includes in areas where the charity has direct control and where it has influence and an enabling role. We are working towards: 

  • Measurement, reporting and verification of a charity-wide carbon footprint and carbon management plan, based on recognised good practice and in line with public sector standards. This will include the annual publication of a climate change report, in line with public sector climate change reporting standards and international GHG Protocol standards.
  • Staff engagement, management and support to adopt low carbon behaviours and to respond well to the impacts of a changing climate.
  • Putting climate change on the charity risk register, and undertaking reviews and actions to increase the resilience of the charity to climate impacts.
  • Influencing positive change and action through the charity’s programmes, activities, communications, collaborations and procurement practices.

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