The quality of our environment is important to anyone who lives, visits, works or learns in Scotland. Our charity works the length and breadth of the country to encourage everyone to make Scotland clean, green and sustainable.

Our Annual Review is a celebration of our work over the year to protect, conserve and enhance Scotland’s environment. With our presence being felt in every town, city and village across Scotland, it is likely you or someone that you know will have been reached by or involved in our work; whether this is in your local community, supporting national and local government, in your local school or within the public and private sectors.

We have continued to encourage better understanding of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; linking simple everyday actions to improve our environment with global challenges. You will see great examples of these as you read through the review.

With partnerships, collaboration and team effort at the heart of our work, we extend our gratitude to our diverse range of supporters, funders, donors and partners, as well as the talented team of people working and volunteering with us.

Thank you to everyone who has joined us in our efforts to keep Scotland beautiful.

Dr Lindsay
Montgomery CBE

Chief Executive

During 2017 / 2018, we worked hard to engage with a wide range of people and communities across Scotland to make a positive change in behaviour and improve quality of life.
Beautiful Scotland

“Change can only ever happen on a personal and a community level – governmental initiatives are all very well in making huge pronouncements about how we should be living but Keep Scotland Beautiful encourages individuals to make positive changes in their immediate environment. By ensuring that groups are 'competing' to achieve standards based on these bigger ideals, Keep Scotland Beautiful is bringing communities together around a singular vision of a better world for everyone.”

June Tainsh, Beautiful Scotland judge.
Engaging effectively
More than 2,500 people visited our Sip Don’t Tip exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. The two-day exhibition consisted of a series of novel and thought-provoking displays, exploring the issues of litter and waste linked to single use drinks containers. The exhibition also showcased the artwork of five schools who were winners of our national competition.
Educating together
Our Energy, Enterprise and the Environment professional learning programme reached 614 teachers from 14 local authorities. This enabled them to improve their confidence in using energy and sustainability as a context for learning across the curriculum. More than 8,240 young learners benefitted from this increased knowledge and awareness.
Strengthening capacity
We ran 25 events to help over 300 individuals from community-led organisations as part of our Capacity Building Programme for community-led organisations taking action on climate change. Alongside this, we ran 14 accredited carbon literacy training courses, enabling 154 people to be more confident communicating about climate change.
Energy, Enterprise and the Environment

“The E³ experience has made a big impact on my work as a teacher. It has enhanced my knowledge of energy and the environment to enable me to create new schemes of work including 'energy and earth's resources' for Primary 7, 'ecology' for S1 biology and a climate justice activity for S3 chemistry.”

Joanne Fraser, Beaconhurst School.
133 public sector and community organisations registered activity with us as part of Climate Week.
Over 3,000 people attended conferences or events we organised to promote environmental sustainability. 100% of respondents to our annual survey rated these events as good or very good.
47 schools were awarded their first Eco-Schools Scotland Green Flag, recognising the engagement of over 9,900 pupils and 891 teachers in sustainable development education.
Campaigning effectively
Our anti-roadside litter campaign was present in over 50 locations across Scotland with the message, Give your litter a lift. Take it home. These locations included 26 ports, 8 National Trust for Scotland sites, 12 laybys in Dumfries and Galloway and retail parks in the Borders and Glasgow. We also distributed 2,000 campaign branded portable cigarette mini bins to reduce cigarette litter and gave out over 2,000 branded car litter bags through our partnership with Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
Enabling and empowering
During 2017 / 2018, we worked with 431 teachers and over 4,000 students from 18 different local authority areas on the Litter Less campaign funded by Wrigley Company Foundation. The purpose of the campaign was for schools to work in partnership with their local communities to reduce litter, encourage long-term behaviour change and improve the quality of their local environment.
Celebrating success
In November 2017, we held the first ever Climate Challenge Fund Awards for community groups taking action on climate change. Five winning projects were awarded from over 100 groups. This was followed by the annual Climate Challenge Fund Gathering, where more than 140 people from 93 different Climate Challenge Fund projects got together to celebrate and strengthen local efforts to combat climate change.
We distributed over £9.5 million of Climate Challenge Fund grants to communities across Scotland.
Jasmine Lawrie, winner of our Young Reporters Scotland programme, attended a Young Reporters for the Environment event in Portugal.
Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood volunteers gave more than 260,000 hours of their time to improve their local environment.
Community action on climate change

“Keep Scotland Beautiful is the only charity that helps involve community-led projects in tackling climate change issues. Bringing communities together to increase awareness and change behaviour has made a significant contribution to climate change issues.”

Dr Narayan Shrestha, Project Manager of a Climate Challenge Fund project.
During 2017 / 2018, we made great progress towards our ambition of enhancing Scotland’s environment to create clean, safe, healthy and sustainable places.
Making communities great

“Working closely with Keep Scotland Beautiful has been vital in helping us improve environmental standards in our neighbourhoods. Our customers know how important clean, green spaces and living environments are and have really engaged with the training and expertise provided by Keep Scotland Beautiful. Wheatley’s partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful has helped us put our customers at the heart of making our communities great.”

Alex Adrain, Managing Director of Wheatley 360.
Educating and engaging
More than 1,000 people attended one of our training events to improve understanding about local environmental quality, climate change and sustainable development. Topics included carbon literacy, fixed penalty notices, flytipping, waste enforcement, and food and the environment.
Facilitating networking
We brought together 147 delegates from more than 60 public, private and third sector organisations at the Sustainable Scotland Network conference. The conference examined the public sector collaboration and leadership required to deliver transformational change.
Enabling and empowering
Over 1,300 Clean Up events took place over the year, involving more than 35,000 people. Of these, more than 23,000 were young people. Through combined efforts of these volunteers, over 350 tonnes of litter was removed from our country. To celebrate the success and hard work of those who take part in the campaign, we awarded 12 people with Clean Up Scotland hero status.
Sustainable Scotland Network

“The SSN is an excellent resource with which to find out about new policy developments and other issues concerning sustainability. Moreover, its staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful and it provides a forum with which to network with other organisations and share best practice.”

Local authority lead Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN) member.
We received over 1,200 entries from primary school children to our Clean Up Scotland sticker competition.
We recognised a record breaking 73 parks with a Green Flag Award.
15 Adopt-A-Station groups in 13 local authority areas received a share of £20,000 in grants to encourage biodiversity through the ScotRail fund we administered.
Encouraging placemaking
In April 2017, we launched our Making Communities Great partnership with The Wheatley Group. During the year, we improved the quality of tenants lives by carrying out detailed environmental assessments of The Wheatley Group’s housing and flats, providing improvement suggestions where needed and training both staff and tenants to be able to carry out these assessments themselves.
New alliances
During 2017 / 2018, we worked with Lloyds Banking Group, Active Stirling, Smith Anderson and the Scottish Ambulance Service, awarding all with our National Award for Environmental Excellence®.
We audited over 4,400 sites across Scotland to assess the quality of the local environment, noting important indicators including litter and dog fouling.
We recognised 59 beaches in ten local authority areas with our Beach Award.
We supported Climate Challenge Fund groups to carry out 2,920 home energy checks.
Clean Up Scotland

“Greggs is delighted to support the Clean Up Scotland Spring Clean again this year. This is a fantastic campaign that not only makes a difference to our local communities but also encourages them to work together.”

Roger Whiteside, Chief Executive, Greggs.


Q1 - 2017

We joined forces with Scotland's largest social housing provider, The Wheatley Group, to help make their neighbourhoods clean and green.‎


Q1 - 2017

With funding from Wrigley, we worked on a social experiment in Paisley to tackle litter whilst raising money for good causes.‎


Q1 - 2017

The 17 One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden winning schools showcased their gardens at Gardening Scotland.‎


Q2 - 2017

To raise awareness of cigarette litter, and in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, we distributed cigarette mini bins at visitor centres across the country.‎


Q2 - 2017

Judging took place for Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood – our community environmental improvement campaigns.‎


Q2 - 2017

We refreshed our Eco-Schools programme, by launching a new online application system which incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals.‎


Q3 - 2017

Our Local Environmental Quality in Decline update report was published, which showed that there had yet again been an overall deterioration in local environmental quality indicators. ‎


Q3 - 2017

We began work with Sporta Scotland to provide climate change reporting support to seven sports and leisure trusts.‎


Q3 - 2017

We accredited CalMac Ferries Limited and Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited with 26 environmental awards for their commitment to improving environmental quality.‎


Q4 - 2018

We published analysis on the public sector climate change reports which showed an 8% overall reduction in reported carbon emissions.‎


Q4 - 2018

As part of our anti-roadside litter campaign, we carried out a series of interventions in Dumfries and Galloway to reduce litter and flytipping.‎


Q4 - 2018

The 1,000th Climate Challenge Fund grant was awarded to Glasgow-based Bike for Good. Bike for Good work with young people, teachers and parents to encourage cycling and reduce car use.‎

Over the past year, we continued to develop and build on our work to shape and influence legislation, policy and practice. We promoted and supported action across the public, private and voluntary sectors on local, national and global sustainability issues.
Carbon Literacy

“Keep Scotland Beautiful is recognised as one of the organisations key to achieving the Scottish Government’s ambitious climate change targets.”

Eric Bennett, Project Manager of a Climate Challenge Fund project.
Demonstrating expertise
We submitted responses to 16 consultations including the draft Energy Strategy, the Climate Change Bill, the Fuel Poverty Strategy and the Empowering Schools: A consultation on the provisions of the Education (Scotland) Bill.
Strategic engagement
We gave evidence to the Environment Audit Committee commenting on the announcement calling for the UK Government to introduce a 25p levy on single use cups, and for all cups to be recycled by 2023.
Developing policy
We have developed position statements on four key areas which are relevant to our work: sustainable development, climate change, local environmental quality and fossil fuels. These position statements will allow us to develop and articulate a clear position on significant Scottish, UK and EU environmental policy issues.
Working together

“We are delighted to be teaming up with Keep Scotland Beautiful and supporting the Scottish Government’s drive for a cleaner Scotland. Everybody agrees that littering is an unwelcome, antisocial problem and soft drinks companies have been working with anti-littering organisations for many years. However, if we really want to change people’s behaviour, industry, campaigners and the Government need to work together and the Give Your Litter a Lift roadside campaign is the perfect start.”

Gavin Partington, Director General, British Soft Drinks Association.
As part of our membership of the Clean Europe Network, we helped develop standardised methodology for litter counting.
MSPs raised 46 motions in support of our work in Parliament and these motions were supported 578 times.
We worked with members of Sporta Scotland to support them to produce a first climate change report and embed climate change reporting into their work.
Working collaboratively
We hosted a stakeholder event with Lloyds Banking Group to explore a Deposit Return System for Scotland, with a key note address from the CEO of Keep Denmark Tidy. The event gave representatives from 25 charities, businesses and government agencies the opportunity to hear first hand what it takes to go from concept to implementing a successful operating system.
Expanding our horizons
We published a report on an exciting pilot project using the Place Standard engagement tool, in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership and NHS Health Scotland. The Place Standard engagement tool is designed to create and develop high quality places in Scotland and maximise the potential of the physical and social environment in supporting health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Hosted by MSP Kate Forbes, we held a MSP briefing which outlined how our activities support educators, children and young people to become healthy, skilled global citizens.
We ran 59 capacity building workshops to support 180 young people to become Young Food Entrepreneurs.
We signed an open letter on Scotland’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a member of Scotland’s SDG Network.
Place Standard

“The successful delivery of the place standard across Scotland and now internationally is a consequence of the significant contributions made by the key partners of NHS Health Scotland like Keep Scotland Beautiful. The place standard pilot in Kirkintilloch, jointly led and delivered by Keep Scotland Beautiful, was and remains a critical learning resource for organisations and services alike to help shape the delivery of the tool in their local areas.”

John Howie, Organisational Lead – Health Equity (Place), NHS Health Scotland
In 2017 / 2018, we built and grew our capability, capacity and culture to deliver on our commitments and demonstrate impact at local and national level.
A 'national treasure'

“One of the greatest assets in the fight for a cleaner Scotland is the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful. They’re a full-on campaigning organisation working hard all year, every year, to make Scotland cleaner and better. Like David Attenborough, Keep Scotland Beautiful is a ‘national treasure’.”

Donald Anderson, former leader of the City of Edinburgh Council.
The Sustainable Development Goals are now fully incorporated into the heart of our charity’s strategy and activities. We encouraged employees to engage in fun, goal related, activities and ran a workshop to improve understanding and further raise awareness.

As part of our internal ‘greening’ work we updated our Greening Manual, a document that sets out our commitment to reduce our carbon emissions and be more environmentally responsible, and we were delighted to have our Environmental Management Standard ISO14001:2015 award reaccredited.

We signed up for Nextbike Corporate Membership, which gives all employees access to free bike hire and also hosted two electric vehicle demonstration days, highlighting our commitment to encouraging active and green travel. To improve understanding of climate change issues, a group of employees, including members of the management and executive team, attended and passed certified Carbon Literacy training which led to us receiving an award for being a Climate Literate Organisation.

During the year, we were proud to become an accredited Living Wage Employer and we also started to progress work towards the bronze Healthy Working Lives award, providing employees with tips and information as well as establishing a regular lunchtime walk.

2018 is the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People. Between January and the end of March, we sought opportunities to work with and highlight the work of Scottish young people. This included awarding two young people and one primary school class with our Clean Up Scotland Hero of the Month award and sending Young Reporter Scotland winner Jasmine Lawrie to Portugal to take part in, and report on, an international event.


Never has our charitable purpose of protecting, enhancing and conserving our environment been more important and relevant for Scotland. With the advent of Blue Planet II, there has been a general awakening of public interest and appetite to challenge and tackle the environmental impacts of living unsustainably.

The Scottish Government has, and will continue to, set ambitious targets for tackling environmental challenges particularly through the Climate Change Bill, Learning for Sustainability, Circular Economy and its commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In response to these challenges, our charity is at the heart of the effort to encourage and help people across Scotland and to take positive action to change and improve environmental behaviours.

We know that environmental standards are declining across Scotland and that this is particularly felt in more deprived communities. We will publish our updated report on these issues and continue to implement campaigns to address this worrying trend.

We will develop and implement new, innovative campaigns across Scotland to tackle the unsustainable use and irresponsible disposal brought about by the consumption of single-use packaging. And, through our Carbon Literacy training, we will continue to raise understanding of climate change across Scotland.

As your charity for Scotland’s environment, we will encourage and support people working, learning and living in Scotland to take positive action to make our country clean, green and sustainable.