Your charity for Scotland’s environment

2015/16 Climate Change Report Analysis

We are delighted to publish the following reports on the information provided within the 2015–16 Public Bodies Climate Change Reports submitted by 145 major players by 30th November 2016:

  • The main analysis report presents our high-level data analysis on the information and data providing within the climate change reports. This includes our key findings of progress, actions and recommendations for improvement across the six required reporting sections and the recommended wider influence section.  
  • The summary briefing was produced as a stand-alone summary which has been sent to the Chief Executives of the 150 Major Players and outlines the key findings and recommendations from the analysis of the climate change reports.
  • The functional review of the reporting process was also produced which collates a range of development issues that arose throughout the reporting period. The document also outlines how SSN is dealing with these matters to help improve public bodies climate change duties reporting.”


Following the analysis we have also produced a list of major player organisations who provided links to their publicly available climate change plans or strategies.  These may be useful in developing your organisation's strategy.


Key Highlights

Below are some of the key highlights from the 2015/16 climate change reports. This covers the required reporting sections with key information on Organisational Profile; Governance, Management and Strategy; Corporate emissions arising from organisational operations and service delivery; Adaptation; Procurement; and Validation. Headlines from the recommended reporting section – reporting on wider influence is also included with information on actions to reduce GHG emissions beyond organisations boundaries; and wider sustainability areas such as biodiversity and water use.


Sub-sector Number of reports received
Sub-sector %
Local authorities 32 100%
Educational institutions 42 95.5%
National Health Service 18 94.7%
National/regional bodies 46 95.8%
Transport partnerships 7 100%
Total 145 n/a

458,769: total number of full time equivalent staff represented by the Climate Change Reports (circa 8.5% of Scotland’s population)

The majority of emissions are from the 32 local authorities. The NHS and educational institutions are fairly even in terms of emissions, with the transport partnerships representing a significantly smaller source of emissions

Understanding Emissions Scopes
Scope 1 – These emissions occur from sources that are owned or controlled by the organisation.
Scope 2 – accounts for GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electricity (or steam) consumed by the organisation.
Scope 3 – These emissions are a consequence of the activities of the organisation, but occur from sources not owned or
controlled by the organisation. Some examples of Scope 3 activities are the use of hire cars or sending waste to landfill

The energy generated from renewable installations was 82 GWh of renewable electricity and almost 139 GWh of renewable heat. This amounts to almost 66,000 tCO2e in abated emissions attributable to renewable installations in 2015/16.

  • Internal validation was high across the public sector, usually involving senior management sign off or approval.
  • Out of the 68 bodies, only 5 public bodies noted that they have had their full report externally validated.
  • The majority of public bodies had their corporate emissions data validated for other purposes, such as CRC-Energy Efficiency Scheme obligations or as part of ISO accreditation.
  • Some bodies reported barriers to undertaking validation. Barriers included lack of resources for internal review and lack of funds available to carry out external validation.

The public sector has a critical wider influence role to play, beyond their own corporate boundaries. This role includes both demonstrating leadership and commitment on climate change action, and enabling and influencing Scotland’s people, organisations and communities to reduce their impact on climate change and to adapt to a changing climate.

The non-mandatory wider influence reporting template was provided to allow public bodies to report a range of activities relevant to Scotland’s action on climate change and sustainable development.

Public bodies were asked to provide further information on projects not included elsewhere in the reporting template including Food and Drink, Water, Biodiversity and Land Use.

To find out more about the 2015/2016 Scottish Public Bodies Climate Change Reporting, read the full analysis report and our summary briefing.