COSLA Environment and Economy Spokesperson, Councillor Steven Heddle, welcomes delegates to the SSN Conference 2017 

Chris Stark

Director of Energy and Climate Change

The Scottish Government

Chris is Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of Scotland’s approach to emissions-reduction and the accompanying energy system transition.  His team provides advice to Scottish Ministers on all aspects of energy and climate policy and on licensing and consent decisions for new onshore energy infrastructure.  Chris previously headed the Strategy Unit, the Scottish Government’s central strategy team, and has worked in a number of Whitehall departments.  He has broad experience of economic policymaking in the Scottish Government, HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills


Slides from Chris Stark's presentation

Professor Jan Webb

Professor of Sociology of Organisations

The University of Edinburgh


Janette Webb is Professor of Sociology of Organisations at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her research is about European policy and practice for sustainable heat and energy efficiency in cities. She collaborates in local energy capacity building with local authorities, public agencies and district energy businesses. Her research contributes to policy-making: she advises Scottish Government on aspects of energy, fuel poverty and climate policies, and is occasional adviser to UK Government BEIS on households and district heating. She is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh multi-disciplinary Inquiry into Scotland’s Energy Future and chaired the UK Committee on Climate Change 2016 Advisory Group on Energy Efficiency and Heat.

Slides from Jan Webbb's presentation

Dave Gorman, SSN Steering Group member

Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability

The University of Edinburgh


Dave became the first Director for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. He provides senior leadership and advice to the University on a wide range of topics including climate change and renewables, sustainability, responsible investment, community engagement, fair employment, sustainable and responsible supply chains and social investment.

He was latterly Head of Strategy at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency after a career in local government preceeded by a wide range of community and volunteering activity following graduation. Dave is a chartered environmentalist, chartered manager and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Slides from Dave Gorman's presentation

George Eckton

Partnership Director

SEStran (South East of Scotland Transport Partnership)


Before joining SEStran as Partnership Director in 2016, George was Chief Officer at CoSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) leading a team driving policy development on sustainability, development and economy; providing support and briefings to local government elected members; and presenting evidence to the Scottish parliament. Prior to joining CoSLA in 2009 George spent 3 years as a strategic planner at Renfrewshire Council. His remit included policy development and consultation on the first Glasgow and Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan and application of the Greenhouse Gas Regional Inventory Project (GRIP) Model for climate change policy development in the context of city-region spatial planning. 

Slides from George Eckton's presentation

Kathryn Dapré, SSN Steering Group member

Head of Engineering, Energy and Sustainability

NHS National Services Scotland

Kathryn is Head of Engineering, Energy and Sustainability within NHS National Services Scotland. Her team provides support and advice to NHS Scotland Boards, Scottish Government and other stakeholders in relation to all aspects of engineering resilience and safety, energy management and sustainability. Kathryn’s remit for sustainability covers climate change mitigation and adaptation, waste management and resource efficiency, biodiversity and greenspace planning, and corporate social responsibility. She is also a non-executive director of Energy for Edinburgh - the City of Edinburgh Council's arms-length energy services company.

Chris Wood-Gee, SSN Chair

Sustainability Team Leader and Energy Manager

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Chris has been the Sustainability Team Leader and Energy Manager at Dumfries and Galloway Council since 2015. Before becoming the Sustainability Team Leader he managed a Heritage Lottery Landscape Partnership project.  Chris started his working life in agriculture before turning to urban fringe greenspace enhancement. An active member of SSN for a several years, he became Chair of the SSN Steering Group in 2016.

Slides from Chris Wood-Gee's presentation


Janice Pauwels

Sustainable Development Manager

City of Edinburgh Council

Slides from Janice Pauwel's presentation

Parallel Sessions

The Green Infrastructure Fund – developing strong projects to deliver multiple benefits

Scottish Natural Heritage

  • Iain Rennick
  • Clive Mitchell


Workshop slides

Scottish Natural Heritage is leading the Green Infrastructure Fund - a major new European Regional Development Fund initiative. This five-year programme of capital investment in green infrastructure aims to demonstrate associated multiple benefits and cost-savings across many government policies and public sector practice including active travel; air quality; climate change; health and wellbeing; housing; city deals; biodiversity and pollination; outdoor play and learning; and community empowerment. The session focussed on the sustainability and climate change aspects of the programme looking at the aims, objectives and applying lessons learned from project progress to date. 

The role of the public sector in supporting Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP)

Keep Scotland Beautiful

  • George Tarvit

Scottish Government

  • Stephen Garland

Workshop slides

This session provided an opportunity to debate key challenges and help inform the development of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP). The programme will be a major contributor to the Scottish Government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 as well as helping to tackle fuel poverty and to support the transition to a low carbon economy.  Local authorities and other public bodies will play a major role in delivering energy efficiency and decarbonisation policies and proposals to improve the quality of Scotland’s housing stock and built environment, lower costs to consumers and businesses, and make Scotland a better, healthier place to live and work. 

Re-thinking public bodies adaptation and sustainability duties using imagination and creativity

Creative Carbon Scotland

  • Ben Twist

Workshop slides

The Public Bodies Duties on adapting to climate change and acting sustainably ask difficult questions about how we make a sustainable Scotland. Imagination, boldness and clarity are needed in our own thinking and in communicating with our colleagues, institutions and communities. Theatre Director and Director of Creative Carbon Scotland Ben Twist led a practical workshop building on a community project involving multi-partnership collaboration (Aberdeen City Council, Sniffer, Creative Carbon Scotland, Robert Gordon University and artists), examining how artistic practices can help shift standard ways of thinking (http://bit.ly/2wOS0rI) and aid engagement. 

Switching on Scotland – challenges and opportunities of delivering the Electric Vehicles Programme

Energy Saving Trust

  • Ellie Grebenik

Dundee City Council

  • Rebecca Wallace

Transport Scotland  

  • Graeme Campbell
  • Laura McCaig
  • Laurence Kenney

Workshop slides

The Programme for Government, published 5 September 2017, set out “a bold new ambition on ultra-low emission vehicles with a target to phase out the need for petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.” The public sector has a key role to play in delivering this ambition and demonstrating leadership. This session discussed the Programme for Government ambition in more detail and explained the “Switched On Scotland” plans for adoption of electric vehicles in public sector fleets, provision of charging infrastructure, Low Carbon Travel and Transport hubs, incentives and promotional activities. Highlights of existing good practice will helped to illustrate challenges and opportunities. 

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Chains and links to deliver sustainable supply

Sustainable Procurement Limited

  • Philip Duddell

Workshop slides

This session explored the importance of internal and external partnerships to identify and manage relevant environmental and associated social outcomes within supply chains, with an emphasis on practical and achievable measures that suppliers can report progress on. Example projects, simple tools and techniques were used to consider relevant risks and opportunities, including opportunities for innovation and how they relate to wider environmental objectives.

Aligning community and public sector action on climate change

Keep Scotland Beautiful

  • Russell Gill
  • Tim Mullens

Workshop slides

The Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) is now in its 10th year of delivering community-led action on climate change. During this session members of the CCF Team at Keep Scotland Beautiful delivered an update on the impact of the fund, highlighting case studies of successful partnering between CCF projects and public bodies, plus new developments in the Capacity Building Programme. Delegates also explored opportunities for partnership working with local community projects.

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