Transport Scotland: Sustainability Report

Transport Scotland: Sustainability Report

Transport Scotland is required to meet the various climate change public bodies duties in the climate change legislation (Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009). This covers operational activity for example through energy use in offices and official travel. A voluntary approach to reporting this information is encouraged under the Scottish Government published guidance, "Public Sector Sustainability Reporting: Guidance on the Preparation of Annual Sustainability Reports Financial Year 2011-12". From this financial year, Transport Scotland have decided to include this information as part of the Annual Report and Accounts.

The Sustainability Report 2012-13 sets out progress in meeting Transport Scotland's (unpublished) Carbon Management Plan (CMP) 2011-13. The report itself covers the financial year 2012-13.

Transports Scotland's overall and absolute target for the reduction of emissions is 16% by 2015-16. This is challenging but realistic. The overall target for 2015-16 can be analysed as follows:-

  • Business Travel emissions - a reduction of 19.4% from the baseline
  • Commute Travel emissions - a reduction of 7.8% from the baseline
  • Office Energy emissions - a reduction of 6.1% from the baseline
  • Office Waste emissions - a reduction of 25% from the baseline
Corporate Operational Carbon Emissions (2012/13)
Element Metric Baseline in 2010/11 Actual in 2011/12[1] Actual in 2012/13 % change compared to previous year Indicator Finance[2]
Total Emissions - kg/ CO2e 1,803,591 1,026,772 1,060,455 +3% Indicator Up £475,074
Energy (Scope 1&2 GHG emissions) Electricity (BH) kg/ CO2e 315,768 301,577 313,774 +4% Indicator Up £186,467
Gas (BH) kg/ CO2e 221,376 180,905 220,539 +22% Indicator Up
Travel (Scope 3 GHG emissions) Business Travel kg/ CO2e 186,547 165,145 152,052 -8% Indicator Down £267,156
Commute Travel kg/ CO2e 359,100 377,154 372,009 -1% Indicator Down -
Waste Waste kg/ CO2e 1,097 2,316 2,405 +4% Indicator Up £21,450

Detail of current progress is provided below in the three main areas of energy, travel and waste.

Our corporate emission equates to business travel, commuter travel, office energy consumption and office waste as defined in our Carbon Management Plan. The table above combined with the text below offers a snapshot of our corporate emissions performance for the financial year 2012-13, with fuller details to be provided in our forthcoming Sustainability Report, which will be published in late July 2013.

In 2012-13 there has been a 3% increase in Transport Scotland operational emissions, as a result of increased utility use within Buchanan House due to an extended cold winter period. Nevertheless, energy emissions for this building are still below the baseline.


The utilities information above is specific for Buchanan House (BH) only. Whilst a thermal comfort policy was implemented in 2011-12, a combination of long winter weather from late winter to spring months (November 2012 - March 2013) and an increase in the grid emission factor may account for the sharp increase in both gas and electricity consumption. Nevertheless, energy emissions are still below the baseline.


Emissions from business travel were reduced by 8% compared to the previous financial year. Significant emission reductions were achieved for air travel (down 39%), hire car (down 13%), taxi (down 21%), underground (down 61%) with increases in public transport namely rail (up 14%) and bus (up 59%). Commute travel has also decreased by 1%, as a result of a reduction in staff numbers.


Improved data collection has resulted in an overall 4% increase in reported carbon emissions. The underlying carbon emissions have remained stable.