Becoming a Net Zero organisation

We’re a visibly low carbon organisation, leading the way towards a low carbon society to benefit Scotland’s nature and people.

NatureScot is working towards the Scottish Government’s vision for a net-zero emissions Scotland

Working with others enables us deliver in our own operations, in how we manage land and in how we advise and support others, the actions required to build a Net Zero Scotland.

Among others, we work closely with:

  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Zero Waste Scotland

We’re also actively involved in partnerships and groups such as:

Net Zero ambitions

Read about: Our high level Net Zero statement

Our statement sets out what NatureScot might look like as a Net Zero organisation. We will develop all strategies, policies and processes with this vision in mind, to take us towards a Net Zero future.

Our approach is also about finding the carbon benefits of those changes over which we have less control, and promoting environmentally friendly ways of working. We believe our staff, customers and partners expect nothing less from us.

Actions and targets

Every part of our organisation has a role to play in us becoming net zero. To achieve net zero emissions from our operations we will:

  • Maximise the net zero contribution of our built estate portfolio. We will further invest in renewables, uptake zero emissions heat solutions, hydrogen and heat networks.
  • Replace our petrol and diesel car and van fleet with electric vehicles by 2025.
  • Install vehicle charging points at our offices and visitor centres.
  • Reduce our corporate travel. Our travel hierarchy is firmly focused on prioritising digital communication or public transport. We can still do more by reducing our flights by 20% year on year and by attending more meetings by video conferencing, supported by decarbonisation of public transport and prioritisation of active travel.
  • Consider where our offices are located in relation to existing infrastructure and services to further reduce travel needs.
  • Measure and report the impacts of our staff home to work travel.
  • Aim to eliminate the use of helicopters for survey work.
  • Influence and improve current procurement systems to have a greater impact on reducing our carbon footprint. We will build on the existing sustainable procurement duties placed on us as a public body through the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.
  • Increase our focus on circular economy in procurement.
  • Eliminate single-use plastic.

Scottish Governments Climate Change Plan update in December 2020 reflects the increased ambition of the new targets set in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

Since 2000, NatureScot has been working to cut greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations by reducing our carbon footprint whilst running a modern business. So far, we’re on target.

We are consuming less energy, and using what we do consume in a smarter way – saving money, energy and waste.

We also consider climate change impacts – e.g. extreme weather events – in how we plan and manage our offices, visitor facilities and staff travel plans.

What’s next?

We continue to work with the Scottish Government and other public bodies to raise standards in environmental performance.

The Climate Change Act and Climate Change Delivery Plan: Meeting Scotland’s Statutory Climate Change Targets both help to define how we deliver efficient public services – carbon savings are often financial savings.

Annual climate change reports

We’ve been producing annual greening reports since 2000, some of which are available below. Each annual report includes the monthly environmental management data for the year, any useful supporting information and an overview of progress and constraints.

In 2015, the Scottish Government introduced the Climate Change (Duties of Public Bodies: Reporting Requirements) (Scotland) Order. This requires all 150 public bodies on the ‘Major Player’ list to report annually to Scottish Ministers on their compliance with the climate change duties. The first mandatory reports were submitted in November 2016.

Annual reports and analysis are now publicly available, increasing accountability and transparency, and making it easier for anyone to understand an organisation’s climate performance. You can view annual reports for all 150 public bodies – including NatureScot – in the Climate Change Reporting area of the Keep Scotland Beautiful website.

Annual reports 

Annual reports after 2015 are available on the Sustainable Scotland Network website. Any reports prior to this date are available on request, please contact our Net Zero officer below.

Find out more


Ivana Curuvija
Net Zero Officer
Strathallan House
Castle Business Park

Telephone: 01786 435 358
Email: [email protected]

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