NatureScot's plan to Net Zero

Our net-zero statement

We want to stimulate a 'green recovery’ from Covid-19 that secures resilience through a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. NatureScot has already made good progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions but we must go much further to achieve our ambition. To reach net zero by 2035, all emissions will need to be cut. To achieve this we will reduce our operational emissions and work to decarbonise our estate, by developing and investing in further renewable energy systems at our offices and on our land.

What is Net-zero

Net Zero’ means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and those taken out. What we do in the next decade is critical and every country, sector, industry, and each one of us, must work together to find ways to cut the carbon we produce. Every part of NatureScot has a role to play.

To achieve net zero emissions from our operations by 2035 we will:

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NatureScot's road to Net Zero
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1. Build a net zero estate strategy; 2 all fleet vehicles electric by 2025; 3. more electric charging points; 4. Increasing video conferencing; 5. Prioritise public transport; 6. encourage active travel; 7. reduce carbon commute emissions; 8. improve procurement systems with more focus on circular economy; 9. explore tech to reduce helicopter use; 10. eliminate single-use plastic.

We will also measure the impacts of our staff home to work travel, and consider where our offices are located in relation to existing infrastructure and services, to further reduce travel needs.

Our vision at NatureScot is for a nature-rich future. What does this mean? Well, there is growing realisation that poverty, disadvantage, discrimination and justice, all have their roots in the exploitation of our natural world, or lack of access to it. To address this, we need to put nature at the heart of decision making. There is no bigger or more urgent cause in society today. 

There are real and immediate threats to this vision and increasingly people are awakening to the urgency of action. Our ambition is to inspire action and our net zero plan has an emphasis on helping Scotland to build back better. Addressing the nature and climate crises requires action at all levels, from the highest policy to the actions of communities, organisations like NatureScot and individuals. NatureScot is ready to play its part in supporting that transformation, so that Scotland can meet the exacting and necessary targets set by the Government.

NatureScot manages 41,268 hectares of land, stretching across 43 Nature Reserves (including all or part of 29 National Nature Reserves). The scale of this landholding gives us significant potential for sequestration. In 2019 we published our Climate change commitment stating that we will manage our landholdings as exemplars of how to measurably enhance carbon storage and sequestration. This will demonstrate best practice that other land managers can follow. 

NatureScot pool car with zero emissions

Managing and improving the state of our land will not be used to balance or offset any of our operational emissions. We will invest in these nature-based solutions in parallel with our work towards zero direct emissions and reduced indirect emissions. Taking this approach - rather than combining the two into a ‘net emissions’ target - will ensure  that we maximise effort on all of the ways NatureScot can contribute to Scottish Government's net zero target. This approach will also help ensure that our land management for carbon equally targets the crucial co-benefits of adaptation and addressing biodiversity loss. 

Climate change is an existential threat to the wellbeing of future generations. Pursuing net zero is not primarily about meeting a target, but rather doing everything possible to minimise the emissions associated with our activities. We will review our progress and update our net zero plan in line with new legislation, changes in the carbon accounting systems, and new technology.

You can read our Net Zero Plan in full. If you have any queries, please contact our Net Zero Officer.

Find out more

Becoming a Net Zero Organisation

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