Sepa toils over GHG target

7th February 2014


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Reporting ,
  • Management ,
  • Benchmarking ,
  • Corporate governance

Author

Philip Bailey

New figures reveal that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) is struggling to achieve its 2020 target to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 42% against a 2006/07 baseline

Data in the regulator’s latest sustainability report show that, although overall GHG emissions in 2012/13 were 10.1% lower than in the baseline period, total carbon emissions increased by 2.4%. Sepa also reports that it failed to achieve its goal to reduce travel emissions in 2012/13, as they fell by 1.9%, less than half of its 5% target.

“We are still openly and honestly struggling with following our own GHG roadmap and keeping pace with our target of an overall reduction in our emissions of 42% by 2020,” admitted Sepa chief executive James Curran.

The agency says its internal GHG plan predicts that emissions will rise temporarily as it moves from old buildings into new ones. In one such move, a new integrated laboratory and office building in North Lanarkshire replaced two buildings in East Kilbride and a laboratory in Edinburgh.

“The overlap of buildings will likely cause a net rise of emissions for a couple of years particularly as temporary additional IT server space and cooling is factored in to ensure the continuity of records, day-to-day inspections and sampling workloads,” states the report.

“We recognise that achieving our sustainable goals will not be easy, particularly as we will have to accept increased emissions at times as we adopt new buildings and before we dispose of old buildings,” conceded Curran. Sepa expects its emissions to drop significantly from the end of 2015/16, as it completes the consolidation of its estate.

The Scottish regulator has been more successful in achieving its other environmental targets for 2012/13, covering waste, procurement and biodiversity. Successes include:

  • hitting the target to segregate metals, glass, plastics, paper and cardboard nine months earlier than the Scottish national target (end December 2013);
  • increasing the recycling rate from 69% in 2011/12 to 73% in 2012/13;
  • achieving a 5% increase in the number of sustainable goods and services procured in line with its sustainability criteria; and
  • meeting its interim target to review all biodiversity action plans at local offices.

Transform articles

IEMA reacts to UK government's Net Zero Strategy

IEMA has raised concerns around a lack of funding for proposals outlined in the UK government's Net Zero Strategy, which was published earlier this week.

21st October 2021

Read more

Demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025 if all national net-zero pledges are implemented in full and on time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast.

15th October 2021

Read more

Climate change remains one of the top issues most concerning the UK public, despite the economic turmoil experienced over the last 18 months, a poll commissioned by IEMA has found.

15th October 2021

Read more

Almost one-third of Europe's largest companies have now set net-zero emissions targets, but far less are set to deliver on their ambitions.

7th October 2021

Read more

A group of world-leading climate scientists has today warned that carbon pricing is currently too low to deliver a just transition to a net-zero economy, and that "urgent reforms" are needed.

30th September 2021

Read more

The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Kew has today unveiled a new strategy to tackle biodiversity loss and develop sustainable nature-based solutions to some of humanity’s biggest global challenges.

28th September 2021

Read more

How to Save Our Planet is call to action that aims to equip everyone with the knowledge needed to make change. We need to deal with climate change, environmental destruction and global poverty, and ensure everyone’s security.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Hannah Lesbirel and Beccy Wilson speak to IEMA members about climate anxiety

23rd September 2021

Read more

Seven of the UK's 17 key industry sectors are still increasing their emissions year-on-year, and most will miss their 2050 net-zero targets without significant government action, new research suggests.

23rd September 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert