By DARA BUTTERFIELD
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has achieved its major carbon reduction targets five years early – but that challenges lie ahead as the organisation strives to make a full contribution to Low Carbon Scotland.
SNH reached the 2020 target – from the 2009 Climate Change (Scotland) Act which committed Scotland to a 42% reduction in emissions by 2020 – earlier this year. The organisation managed to cut its carbon emissions by an impressive 49% since 2000.
The organisation achieved this through installation of renewable energy systems in SNH buildings and National Nature Reserves (NNRs), sharing more properties with other bodies, greener vehicles and equipment, and working practices to reduce travel emissions and waste.
Other initiatives included:
- Generating more than one million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable and low-carbon energy from 33 systems at 15 properties;
- Generating more than 112,000 kWh of carbon-free electricity during the first full year of the Creag Meagaidh NNR hydro – which operates in a sensitive and remote mountain location;
- The biomass system at SNH’s Inverness headquarters generated 149,000 kWh worth of heat at a carbon cost of just six tonnes compared to more than 46 tonnes of CO2 with the old gas heating;
- Producing 30% less waste than three years ago and sending 60% less to landfill;
Average emissions from the fleet cars have reduced from 133g/km CO2 in 2009 to 104g/km CO2 by 2014 (a 22% reduction), due to proactive purchases and sales;