We believe that as a National Park Authority, whose fundamental aim is to conserve and enhance the natural heritage of this special part of Scotland, we should be a leading organisation in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
We’ve made progress in the actions we’ve taken to date, but over the next decade we will make a real step change in how we operate – putting emissions reduction at the heart of our decision-making. With this goal in sight, we will dramatically reduce the emissions associated with the work we undertake, the services we deliver and those arising from across the land and buildings we manage.
By 2030, we will be a net zero emitting organisation. This is our Mission Zero.
Our greenhouse gas emissions reduction journey began six years and so far, we have lowered our emissions by 38% from our baseline figures in 2013/14. We have begun transitioning our fleet away from fossil fuels to electricity and use biomass instead of gas to heat our headquarters. We also have an active Climate Change Group who have championed sustainability across the organisation, leading on numerous projects that have ‘greened’ the way we work.
Text alternative Emissions reduction journey from 2015/16 to 2018/19 Emissions (tC02e) 2015/16: Electricity 182.4, Heating 29.3, Transport 98.6. Total = 310.3. Emissions (tC02e) 2016/17: Electricity 164.57, Heating 18.3, Transport 77.49. Total = 260.36. Emissions (tC02e) 2017/18: Electricity 116.25, Heating 26.2, Transport 111.15. Total = 253.60. Emissions (tC02e) 2018/19: Electricity 99.19, Heating 25.5, Transport 97.31. Total = 222.0.
Emissions reduction journey from 2015/16 to 2018/19
Emissions (tC02e) 2015/16: Electricity 182.4, Heating 29.3, Transport 98.6. Total = 310.3.
Emissions (tC02e) 2016/17: Electricity 164.57, Heating 18.3, Transport 77.49. Total = 260.36.
Emissions (tC02e) 2017/18: Electricity 116.25, Heating 26.2, Transport 111.15. Total = 253.60.
Emissions (tC02e) 2018/19: Electricity 99.19, Heating 25.5, Transport 97.31. Total = 222.0.
But, since the Scottish Government’s binding target was announced in 2019 to become a Net Zero nation by 2045, we questioned whether we could do more to stop the climate emergency. Whilst we have seen some real progress in reducing our emissions, we know that now is the time to redouble our efforts and recommit to Scotland’s future. That’s why we are making it part of our mission to become a net zero organisation by 2030.
To guide us along this ten year process, we have written our Mission Zero Route Map.
In the Route Map, which was approved by our Board in December 2020, we have grouped our core emissions into three themes: transport, electricity and heating, which we will continue to report upon. Taking the year 2018/19 as our Mission Zero baseline, we have 222tCO2e (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) to reduce to net zero. That’s roughly equivalent to 42 return flights from Edinburgh to New Zealand.
Text alternative Baseline emissions chart: Electricity 99.2 tC02e Transport 97.3 tC02e Heating 25.5 tC02e Total = 222.0 tC02e
Baseline emissions chart:
Electricity 99.2 tC02e
Transport 97.3 tC02e
Heating 25.5 tC02e
Total = 222.0 tC02e
The Route Map outlines how we transform the land and buildings we manage by investing in green infrastructure such as air source heat pumps to heat our visitor centre and toilets, solar panels to power our headquarters and Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway and even more efficient LED lightbulbs and sensors across all our buildings.
We will continue our shift towards an electric fleet so we can travel round the National Park as sustainably as possible, starting with our cars and vans but with longer term goals, as innovative technology emerges, to have high-power, long-range electric boats for our Ranger Service.
Just as importantly, we will continue to support everyone here at the National Park Authority, including our staff and Board, our volunteers and our Youth Committee, to champion emissions reduction in their behaviour and the actions we all take, ensuring that Mission Zero is, put simply, everyone’s responsibility (and opportunity) to achieve.
All of our Mission Zero work will be guided by a set of principles:
We will drive down our organisation’s emissions as much as possible, aiming towards direct zero. We will also focus on nature-based solutions to tackling the climate emergency, investing in the National Park to deliver carbon sequestration projects which deliver multiple benefits for climate, people and nature.
We have been ambitious with our date, but through regular review and continued investment in our Mission Zero, we will seek to bring our net zero date closer than 2030 if practicable.
Protecting the environment is already at the core of what we do, but we will ensure that climate thinking and our emissions reduction work is embedded in the culture of all our teams and our Board.
Our actions are grounded in data and insights and we will continuously measure interventions to track our impact and learn from these as we seek to improve further. We will share our evidence and learning with others to drive more effective emissions reductions.
We will make changes to reduce emissions associated with all of the activities we carry out, even if these are indirect and beyond the immediate boundary of our Mission Zero.
From our own individual behaviours and organisational culture to developing partnerships, we will collectively build motivation and momentum to drive positive and coordinated climate action across the National Park.