SEPA meets four out of six of its sustainability targets


The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has succeeded in improving its recycling and waste progress, but failed to meet targets on greenhouse gas emissions.

In its Sustainable SEPA report that looks at the period 2012-2013 and looks at its own internal sustainability targets, the organisation revealed that it had been successful in meeting its own recycling targets.


The four areas where SEPA met its own ambitions were:

  • Establishing a baseline of internal waste levels, showing what is currently recycled, composted, reused and sent to landfill in order to allow the setting and measurement of future targets
  • Hitting its target to segregate key dry recyclates at source nine months earlier than the Scottish national target
  • Achieving a 5 per cent increase in the number of sustainable goods and services procured in line with its sustainability criteria
  • Reviewing existing Biodiversity Action Plans already in place with a view to having them implemented at 100 per cent in SEPA buildings by 2017.

However, SEPA is performing less well against its greenhouse gas target. It wants to reduce its emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 based on a 2006-2007 baseline and its emissions are 10.1 per cent lower than the baseline year. However, its total emissions of carbon dioxide increase by 2.4 per cent during 2012-2013.

It also missed its -5 per cent target for travel emissions.

SEPA chief executive James Curran said: “We fully appreciate the urgent need for Scotland to move rapidly towards more sustainable practices and, as Scotland’s environmental regulator, we understand we must set a strong example to members of the public and businesses throughout the country.

“The Agency is also a ‘major player’ on climate change, influencing and providing advice based on sound science. These are responsibilities we take very seriously and the Sustainable SEPA report addresses the mixture of successes, issues and challenges we have faced in achieving our environmental goals.

“In many areas we can be proud of our past achievements, particularly on our waste, water and biodiversity management as a business. However, we are still openly and honestly struggling with following our own greenhouse gas roadmap and keeping necessary pace with our target of an overall reduction in our emissions of 42 per cent by 2020.”