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Environmental sustainability and biodiversity

The Scottish Funding Council is obliged to meet carbon reporting, climate change mitigation and adaptation statutory requirements each year. We do this in a number of ways including in our Annual Report and Accounts.

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Scotland's Climate Change Plan Update 2018-2032

The Scottish Government published its Climate Change Act Plan Update in December 2020 which reflects the increased ambition of the new targets to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions set in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

The Scottish Government’s climate adaptation programme Climate Ready Scotland: climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024 provides key adaptation context for the activities of public bodies. The Scottish Government has publicly committed to producing a new climate change plan in 2023, and a new climate change adaptation programme for 2024.

SFC Carbon Management Plan: Our Net Zero Challenge

As a key national funding body for further and higher education, as an employer and as a corporate citizen, SFC has an important part to play in the climate emergency response.

We published our strategic net zero route map in November 2022, SFC’s Net Zero & Sustainability Framework for Action [PDF]. This plan, our Net Zero Challenge [PDF], acts as our current carbon management plan and commits us to reducing our own emissions and embedding climate-positive practices throughout our activities and operations.

SFC’s Climate Change Duties Report

SFC reports on its climate change duties in line with the Scottish Government’s published guidance, and reflecting on good practice and advice from the Sustainable Scotland Network, public sector peers and benchmarking to good practice developments arising from the tertiary education sector.

SFC Biodiversity Duty Report

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011) requires public bodies to report at least every three years on the actions which they have taken to meet their biodiversity duty - SFC Biodiversity Duty Report [PDF].

The Scottish Government’s Guidance for biodiversity duty reporting notes that bodies which do not own land and which do not have management of biodiversity as one of their main functions will probably encompass biodiversity activities within their wider environmental sustainability efforts.

Further Information

SFC’s response to the Climate Emergency involves all our functions (and staff across our organisation are contributing to that response). The Carbon Management Plan and carbon report referred to above give further details of internal cross Council structures and governance of our climate response.