EAUC-Scotland publishes PBCCD 2020/21 Analysis Reports

15th June 2022

EAUC-Scotland has today published its latest PBCCD Analysis Reports for the Scottish FHE sector. With individual reports for FE and HE, as well as one for FHE, these reports analyse the sector's emissions reporting data to Scottish Government for the 2020/21 academic year.

The key headline figures from the FHE analysis are:
  • Net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reported during 2020/21 were 321,591 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent;
  • Total reported emissions reduced by 14% since 2019/20 and by 29% since mandatory reporting began in 2015/16;
  • The greatest saving came from business travel which reduced by 95% due to pandemic related travel restrictions. There was also a 77% reduction in water & sewerage emissions and a 72% reduction in commuting emissions;
  • Positively, these observed reductions are on the backdrop of expanding institutional reporting boundaries for many institutions. For example, 34 institutions added home working emissions for the first time during this reporting period;
  • Forestry and soil carbon sequestration of 8,049 tonnes of CO2e was also reported for the first time this year.
Overall, the sector's progress achieved to date is positive and the reporting quality and breadth creates a strong foundation to meet the Scottish Government's enhanced guidance which is expected to be followed by public bodies from November 2022. 

Going forward it is important that the Scottish FHE Sector prioritises decarbonising heat in order to reduce its Scope 1 emissions. Since 2015/16 Scope 2 emissions have reduced by 57% while Scope 1 emissions have increased by 6% over the same period (partly due to expanded reporting of emission sources). These scope 1 emissions are generally under the direct control of institutions and the Scottish Government has set a target for zero direct emissions by 2038. 

Business travel is another key source of emissions that the FHE Sector needs to address. The changes to working practices made necessary by the pandemic, and the subsequent reductions shown in this report, present a huge opportunity to deliver long-term organisational change in relation to both business travel and commuting.  

With the significant developments in policy from the Scottish Government and the suite of support on offer from EAUC-Scotland, it is hoped that future reporting years will see further improvements in both the quality of submissions and the scale of reductions delivered. 

If you have any questions regarding the reports, please contact Matt Woodthorpe, EAUC-Scotland Programme Manager via mwoodthorpe@eauc.org.uk

EAUC-Scotland publishes PBCCD 2020/21 Analysis Reports image #1