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Sustainable development route maps: Session 6

These route maps highlight the journey we are on across key areas of sustainable development within the Scottish Parliament.

  • Completed
  • In progress
  • Not started yet


  • Wild meadow planting in Members’ Garden

    • This was completed in 2022 but due to the weather conditions (mixture of a cold/wet start to the year and dry summer) the grounds did not take to it well

  • Review of contracts and suppliers to establish impact on biodiversity of purchased good and services

    • Circular economy placement student employed through the Bright Green Business scheme began work on this. It was continued by the Sustainable Development Procurement Manager in 2023

  • Staff wildflower planting 

    • This was not carried out as it was highlighted that there would be little benefit to the grounds. Instead, we held a nature walk with Historic Environment Scotland to engage staff with biodiversity. Do Nation campaign was also successful in engaging staff with what they can do at home to encourage biodiversity 

Circular Economy and Waste

  • Identify opportunities to adopt a circular economy approach in the procurement process 

    • Circular Economy Researcher student placement. Garima Singh created online training video and staff events with the Edinburgh Remakery

  • Promote re-useable food takeaway packaging 

    • carried on into 2023

  • Review IT reuse and disposal processes

  • Review and further develop a circular economy approach for IT equipment

  • First circular economy training session for purchasing managers and contract managers 

Sustainable Development Thinking

  • Royal Scottish Geographical Society's climate solutions training offered to MSPs

  • Final version of SDIA tool published with explanatory notes and guidance

  • Circular economy training and engagement

    • Circular economy news post created in collaboration with the Parliament’s Sustain Network. (The Sustain Network is a forum for staff to explore positive action in reducing our personal and collective environmental impact.) 

    • Mending sessions with the Edinburgh Remakery

    • Circular economy talk from the Edinburgh Remakery 

    • Contract manager training on sustainable development focusing on net zero and circular economy

    • in-person workshop with contract managers and suppliers to increase their knowledge of circular economy, net zero and community benefits 

  • SDIA Tool used for decision-making in:

    • Business travel with Sustainable Development Board 

    • Printing with Finance Team

    • Reconfiguration of an office space to support new hybrid and hot-desking working arrangements 

Net Zero

  • Prepare building and actively investigate options for decarbonising operations

    • Our engineering consultant’s report highlighted a need for fabric improvement and energy-efficiency measures across the building before moving from gas to alternative (ground or air-source heat pumps, renewable district energy network).

  • One of our chillers was replaced with more efficient chiller modules, which also uses a refrigerant gas with lower Global Warming Potential 

  • Improve thermal efficiency of the building

    • Plans in place for 2023 to start the process of insulating Queensberry House which includes attic-enhanced insulation and wall lining 

  • Residual emissions study by Edinburgh University student

  • Use digital twin to model impact of behavioural changes on energy usage such as closing building or certain areas on different days. The digital twin modelling highlighted: 

    • Savings of around 8% (reduction in energy consumption) through building closure over October and Christmas breaks. This would increase to 10-14% if  broadcasting equipment could also be turned off 

    • Closing Queensberry House and MSP building from Monday to Friday would save around 25%

    • Reducing lighting power across the building by half would save around 10% in energy consumption

Scope 3 Emissions

  • Develop the 2021 model to improve data collection and focus on the 5 suppliers with the highest emissions

    • This work is ongoing

  • Identify priority Scope 3 Emissions to reduce and remove 

  • End off-site storage 

    • In 2022 we closed 14 storage units at LEN Lothian

    • We now have off-site storage with our furniture contractors as we need that facility so we can reuse items

  • Publish a revised ‘Sustainable Travel Plan’

  • Supply-chain carbon-reduction training for contract managers

    • Hosted an in-person workshop in April 2022 with contract managers and suppliers to increase their knowledge on circular economy, net zero and community benefits

    • Supply-chain carbon-reduction training for contract managers

  • 50% of suppliers to have net zero targets

    • 62% of suppliers surveyed actually had a net zero goal in place

  • Circular economy training for purchasing managers and contract managers 

  • Review measures to reduce the use of the on-site car park

    • Car park closed for car-free day to push behaviour change