Enric Miralles' plans for the new Scottish Parliament made sustainability a central element of the design across the site. Through careful design, selection of materials and operation the environmental impact of the Parliament building will be reduced.

"We want a Scotland that delivers sustainable development; that puts environmental concerns at the heart of public policy and secures environmental justice for all of Scotland's communities." [A Partnership for a Better Scotland, May 2003]

Footprints on grass


Many of the actions that we undertake on a daily basis have an adverse impact on our environment. The accumulative impact of these actions is gradually harming many of the planet’s systems which we depend on for a good quality of life. Through careful thought and action we can reduce our impact and move towards more sustainable lifestyles. Environmental management offers an approach to recognise what our adverse impacts are and to identify ways to reduce these impacts.

Parliament facts

> In 05/06 the Parliament sent 200 tonnes of waste to landfill and produced 1200 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

> Last year we used over 6 million sheets of paper in photocopiers, printers and fax machines.

Improving environmental performance and sustainability

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body is committed to being a role model for best practice in environmental performance and to contributing to sustainable development.

The environmental policy sets the framework for annual improvements in our environmental performance and an environmental management system is used to deliver this improvement. The management system encompasses the Carbon Management Plan and sets annual targets and actions across a range of environmental issues. We plan to engage users of the Parliament through our RACE (Real Action on Carbon Emissions) programme

Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015)

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) uses an environmental management system certified to ISO 14001:2015 to implement its environmental policy.

Certification to ISO 14001:2015 for the Holyrood complex and surrounding grounds was achieved in January 2007.

ISO 14001 is the internationally recognised standard for environmental management systems.

The standard assesses the way an organisation:

  • integrates environmental considerations into its management structures,
  • handles its environmental impacts and continually improves its environmental performance in areas such as waste, energy and procurement,
  • achieves legal compliance with all relevant environmental legislation

This diagram illustrates the key components of the system

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