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Everyday Actions

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Small changes, big effects

We’re involved in some incredible projects that help to mitigate the effects of the Climate Emergency. And we do work every day which improves biodiversity and helps Scotland become greener. But we aren’t stopping there.  

We’re a large organisation with around 1,000 employees based across Scotland. We operate numerous offices, hubs, depots, visitor centres and a fleet of vehicles for travel and forestry use. Taking action on everyday working practices is vital for us to become a greener organisation. To help reach Net Zero, we’re looking closely at our infrastructure to ensure everything we do makes us more sustainable. 

What is Net Zero?
Net Zero is a balance. Despite new cleaner technology, cutting emissions out completely is unfeasible. Net Zero is a state of balance which means an equivalent amount of emissions will be sequestered, as are emitted. The Scottish Government has committed to achieving a Net Zero society by 2045. This is five years ahead of the rest of the UK. Renewable energy can help to achieve this by providing energy with less emissions as can the planting of more trees which remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

FLS branded electric vehicle in green and white at a charging station

That means we’re taking action on several routine operations, like: 

  • Vehicles: We're replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with electric equivalents. Thus far, around 10% of our admin fleet (all non-forest vehicles) are electric, and we hope to reach 50% by 2025. This will reduce our emissions substantially. To support this, we're installing charging points at many of our properties and destinations to support both staff and visitors in going green.
  • Buildings: We have buildings of all types across Scotland, including offices, visitor centres, storage units, workshops and more. Upgrading windows, lighting and insulation in these buildings can go a long way to reducing energy waste, and make them more efficient to operate. In 2020 we upgraded 10 buildings to modern standards which will help reduce our energy usage and emissions.
  • Flexible working: Like many organisations, the Covid-19 pandemic forced most of our staff to work from home, and we’re helping to keep this going. Whilst working from home could increase energy usage like heating for the individual, it often reduces commuting time and emissions. We’ve always been a flexible employer, but now we’re reducing the capacity in some of our offices to encourage more flexible working. This will mean we can become more efficient overall, and our staff can be more efficient with less time spent travelling to work.
  • Plastic: Plastic is the one of the biggest symbols of an unsustainable world. Where we can, we’re cutting out plastic for eco-friendly alternatives. In some of our forests, we’re trialling biodegradable tree tubes to protect saplings. In offices and visitor centres we're cutting out single-use plastic in favour of reusable or biodegradable materials. We’ll continue looking for alternatives to reduce our waste. 
  • Innovation: Like every organisation, we aim to become more efficient. By working with the pioneering CivTech program we've already trialled and introduced new technology to make our work go further. Programs like TreeTape and SilviBio have allowed us to increase the speed we can plant seedlings, and ensure as many seeds as possible can germinate. Advances like these will help us reduce wastage and become more efficient and effective in our roles.

If Scotland is to reach Net Zero by 2045, we all need to do our part. We’re focused on doing our part for forestry, and we’re determined to take action in every part of our organisation.

Our climate actions

We're working across Scotland and throughout our organisation to mitigate the effects of the Climate Emergency