National View to Local Action


The Scottish Government has committed to addressing Climate Disruption and has set national targets

Pressure is growing for the public sector to support the Scottish carbon reduction targets of 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Since 2016 the Scottish government has set up public sector required environmental reporting and coming years are likely to see stricter controls and monitoring of our operations, with the possibility of mandatory targets for carbon reduction.

What does this mean for the GSA in its role of educating future generations of architects, designers and artists? In 2012 Prof. Tim Sharpe and SiAG explored the issues around environmental sustainability, and GSA’s effect on the environment. The effects of climate disruption are well known and humankind’s causal link is established. We accept that our operations, and the future activities of our students, contribute to that effect: We are able to take action, and morally, reputationally and legally obligated to address it.

We also need to adapt: examining our use of resources, how we invest in and change our estate helps us not only mitigate the effects of climate disruption, but it also helps the GSA address risk and adapt to a changed World of more extreme weather which could include disruption to our energy and water supplies, changing food supplies, damaged transport infrastructure, or access to all the thousands of items we need to keep the GSA running smoothly.

We can take action on how we travel, and support active travel such as cycling, and make sure we don’t fly or use cars or other fossil-fuelled transport unless we must.

We can make students more aware of sustainability issues through exhibiting best practice in our estates – reducing energy use, generating our own power, using fewer resources & assessing product lifecycles.

Next: Art as a Catalyst for Change