New SPRI figures show 8% drop in industry Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  23 October 2014
Figures released today by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have shown an eight per cent drop in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from industrial processes during 2013.

The reduction, shown in the Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) data for 2013, is largely due to the closure of Cockenzie Power Station in March 2013.

A total of 1,335 sites reported data to SPRI in 2013, compared to 1,337 in 2012.

Greenhouse Gas reductions include:

Greenhouse Gas pollutants (kg per year)                                  2013           2012
Carbon dioxide     21,106,530,545     22,929,115,343
Methane           47,329,292           47,548,895
 Nitrous oxide                173,848                192,447
Sulphur hexofluoride                       241                      304

The release of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) has increased from 2,342 kilograms in 2012 to 3,490 kilograms in 2013. HFC totals vary year on year due to maintenance and top ups of systems.

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) release rose by 126 kilograms from 3,090 to 3,216.  A contributing factor for the increase in 2013 is the releases from one site due to a process issue.

Access to the SPRI database is available at

Martin Marsden, SEPA’s Head of Environmental Quality, said:

"The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is largely due to the closure of Cockenzie Power Station. We have seen emissions vary over the last few years for a number of reasons, especially in 2010 when the prolonged cold winter meant more people were using energy for heating.

“SPRI allows us to present a lot of data and information on emissions as clearly and effectively as possible, which is of interest to a range of people in their professional and personal lives. However, it deliberately doesn’t put site operators into a league table and it doesn’t assess the impact that sites have on the environment. Emission totals inevitably reflect the size of an operation. SEPA uses monitoring programmes to ensure that operators comply with their license limits, which are set to achieve local air quality standards and protect human health.”

The primary objective of SPRI is to make the release and transfer information available to the public while fulfilling European reporting requirements of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Regulation. 


Notes to editors

The Inventory provides information on releases to air and water as well as transfers of waste for the calendar year from selected SEPA regulated activities.  It is accompanied by supporting information on the chemical substances concerned and contextual pollutant health information.

The SPRI is a publicly accessible electronic database available via SEPA’s website of releases of pollutants to all environmental media and transfers of waste that will:

  • deliver the system by which Scotland will comply with the requirements of a Community Regulation on the implementation of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register;
  • help facilitate discussion and public participation in environmental matters and decision making;
  • aid delivery of data for policy makers, academics and the public
  • support the prevention and reduction of pollution;
  • allow comparison of releases within industry and with other types of releases in Scotland, the UK and Europe e.g. road traffic and domestic heating, where such data is available;
  • provide generic information on the pollutants.

The Scottish Pollutant release Inventory (SPRI) is not a regulatory tool but is a reporting requirement and contains information collected by SEPA in accordance with the requirements of a Community Regulation on the implementation of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. The information is provided by operators and SEPA publishes it online to provide policy makers, academics and the public with information on the type and quantity of pollutants released by operators. The information provided in the SPRI is not used by SEPA either to set conditions of, or to assess operator compliance with, the conditions of their licence or permit.