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2014-15 Carbon Metric Summary Report

This report introduces Scotland’s Carbon Metric and describes key findings from the 2014 and 2015 Carbon Metric update. 

By measuring the lifecycle impacts of waste, the Carbon Metric shows how waste reduction and sustainable waste management can play a critical role in the fight against climate change.

Despite large annual fluctuations in waste generated, improved recycling and declining use of landfill continues to reduce the overall carbon impact of waste in Scotland which have fallen 26% or 3.6MtCO2e (million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) since 2011.

Household waste accounts for less than 25% of all Scottish waste by tonnage, but a growing majority of the carbon impacts.

The five most carbon intensive waste materials make up just 6% of Scotland’s waste by weight, but nearly a third of associated carbon impacts. Food waste is the most carbon intensive waste material, generating 15% of carbon impacts in 2014, and 17% in 2015.

Further information on the Carbon Metric and archived documents relating to its development can be found on the

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