Last updated: 26 October 2022

This page summarises the headline results from the indicators for each outcome, and links to the outcome narrative pages where further information can be found.


Outcome: Scotland’s nature is protected and restored with flourishing biodiversity and clean and healthy air, water, seas and soils

Marine & terrestrial species

There has been a sustained decline in Scotland’s biodiversity over recent decades.

Air pollutant emissions

The quality of Scotland’s air has improved considerably in recent decades. However, certain pollutants exceed safe limits in some major urban centres, where air pollution continues to be associated with poor health and premature death.

Freshwater condition

Scotland’s rivers and lochs have gradually improved since 2009 due to actions implemented under River Basin Management Plans.

Marine environmental quality

Marine environmental quality is significantly impacted by litter and seafloor disturbance.

Soil health

Options for undertaking additional work to identify strategic indicators of soil health are being explored.


Outcome: We play our full role in tackling the global climate emergency and limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C

Greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland have more than halved since 1990 but reaching net zero by 2045 remains challenging.

Scotland’s carbon footprint

Scotland's carbon footprint has fallen since 1998, but significant further reduction is needed, requiring both national and international action.

Nature-based solutions to climate change

Rates of woodland creation and peatland restoration are increasing but need to accelerate further.


Outcome: We use and re-use resources wisely and have ended the throw-away culture

Total waste generated

The amount of waste generated in some sectors has declined consistently, but construction and demolition waste remains variable.

Carbon footprint of Scotland’s waste

The carbon footprint of Scotland’s waste has been declining since 2011.

Scotland’s material footprint

Scotland’s per capita material footprint is more than double the sustainable level.


Outcome: Our thriving, sustainable economy conserves and grows our natural assets

Natural capital accounts

The annual monetary flow of services from Scotland’s natural capital (excluding fossil fuels) has increased since 1999.

Natural capital asset index

Overall, the capacity of Scotland’s terrestrial ecosystems to provide benefits to people has increased slightly since 2000, following decades of decline, but individual indicators within the index tell a more nuanced story.


Outcome: Our healthy environment supports a fairer, healthier, more inclusive society

Visits to the outdoors

The proportion of people making visits to the outdoors has increased since 2006.

Access to green & blue space

There has been little change in access to green and blue space since 2013.

Active travel

The proportion of journeys made on foot and by bike has been stable since 2012.

Global footprint

Outcome: We are responsible global citizens with a sustainable international footprint

Global environmental impact of Scotland’s consumption

Options for indicators to understand and track the overseas environmental impact of our consumption in Scotland are being considered.

Percentage of Scotland’s waste managed in Scotland

The majority of Scotland’s waste is managed in Scotland but waste exports and volumes of waste are increasing.

Sustainability of fish stocks

There are ongoing improvements in the amount of commercial fish stocks fished at sustainable levels but nearly half are still overexploited.