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Changing Environment

At a time of increasing demands on Scotland’s land, the changing environment presents a number of challenges for Scotland, including climate change and how we respond to it, halting the decline in biodiversity, managing water quantity and quality and protecting our soils.

Follow the links below to read about our work on the topic of Changing Environment.

Latest Changing Environment Work

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions using a grass biorefinery system to produce protein for human consumption

This briefing summarises research on green biorefining; which has the potential to use grass and legume biomass to produce protein for human consumption and for livestock feed. Using by-products (fibre, sugar) can further reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of protein production. 

Greenhouse gas emissions from Scottish venison production (2020)

The growth of venison farming represents an economic development opportunity for rural Scotland. This briefing discusses the carbon emissions from vension farming, compared to that of cattle or sheep, and calls for efforts to be made to identify cost-effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint. 

Distillery by-product use and greenhouse gas emission from Scottish malt whisky production (2017)

This research briefing demonstrates how sustainable end use of by-products can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of Scottish whisky industry.  It systematically compares alternative end uses, including displacement of fossil fuels and synthetic fertilizers, and use as protein source in livestock feed.

The feasibility of using insects in salmon feed in Scotland (2016)

Beetle Increasing  the  use  of  insect meal in  salmon  feed  could  reduce  demand  for fishmeal and  add value  to low  grade  bio-waste  streams.  However  producing  insect  mealin sufficient  quantity,  quality  and  at  a  price  that  is  competitive  with  existing  feed  materials will  be challenging

Low carbon rural behaviours: perceptions of thermal comfort and the adoption of low carbon technologies in the home (2015)

Fireplace This research report and briefing investigates how rural householders in Scotland may best be supported to lower their carbon emissions whilst maintaining levels of comfort in the home.


Dr Jane Atterton

Rural Policy Centre Manager and Policy Researcher

Address: Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4256

Fax: 0131 535 4345