Plans in development

Sector plans set out how we plan to organise our work and work with sectors and the businesses within them, to improve environmental performance and sustainable business practice. All activities that we regulate will fall under a sector plan.

Environmental compliance is non-negotiable. Every Scottish business will comply with the law, and our work to help sectors be compliant will remain a priority.

In addition to ensuring compliance, we’ll work to ensure as many sectors and businesses as possible will go even further. Sector plans will also identify voluntary opportunities that businesses within sectors might choose to take to move beyond compliance. This means voluntarily choosing to do more than is required by law that benefits the environment while also meeting other social and economic objectives for a business. Beyond compliance opportunities might include improving resource efficiency, reducing input use or identifying new markets for by-products. We will work with partner organisations to help interested businesses achieve these kinds of beyond compliance opportunities.

We have produced 16 sector plans (in final and draft format) and have identified a further 17 sectors that we are currently developing sector plans for.

The early stages of sector plan development will involve engaging with stakeholders to scope out each sector. This might mean that the list of sectors we’ve identified could change as we learn more. Close working with stakeholders during the plan’s development is essential if sector plans are to be successful and realistic.

The proposed new sectors are as follows:

Plans currently under development

Commercial and public premises development and use

This sector is likely to include the development and operation of commercial and public premises (including hotels, retail, catering outlets, education, leisure facilities, offices, shops, and hospitals), and will build on the work already done on housing and strategic infrastructure. Some initial scoping will be required.

Defence activities regulated by SEPA

This sector is likely to include operations and supply chains for defence establishments where we have regulatory responsibility for including submarine bases, military training grounds and weapons sites. There will be close links with other sectors that operate as part of the supply chain to defence establishments.  A key stakeholder will be the Ministry of Defence.

Drink manufacture

This sector is likely to include small scale drinks production, such as gin production and brewing, as well as larger drinks production, such as major breweries and spring water production. Some scoping will be required particularly around links with the Scotch Whisky sector plan. This already includes grain distilleries and could be extended to include gin, which is often produced by the same operators and on the same sites as Scotch Whisky.

Electricity and heat production

This is likely to be a very large sector that impacts, and is impacted by, all sectors so will require some scoping at the outset. It is likely to cover all forms of electricity (renewable and non-renewable) and heat production, which may use similar supply chains. Work has already started on electricity production with the nuclear sector plan and energy is a key aspect of all sector plans.

Food manufacture and processing

This sector links closely to the agriculture and aquaculture sector plans and would help to address issues across the supply chain for these sectors. This is likely to be a large sector that would encompass meat and fish processing (including abattoirs) and other food processing.

Health care and clinical

This sector is likely to cover the materials supply chain for medical and clinical facilities including hospitals, dentists, vets, care homes and laboratories. Early scoping will be required and there will be a number of links with other sector plans including commercial and public premises, infrastructure and chemicals manufacturing.

Livestock production

This sector is likely to focus on cattle and sheep production for meat, which is a significant sector in Scottish agriculture. It would complement the current dairy and crop production sector plans

Materials recovery

A plan in this area is likely to encompass biowaste and incineration. This area of work already links across other sector plans including Scotch Whisky production, crop production, dairy production and forestry. This is a large sector that requires considerable early scoping

Mining and quarrying

This sector is likely to include surface coal mines, metal mines, sand, gravel and hard rock quarries as well as legacy mine and quarry waste and restoration sites. A key stakeholder would be the Coal Authority. Mining and quarrying has a key impact on our water environment, including long term legacy impacts, site restoration can provide many environmental and social benefits.

Oil and gas product manufacturing and distribution

The initial focus for this sector would need to be defined at scoping but is likely to include on-shore oil and gas exploration and production (unconventional oil and gas), offshore oil and gas receipt and refining, fuel storage and distribution (including export facilities), and retail (including petrol stations). Some areas, such as ship-to-ship transfers, off-coast activities and bitumen production might also be included. The sector is a significant contributor to the Scottish economy and would link with the chemicals manufacturing sector plan.

Other manufacturing

This sector is likely to require early scoping to identify the parts of Scottish manufacturing that are regulated by SEPA but not covered by other sector plans. SEPA regulates cutting, coating, printing and dyeing and some aspects, but not all, will be included within other sectors.

Packaging manufacturing, reuse and reprocessing (including MRF, export, reprocessing, Civic Amenity Sites, bulking and storage)

This sector is likely to include all packaging manufacture, retail, use, reuse and reprocessing. It would include ceramic, plastic, glass and paper/card. There would be significant overlaps with other sectors where packaging use and production is a major part of their supply chain. Significant scoping will be required and work is already underway in this area by SEPA and other stakeholders.

Pig production

This sector is likely to include all forms of pig production including, but not limited to, indoor PPC-licenced systems. Pig production is usually carried out separately from other agricultural production so it makes sense for this sector to be considered separately.

Poultry production

This sector is likely to focus on all poultry (e.g. chickens, turkey, game) production, whether for eggs or meat. It would include, but not be limited to, indoor PPC-licenced systems. Poultry production is generally carried out separately to other agricultural production so it makes sense for this sector to be considered separately.

Recreational, blue and green space

This sector is likely to include golf courses, sporting estates, festivals, theme parks, recreational fishing and canals. The sector has significant impacts across many issues for SEPA, including water quality and waste management, all of which can be compounded by the seasonal nature of tourism. There would be many links with other sectors, particularly waste management, packaging manufacture and land use sectors. Early scoping will be required.

Shellfish production

This sector is likely to link closely to the fin fish aquaculture sector plan but production systems and environmental impacts are different so it makes sense for it to be considered separately. It is likely to link with the water and waste water sector plan. Further scoping is required, for example, to determine whether seaweed production should be included.

Textiles and apparel manufacture

This sector is likely to include wool production and use as well as other textiles and dry cleaners. Some early scoping is required and links with the livestock production and the leather production sector plans identified.