The dairy processing sector has a good record of compliance with Scotland's environmental protection laws. But there are opportunities to drive further significant reductions in energy, water and materials use throughout the sector's operations. The Dairy processing sector plan will help unlock these potential beyond compliance opportunities and support innovation across the sector while maintaining compliance with environmental regulations.
SEPA is committed to supporting regulated businesses during COVID-19 and following EU Exit. Whilst SEPA remains impacted by a complex and sophisticated cyber-attack the organisation continues to maintain protections for Scotland’s environment, communities and our people.
We recognise that the ability of operators to run their operations may be compromised.
We are clear we expect everyone we regulate to take all reasonable steps to remain in compliance with Scotland’s environmental laws. We expect operators to be actively preparing for the impacts of COVID-19, and ensuring that the impacts on the environment are minimised. We recognise, however, that in some cases operators may be unable to comply for reasons beyond their control.
Our regulatory response to COVID-19 public health emergency, the cyber-attack and EU exit can be found on our regulatory approach hub.
Dairy processing turns Scottish farm produce into products that are sold in domestic and export markets. It has a good record of compliance with environmental protection laws. We want to ensure this solid compliance performance is entrenched throughout the sector's operations and that we play a role in supporting the sector to unlock potential beyond compliance opportunities. Our sector plan sets out how we will do this, working with the sector and supply chains to help deliver shared improvements across the landscape, and supporting innovations that reduce water use, energy use and waste.
Not all dairy processing sites are required by law to be licenced by SEPA. However, larger sites that process more than 200 tonnes of raw milk per day are regulated under section 6.8 of Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (PPC), and required to use best available techniques (BAT) to reduce potential environmental impacts from their sites.
We also regulate a number of sites for abstractions from, and discharges to, the water environment under the Water Environment (Controlled Activities)(Scotland) Regulations 2011 (CAR).
Other relevant regulations and guidance that may apply to dairy processing sites include:
In 2015, the First Minister pledged that Scotland would lead the way to deliver a more equal, more just world, by signing Scotland up to the United Nation (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. These global goals give us the framework to achieve real change, from eradicating poverty to ensuring a good home for us all. This vision is underpinned by SEPA’s own regulatory strategy, One Planet Prosperity, which aims to deliver environmental protection and improvement in ways which help communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our planet.
Scotland’s businesses have a critical role to play in leading Scotland’s contribution to achieving SDGs. Through our sector plans, we have identified opportunities that will work towards achieving the goals and help realise the economic benefit of increased resource efficiency, innovation and resilience.
The actions set out in the Dairy processing sector plan contribute towards Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.