About Us

Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS)

is a new independent body set up to ensure the effectiveness of environmental law,

and prevent enforcement gaps arising from the UK leaving the European Union.

You can download a brief introduction to us and our work here:

Introduction to Environmental Standards Scotland

Who We Are

Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) is a public sector body, set up as a non-ministerial office, independent of Scottish Government, and accountable to the Scottish Parliament.

We’ve been set up to ensure environmental laws and standards are adhered to in Scotland, replacing the European Union’s scrutiny and enforcement role after Brexit. Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS) was established in law by the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021.

We’re led by a Chair and Board, have a Chief Executive and specialised team, and a main office based in Edinburgh. Our Board Members have significant experience in leading independent scrutiny organisations and particular expertise in European environmental law.

Mission Statement, Vision, Values & Principles

The Board has agreed a Mission Statement, a Vision and a set of values and principles that demonstrate what we hope to achieve and will guide the way that we will work.

Our Interim Strategic Plan

We have published an Interim Strategic Plan, setting out how we intend to carry out our role in the interim period until our final Strategic Plan is approved by the Scottish Parliament.

The Interim Strategic Plan sets out the strategic outcomes that we are aiming to achieve and our proposed approach to delivering each of these. It identifies where further work will be undertaken and our intention to consult on the proposed content of our final Strategic Plan, which must be presented to the Scottish Parliament for approval by 1st October 2022.

We welcome feedback on our Interim Strategic Plan and will be organising a series of opportunities for people and organisations with an interest in our role to hear more about our proposals.

Our Remit

We cover a broad range of environmental law, including all aspects of environmental protection and harm, particularly in relation human beings and their enjoyment of the environment.

Our role is to scrutinise, investigate and secure improvements in public authorities’ compliance with environmental law, the effectiveness of environmental law, and the way it is being implemented and applied in Scotland.

We cover all public authorities – including the Scottish Government and its agencies, as well organisations carrying out functions on behalf of public authorities.

Our Organisation

We are a non-ministerial office, governed by a Chair and Board.

Our Board operates under Standing Orders and we have a Framework agreement with the Scottish Government.

Latest News

Latest News

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How can we help you?

If you want to raise a formal concern over how environmental law is being applied by a public authority in Scotland, please see our pages on How to raise a concern.

For Freedom of Information and Subject Access requests, please see our Freedom of Information pages.

Otherwise, if you have a general query, please contact us by completing this form. If you are unable to send us a message through this form please leave a message on 0808 196 4000.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Email: press@environmentalstandards.scot

Environmental Standards Scotland respects your privacy and will not disclose your personal data to a third party without your consent unless legally required to do so. We will process any personal data that may be collected from you for the purpose of fulfilling your enquiry and maintaining records. To find out more, please view our privacy policy.

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