The growth potential of Scotland’s Natural Economy

Our Director, Graeme Blackett presented at the SRUC Natural Choice on the findings of our July 2020 report. This defined and detailed for the first time the value of the ‘natural economy’ to Scotland’s overall economic output, finding it represents more than a fifth of the nation’s economy.

The presentation can be viewed below.

The natural economy is defined as comprising six sub-sectors that either directly use, rely or contribute to conserving natural resources, namely: tourism, food and drink, fishing and aquaculture, agriculture, energy (including renewables), and forestry, logging and manufacture of wood.

Commissioned by SRUC and undertaken by BiGGAR Economics, a leading independent economic consultancy, the report argues that the natural economy is an area of comparative advantage for Scotland, which can also be a critical plank of the national recovery and renewal strategy supported by the best of Scotland’s universities and research institutes.

In 2018, the natural economy contributed £29.1 billion gross value added (GVA) to the Scottish economy – more than a fifth of its total – and employed 290,100 people. This equates to 11 per cent of all employment across Scotland.

Whereas most of the GVA generated by the natural economy is due to energy, employment is more evenly distributed across tourism, agriculture, energy, and food and drink. Nature-related tourism made the largest contribution with over 87,000 jobs.

The full report is available from the SRUC website


Posted 28.09.20

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