Sustainability at the Gardens

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh considers the environment at the heart of our activities in the world of plants. We aim to minimise our impacts on the environment while we work.

Examples of some of the new and energy saving features we have installed


  • Dawyck Visitor Centre - Opened in 2008, an information centre, shop and café built with sustainability principles at the heart of the design, heated by a biomass boiler and with a green living roof to provide additional habitat, insulation and rainwater absorption.
Visitor centre


  • Logan Cottage - Solar photovoltaic panels are installed on one of the cottages at Logan Botanic Garden. They generated approximately 4,000kWh of energy in 2016 which feeds in to the national grid.
Solar panels on cottage at Logan


  • Edinburgh Botanic Cottage - A centre for learning and community engagement originally built in 1766 and reconstructed in the Edinburgh Garden with traditional building techniques using the original stone, recycled wood floors, and solar PVs to provide light and heating.


Dawyck's Hydro

Dawyck House was one of the first houses in Scotland to have its own electricity supply and now the hydro-electric scheme that once powered the stately home has been brought back into service. The Hydro power scheme was officially launched on the 19th May 2014 making Dawyck the first carbon neutral botanic garden in the UK. Sufficient electricity to power 12 average-sized Scottish family homes for one year has been delivered to the national grid by this scheme.

Dawyck turbine hut

Dawyck Turbine Hut




  • Logan Conservatory - A new conservatory was opened at Logan Botanic Garden in 2014 to display southern hemisphere frost- tender plants. The conservatory is powered solely by Air Source heat pumps and solar power panels. In addition to helping reduce our CO2 emissions, they ensure that maintaining a frost-free environment is cost-free because the heat provided is adequate for the South African plants growing in the Conservatory without the need for additional gas heating.
Logan conservatory


  • Alpine House - The Alpine Display house, opened in 2016, is constructed with a rainwater catchment tank. Rainwater collected is used to water the plants in the Alpine collections reducing the requirement for processed mains water.
New Tufa Alpine House


  • Nursery glasshouse - This glasshouse opened for use in 2017 and is used to grow plants from seed which are eventually planted out in the gardens and used for our research projects. It has a rainwater catchment tank and solar pvs installed.