From small beginnings, great things come

Sniffer has been at the forefront of environmental research and practice since 1989. Beginning as the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research, we were initially established as a research management consortium. After five successful years, we reformed in 1994 as an independent charity dedicated to commissioning scientific research on the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.

In the two decades since we have continued to develop and hone our approach, moving from a primarily research based model addressing environmental regulation to one that focuses on using environmental change as the catalyst for positive change for people and places. You can read more about our collaborative approach here.

Over the years we have:

  • played a key role supporting the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive;
  • helped to create measures improve air quality, resource and land management, and the application of the precautionary principle;
  • helped to shape thinking and develop European networks on the urban environment;
  • led the development of Scotland’s climate change adaptation efforts (first as the Scottish Climate Change Impacts Partnership and now as Adaptation Scotland);
  • driven change in the Flood Risk Management community in Scotland through annual conferences and knowledge exchange mechanisms;
  • pioneered collaborative approaches to building climate resilience on both the community scale and the regional scale;
  • and much, much more.

Our historic reports are available to access here.

This diverse background has allowed us to build connections with experts across environmental and sustainability science and policy, community engagement, science communications and the arts. You can read about our expertise here. Our networks are one of our biggest strengths, allowing us to find the right support for the right project, and bring together great thinkers with great doers to make change happen. You can find out more about how we put theory into practice in our case studies here.

One thing that has remained constant over our history is partnership working. Collaboration has always been at the heart of what we do. We want to work with others to create the best possible solutions to for all. Based in the shared offices of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation since 2014, we are at the nexus of climate and environmental policy in Scotland and regularly work in concert with fellow residents including the University of Edinburgh and ClimateXChange. You can read more about who we work with here and what our clients say about the quality of our services here.

Like our natural environment, Sniffer is always adapting and stretching ourselves to overcome the challenges of tomorrow. You can read more about our current projects here and if you have an idea for a new project that you would like our help with or if you would be interested in helping to fund Sniffer's ongoing work, get in touch here.