This paper illustrates how sustainability and nationalist discourses have operated together in practice in Scotland. Potential connections and tensions between nationalist and sustainability discourses are identified and used to analyse the events leading up to the passage of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. The analysis reveals how in certain contexts, the tensions and connections between sustainability and nationalist discourses can align to reinforce transformative initiatives while in other contexts, the tensions between the two can lead to initiatives being watered down or set aside. The paper concludes that more could be done to emphasise the connections between the two discourses. Engagement at the level of ‘nation’ can lead to sustainability discourses that are more attuned to nationalist values, increased public understanding and acceptance of sustainable development, as well as additional opportunities for debate, public participation, and education.