Measuring Our Carbon Footprint
Why are we interested in Carbon Footprints? Central Government have set national targets for all local Councils' to initially measure and then reduce their own Carbon Footprints.
All of the collected data has now been collated and coupled with the targets and actions they form the Carbon Management Plan. By measuring our Carbon Footprint we can find ways to reduce it. By reducing our Carbon Footprint, we save energy resources and reduce the harmful effects on our environment.
What are they made of?
The CO2 footprint is made up of emissions generated from the various services that we provide to our community. These emissions are primarily from heating and lighting in our buildings, and fuel for our fleet of vehicles.
The footprint itself is measured in tonnes of CO2 (1 tonne = 1,000kg) emitted per year, although PM10 (particulates) and NOx (nitric oxide & nitrogen dioxide) are also measured and reported annually to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Our first calculation year
Our baseline footprint is the emissions from the financial year 2008-2009. The DECC have set a three year cycle from April 2008 and ending in March 2011.
- Year 1 (2008/09) is to measure the emissions and create the footprint.
- Years 2 & 3 are action years to reduce the footprint and meet the set targets.
- The above cycle is then repeated with a new baseline footprint.
Our Footprint and Targets
We have adopted the county-wide target of a 12.5% reduction in CO2 by Mar 31st 2011, compared to the baseline year of 2008-09.
Our 2008-09 baseline footprint = 8,685 tonnes CO2
Our baseline is predominately made up of emissions from our owned buildings, vehicles, and street lighting. Included in the base line are the emissions from a number of companies working on our behalf, such as grounds maintenance contractors.
The four leisure centres in South Kesteven account for 2/3 (4,529 tonnes) of the CO2 emissions from all of our buildings, and this is one of the key areas we are targeting with our CO2 reduction action plan.
Our fleet of lorries which collect rubbish each week from around 65,000 homes accounts for 1/3 (1,373 tonnes) of the vehicle emissions. This is another area that we are targeting with new technologies such as bio-fuels, and working to ensure that we are using the most efficient routes for our various collection rounds.