The Board received a presentation from the Climate Change Officer setting out the April 2019-March 2020 Green House Gas Emissions: high level findings.
The presentation was based upon the findings of APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) which had been commissioned to calculate the emissions produced by the Council itself over the previous 12 months. This was an initial overview and the in-depth report would be to follow, probably early in the New Year. It was hoped that in future such calculations would be produced in-house to provide information more quickly and to be more responsive.
Gross emissions were separated into Scope 1, direct emissions (heating and biomass, fuel and vehicles) amounting to 60%; Scope 2, imported energy (purchased gas and electricity) amounting to 31%; and Scope 3, indirect emissions (transmission of fuels, transport of those travelling to the council etc.) amounting to 9%. Overall, the gross emissions amounted to 8613 tCo2e. Procurement was not included at this stage as it was currently very difficult to capture. The largest emissions from one single source for the Council was the Spectrum Leisure Centre.
Some emissions were offset by the Council’s solar panels and the hydro-electric generating facility on the River Wey reducing overall gross emissions to 8586 tCO2e. It was noted that the hydro generator had been affected by the break in the weir upstream illustrating the need to have multiple energy provision options. However, it was noted that it was better to reduce emissions overall rather than to offset.
The trend had been of steady decline of the Council’s emissions since 2008 which was the baseline year. Compared to the baseline year emissions were down 45%. However, the net emissions actually increased by 2% from the previous year.
The reason for this increase was an increase in both gas and electricity consumption. The gas consumption had increased by 7% and electricity consumption had increased by 10%. The increase in gas consumption appeared to be due to the year being colder overall and with this difference removed it was suggested the consumption would have been very similar. With regards to electricity, the impacts of this increase were not fully felt due to a reduction in the carbon intensity of grid electricity, meaning that the associated emissions increase was lower than the consumption increase. The reasons for this increase in electricity and further analysis of the causes of the emissions would be a key area of focus for the future and more detail would come from the final report.
An additional forthcoming report would have site specific analysis and interventions, information on trends and detailing further the footprint of the Council and a mapping exercise on achieving net zero by 2030. The Council would not await the report before progressing or starting projects considered to be contributing to reducing emissions. The report would be a baseline upon which the Council would begin to measure and record progress. Once received, the findings of the report would be presented to the Board along with suggestions and proposals.
Electricity was supplied to the Council by npower and Gas from Total gas and power, both energy contracts are managed by Laser (Kent County Council). The Council’s electricity supply is not currently a green tariff. It was noted that this could be changed relatively cheaply (~£0.005 per kWh), however the environmental credentials of this particular option are not wholly robust. Laser is working on a more robust green electricity procurement option and will be seeking expressions of interest in this in due course. This would be reported to the Board.
The slides from the report are at Appendix 3 of these minutes.