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Sustainable development and climate change strategy

Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy - Our future is now

Climate change

Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development and one of the best ways to contribute to lessening future changes in climate is by measuring and understanding our carbon footprint. Once we know where our main emissions come from, we can take measures to reduce them.

The council’s first Carbon Management Plan (CMP) was published in July 2008 and updated plans were published in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. The 2008 plan was produced following the council’s participation in the Carbon Trust’s Local Authority Carbon Management Programme and the signing of the Scottish Climate Change Declaration in 2006.

The council’s carbon footprint has been measured and reported annually since 2005-06. We have a legislative duty to contribute to national carbon reduction targets which are included in the action plan of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy.

We measure the gas, electricity, and oil used to heat and power our buildings, the fuel we use to travel, and the electricity used for street lighting. We also measure the emissions that are produced when processing and disposing of the household waste we collect.

Carbon footprint 2005-06
Buildings 69,427
Waste 61,320
Fleet 10,418
Street Lighting 13,005
Staff travel 1,795

Carbon footprint 2005-06. Buildings 69,427. Waste 61,320. Fleet 10,418. Street Lighting 13,005. Staff travel 1,795.

The most recent carbon footprint, for 2021-22 shows that reductions of 65% have been achieved since the baseline year of 2005-06.

Carbon footprint 2021-22
Buildings 35,592
Waste 11,755
Fleet 6,602
Street Lighting 1,603
Staff travel 246

Carbon footprint 2021-22. Buildings 35,592. Waste 11,755. Fleet 6,602. Street Lighting 1,603. Staff travel 246.

There are a number of reasons for this consistent and significant reduction in emissions. Most are related to specific measures undertaken by the council to reduce fuel consumption. However, some changes are a result of updates to the annual carbon conversion factors that are published by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This means that the fluctuating carbon factors over which the council has no control can affect our reported carbon emissions.

The carbon factors fluctuate each year, most noticeably for electricity, as the grid becomes cleaner and greener the carbon associated with generating electricity reduces. Factors for gas, petrol, diesel and oil also fluctuate but not to the same degree. Carbon associated with our waste has also seen significant changes as more is known about the mix of waste collected and what happens when recycling or disposing of it.

Carbon emissions per year
2005/06 - 155,965
2006/07 - 151,882
2007/08 - 151,337
2008/09 - 147,623
2009/10 - 144,832
2010/11 - 141,265
2011/12 - 135,256
2012/13 - 139,441
2013/14 - 136,015
2014/15 - 125,202
2015/16 - 120,276
2016/17 - 110,894
2017/18 - 114,185
2018/19 - 100,183
2019/20 - 67,282
2020/21 - 54,591
2021/22 – 55,798

Carbon emissions per year - graph showing the figures already detailed in text above

Carbon emission reductions between 2005-06 and 2021-22

Buildings 69,427 to 35,592
Waste 61,320 to 11,755
Fleet 10,418 to 6,602
Street Lighting 13,005 to 1,603
Staff travel 1,795 to 246

Carbon emission reductions between 2005-06 and 2021-22. Buildings 69,427 to 35,592. Waste 61,320 to 11,755. Fleet 10,418 to 6,602. Street Lighting 13,005 to 1,603. Staff travel 1,795 to 246.

Buildings

Many carbon and energy reduction projects have been undertaken since 2005 and have included:

  • Voltage Optimisers
  • Insulation and Draught Proofing
  • Secondary Glazing
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installations
  • Combined Heating and Power (CHP) Installations
  • LED Lighting
  • Water Heater Timers
  • Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) Controls
  • Heat Recovery Systems

In addition to these investment projects, an ongoing planned maintenance programme has ensured that our buildings and plant are operating at optimum operation. Asset management plans ensure that assets are reviewed on a regular basis to also ensure services are being delivered from energy efficient properties and projects for new builds and refurbishments ensure building standards are met to a silver sustainability label.

The following figures and chart show how carbon emissions from our buildings have reduced over the years.

2005/06 - 69,427
2006/07 - 66,480
2007/08 - 67,573
2008/09 - 67,691
2009/10 - 69,512
2010/11 - 67,914
2011/12 - 64,901
2012/13 - 70,857
2013/14 - 64,902
2014/15 - 59,821
2015/16 - 59,162
2016/17 - 56,271
2017/18 - 57,101
2018/19 - 55,068
2019/20 - 38,219
2020/21 - 35,925
2021/22 - 35,592

Buildings carbon emissions decreasing from 69,427 in 2005/06 to 35,592 in 2021/22 - full figures are detailed in text

 

The following figures and chart show how electricity consumption has changed over the years.

2005/06 - 70,450
2006/07 - 68,252
2007/08 - 71,003
2008/09 - 73,060
2009/10 - 70,604
2010/11 - 70,174
2011/12 - 70,940
2012/13 - 74,852
2013/14 - 69,910
2014/15 - 63,950
2015/16 - 61,779
2016/17 - 58,477
2017/18 - 58,465
2018/19 - 57,308
2019/20 - 56,205
2020/21 - 49,365
2021/22 - 52,771

Electricity consumption changing over time between 2005/06 and 2021/22 - full figures are detailed in text

 

The following figures and chart show how gas consumption has changed over the years. Given that gas is mainly used to heat our buildings the consumption is very closely linked to the outside temperature each year.

2005/06 - 132,905
2006/07 - 128,730
2007/08 - 129,392
2008/09 - 123,840
2009/10 - 148,361
2010/11 - 148,715
2011/12 - 134,250
2012/13 - 157,245
2013/14 - 139,555
2014/15 - 132,316
2015/16 - 134,289
2016/17 - 128,309
2017/18 - 132,561
2018/19 - 125,583
2019/20 - 128,880
2020/21 - 131,396
2021/22 - 130,587

Gas consumption changing over time between 2005/06 and 2021/22 - full figures are detailed in text
 

Waste

Many significant changes have been made within Waste Services since 2005 with greater segregation of waste types and improvements to kerbside recycling collections. 90% of the household waste collected in 2020 was sent for recycling, composting, or sent to an Energy from Waste site compared with just 32% in 2005.

The following figures and chart show how carbon emissions from household waste disposal has reduced over the years. The reductions are affected by the amount of waste collected but are mainly due to the amount that is sent for recycling, and more recently sent to the Energy from Waste facility, enabling a much smaller proportion being sent to landfill.

2005/06 - 61,320 
2006/07 - 60,015 
2007/08 - 57,824 
2008/09 - 54,876 
2009/10 - 50,711 
2010/11 - 48,928 
2011/12 - 46,741 
2012/13 - 45,334 
2013/14 - 46,724 
2014/15 - 41,392 
2015/16 - 39,072 
2016/17 - 37,297 
2017/18 - 42,079 
2018/19 - 31,403 
2019/20 - 18,279 
2020/21 - 9,459 
2021/22 - 11,755

Carbon emissions from household waste disposal has reduced over the years from 2005/06 to 2021/22 - full figures are detailed in text

 

The following figures and chart show the percentage of waste that has been separated and sent for recycling, and includes paper, card, plastic, glass, metal, food and garden waste.

2005 - 32.31%
2006 - 35.44%
2007 - 36.69%
2008 - 37.02%
2009 - 40.23%
2010 - 38.17%
2011 - 40.53%
2012 - 39.42%
2013 - 39.73%
2014 - 44.64%
2015 - 46.98%
2016 - 50.02%
2017 - 41.54%
2018 - 42.35%
2019 - 46.36%
2020 - 42.15%
2021 - 42.23%

Percentage of household waste that has been separated and sent for recycling between 2005 and 2021 - full figures are detailed in text

 

Street lighting

Many carbon reduction strategies have been employed within our street lighting estate since 2005, most noticeably the ambitious capital-funded LED replacement programme which was completed in 2019 and achieved around a 68% saving in energy consumption. Other interventions have included low-energy pilots, new dimming regimes, and the installation of photocells that adjust the switch on and off times. LED festive lighting and signage which have been replaced on a phased basis have also resulted in reductions over the years. Guidance issued to developers since 2014 has ensured that any new construction sites are installed with LED lighting. Reductions have been achieved despite the number of lights increasing over this term. 

The following figures and chart show how carbon emissions from street lighting has reduced over the years.

2005/06 - 3,005 
2006/07 - 13,155 
2007/08 - 13,957 
2008/09 - 13,564 
2009/10 - 12,932 
2010/11 - 12,962 
2011/12 - 12,986 
2012/13 - 13,020 
2013/14 - 13,841 
2014/15 - 13,509 
2015/16 - 11,895 
2016/17 - 7,549 
2017/18 - 5,464 
2018/19 - 4,603 
2019/20 - 1,862 
2020/21 - 1,774 
2021/22 - 1,603

Carbon emissions from street lighting has reduced over the years from 2005/06 to 2021/22 - full figures are detailed in text

 

Fleet and staff travel

Many activities have resulted in reduced emissions within the council’s fleet such as downsizing in relation to the size of vehicles, which has resulted in smaller, more efficient vehicles and reduced fuel consumption. Ongoing driver training, route planning, minimising idling, and fuel-efficient technologies installed in our vehicles have also impacted our emissions.

Since 2005-06 the number of fleet vehicles has increased due to changes in service delivery such as increased waste collections. However, increases in fuel consumption and associated carbon emissions have been minimised due to these measures

By introducing the pool car scheme in 2011 we shifted the majority of miles traveled in employees’ personal vehicles to our small efficient pool cars. By introducing electric vehicles into our pool car fleet we have made the miles traveled here even more efficient. In 2020, with grant funding From Transport Scotland, we were able to replace all pool cars with electric. However given the disruption from COVID-19 to service delivery since that time the specific carbon reduction potential is unknown, but it is anticipated to be significant.

The following figures and chart show how carbon emissions from fleet and staff travel has reduced over the years.

2005/06 - 12,213 
2006/07 - 12,231 
2007/08 - 11,982 
2008/09 - 11,493 
2009/10 - 11,677 
2010/11 - 11,460 
2011/12 - 10,628 
2012/13 - 10,229 
2013/14 - 10,548 
2014/15 - 10,481 
2015/16 - 10,147 
2016/17 - 9,777 
2017/18 - 9,540 
2018/19 - 9,109 
2019/20 - 8,922 
2020/21 - 7,433 
2021/22 - 6,848

Carbon emissions from fleet and staff travel has reduced over the years from 2005/06 to 2021/22 - full figures are detailed in text

 

Future targets for reducing the council’s carbon footprint will be incorporated into the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy Action Plan.