Worcestershire County Council’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions have reduced by over 35% in the last nine years.
Earlier this year, Full Council agreed to work towards the national target set by Central Government, aiming to reduce the Council’s GHG emissions to as near to zero (net zero) as possible by 2050.
The Council has also signed up to the Government’s voluntary Emissions Reduction Pledge committing to a minimum of 30% reduction in GHG emissions from 2009/10 levels by 2020/21.
Whilst the council are currently meeting this target for this year, there is a commitment to maintain this through to 2020/21.
A new plan to achieve net zero emissions across its estate and operations is being worked on.
Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment – Councillor Tony Miller said:
"I’m delighted that our Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction figures continue to improve. We all have a part to play in reducing emissions, and the council is working hard to reduce our direct impact in this area.
The council will not rest on its laurels. We know we have much more to do to achieve net zero emissions. We have a Zero Carbon Board which is working up our plan to reach this stretching target. The Board Members are identifying funding options for energy efficiency improvements in our building stock and street lighting assets; have instigated a zero carbon fleet review of our vehicles; and are identifying opportunities for further tree planting in the county. We also continue to also work closely with our District Council colleagues to promote household waste prevention."
The Council established a Spend to Save fund in 2010 that helps guide investment in energy efficiency measures and renewable energy projects in our buildings.
The Council has overseen several energy efficiency projects over recent years, including major street lighting upgrades, installation of solar panels on a number of sites, improvement in the energy efficiency of buildings, and the introduction of three electric vehicles into the Council's fleet.
The projects, that have been supported by the fund, are saving the council approximately £200,000 every year.
Further capital funding has been earmarked to continue to improve the energy efficiency of council buildings and installation of renewable energy.
This not only saves the council money on energy bills, it also protects from rising energy costs, reduces emissions and environmental impact.
The County Council's emissions reduction has also been assisted by an increase in renewable energy generation in the National Grid electricity mix over recent years, which has lowered the national carbon intensity of electricity.