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Council greenhouse gas emissions

 

We are committed to managing and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are generated as a result of the energy and fuel we use while delivering services.

The main uses of energy and fuel in the Council are for:

  • heating and powering over 300 buildings and schools
  • lighting 30,000 streetlight across Gateshead
  • fueling around 500 council vehicles
  • employee travel whilst at work

We are also responsible for a small amount of methane generation, which is a potent greenhouse gas, from the five closed landfill sites we manage.

We have committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 35% over 7 years, from 2009 to 2016.

The tables below show how much we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions since 2007/8, measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide, or CO2.

Gateshead Council: Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2007/8 to 2013/14

As of March 2013, actual greenhouse gas emissions from Gateshead Council operations are 12.7% lower than in 2007/8.

Accounting for variability in annual temperatures, weather-corrected emissions are 12.6% lower.

Excluding landfill gas, emissions from all other sources are down by 16% overall, however, an increase in landfill gas emissions from one site in 2013/14 has offset this reduction, meaning overall weather corrected emissions remain in line with last year.

 2007/82008/92009/102010/112011/122012/132013/142014/15
Total GHG emissions, tonnes CO2 46553 49890 47954 48170 42291 43229 40619 39433
Change from 2007/8 0.0% 7.2% 3.0% 3.5% -9.2% -7.1% -12.7% -15.3%
Weather corrected emissions 47463 48669 47466 47066 43949 41750 41491 41412
Change from 2007/8 0.0% 2.5% 0.0% -0.8% -7.4% -12% -12.6% -12.7%

Overall position

Breaking this down into the main areas of energy and fuel use, we can see where progress is being made, as follows:

  • Gas consumption increased despite the mild winter, largely due to the billing of some gas volume from 2013/14 in 2014/15 instead.
  • Streetlights electricity use fell by 15.4% compared to last year, as effect of energy efficiency lighting replacement took effect .
  • An 11% increase in carbon content of UK electricity offset any improvement seen from electricity reductions.
  • Business travel has remained steady down 54% since 2007/08.
  • Fleet transport saw another drop of 5% in fuel use overall, from the continued reduced operations in refuse collection, grounds maintenance and plant equipment (grounds maintenance and construction).
  • Last years significant increase in landfill gas emissions has dropped substantially, by around 37%, but is still up 5% on 2007/08, as flaring becomes unviable at some sites, as the gas production drops off.

The table below details the change in emissions from these sources over the past 7 years.

Source of carbon emissions2008/92009/102010/112011/122012/132013/142014/15Percent change since 2007/8
Natural gas - buildings 15,609 14,944 14,655 12,111 13,850 12,191  12,059 -18.33%
Natural gas - buildings (weather corrected) 14,618 14,687 13,768 13,989 12,570 13,062  14,038 -10.5%
Transport fuels 4,837 4,762 4,712 3,919 3,456 3,401  3,193 -24.1%
Landfill gas 1,712 1,426 1,141 1,019 1,661 3,423  2,100 5.2%
Electricity - buildings 16,314 15,521 16,235 14,738 14,509 13,268  14,561 -2.17%
Electricity - streetlights 8,518 8,417 8,483 7,837 7,355 6,151  5,328 -32.8%
Business travel 970 989 953 737 671 525  453 -54.3%
Annual Degree Days* 2,505 2,387 2,497 2,031 2,585 2,155 1,968 n/a

* degree days are used to measure the amount of heating demand, when outside temps are below 15 degrees C – high numbers mean cold winter (e.g. 2008/9 – 2010/11), low number mean mild winters (2007/8 and 2011/12