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.

Total GHG emissions, tonnes CO24655349890479544817042291432294061939433
Change from 2007/80.0%7.2%3.0%3.5%-9.2%-7.1%-12.7%-15.3%
Weather corrected emissions4746348669474664706643949417504149141412
Change from 2007/80.0%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 year's 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 - buildings15,60914,94414,65512,11113,850 12,19112,059-18.33%
Natural gas - buildings (weather corrected)14,61814,68713,76813,98912,57013,06214,038-10.5%
Transport fuels4,8374,7624,7123,9193,4563,4013,193-24.1%
Landfill gas1,7121,4261,1411,0191,6613,4232,1005.2%
Electricity - buildings16,31415,52116,23514,73814,50913,26814,561-2.17%
Electricity - streetlights8,5188,4178,4837,8377,3556,1515,328-32.8%
Business travel970989953737671525453-54.3%
Annual Degree Days*2,5052,3872,4972,0312,5852,1551,968n/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 (for example, 2008/9 - 2010/11), low number mean mild winters (2007/8 and 2011/12

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