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Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Last updated on: 22-Feb-2021

Report for Year 2013-14.

Local Authority Information

Kent has a two tier council system and Kent County Council (KCC) covers the whole of Kent (except Medway) and Gravesham is one of the 12 district councils in Kent. Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) is a local authority constituted under the Local Government Act 1972. The main office is located at the Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1AU.

Reporting Period

2013-2014

Introduction

The UK was the first country in the world to introduce a long-term, legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change. The Climate Change Act 2008 has key provisions that sets out legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes: 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020; 50% reduction by 2025 and 80% reduction 2050 (from 1990 levels). Progress from 1990 – 2010 was 26% reduction.

To help with the UK target and reporting, we have followed the Government's Guidance on how to measure and report Greenhouse Gas Emissions as outlined in communications from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Guidance on how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions DEFRA September 2009).

Government requested that, from the end of July 2011, local authorities start to publish energy performance data in a new format. The effect of this change is that energy use data from this date will represent all greenhouse gas emissions, rather than just carbon dioxide emissions.

This second report has been compiled in response to this request from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to publish the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our own estates and operations. The report represents an account of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) by the Council as a result of its own operations and service delivery.

The data reported here relates to the reporting period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 and we have used the web based tool developed by Carbon Smart, using conversion factors calculated by Ricardo – AEA. We have used the appropriate year’s conversion factors. The changes in the UK electricity conversion factors have been taken into account and the baseline data has been recorded in accordance with the Government’s National Indicator 185 (NI185) spread sheet. The NI185 was the government’s method to track national progress on the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).

We have followed the Government guidance on how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions. It recommends identifying and categorising emissions released into three groups or scopes. There are different activities included in each scope:

  • Scope 1 (direct emissions), Emissions resulting from gas usage in Council owned buildings and emissions from Council owned vehicles and contractors vehicles
  • Scope 2 (energy indirect), Emissions resulting from electricity usage in council owned buildings
  • Scope 3 (other indirect), Emissions resulting from business travel / mileage and Transmission and Distribution of electricity from GBC buildings

Base Year

The baseline year used for the Greenhouse Gas Report is 2008 – 2009. We calculated our energy usage using the NI185 National Performance Indicator data set. CO2e data has been recalculated using the GHG emissions factors published on the DECC website. All years have been re-base lined in accordance with DECC guidance. This does not include Scope 3 Business Travel / Mileage as this was not recorded as base year figures.

Targets

Following the commitment to Climate Local Kent, a county-wide pledge to reduce emissions and build resilience to a changing climate and severe weather occurrences, we will work towards a 34% reduction in emissions by 2020 (2.6% annually)(DECC baseline of 2005, 2.6 * 13 = 33.8).

The overall emissions for Kent have shown a reduction of 21% (2012) (2,831kt) since 2005, and with the exception of 2006, 2011 and 2012 year on year emissions has met the Kent target reduction of 2.6%.

Comparing to Kent, Gravesham had achieved in 2012 a reduction of 20.35%. If we compare the current projected reporting level of emission, the Kent target should be a decrease of 31.4%. Gravesham have far exceeded this in achieving a decrease of 58%.

Carbon Offsets and Green Tariffs

The Council did not purchase any carbon offsets or green tariffs during this reporting period.

Approach

Consumption data from energy bills have been used to determine the electricity and gas consumption of the buildings the Council operates from and over which it has direct control.

For the Council owned vehicles fleet, fuel data is provided by the Council's Fuel Management System, Merridale. For business mileage undertaken by private car, mileage data is collected by travel expense claim forms submitted to the Council's payroll. Some staff do not submit car mileage forms but this has been the case since data collection for NI 185 and Green House Gas Emissions Report started in Gravesham. The 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 years do not include Scope 3 as this was a discretionary element relating to business mileage and transmission and distribution of electricity.

We have totalled our energy usage / distance travelled under each scope, using the appropriate conversion factors, we have converted our energy usage to tonnes of CO2e, and these figures have been carried forward to the table of GHG emissions shown below.

Change in Emissions

The data for year-end reporting (2013/2014) against baseline, shows a decrease in carbon emission of 31% which can be attributed to the following factors:

  • Using Degree Day analysis for establishing weather corrected data for the South East region (heating base temperature 15.5oC) there has been a 16.59% decrease in Heating Degree Days compared to the baseline year (2008/09) and 16.44% decrease compared to 2012/2013. 2013/14 has seen a milder winter. There has been a steady decrease between 2008 and 2013, and our gas consumption for 2013/14 also continues to decrease with an overall substantial reduction of 30% from previous year and overall 71% from baseline year. There are a few sites for which bills have not been received due to being in query or not received during 2013/14.
  • Staff, Members and owned transport mileage has reduced in 2013/14 compared to 2012/2013. Lease cars, including pool cars are renewed every 3 years with tax incentive for staff to choose cars with lower emissions.
  • Fleet vehicle mileage has reduced. There has also been a change in our old Fleet HGVs which has meant that new purchases have started to result in decrease in carbon emission. The reduction has also resulted from reduced mileage to the local Waste Transfer Station instead of the land fill site.
  • This year has seen a reduction in carbon emissions against all previous years, however, more notably the intensity measurement shows a reduction in emissions compared to the baseline year (2008/09) This is due to closure of sites and the second floor Civic Centre has been taken over NHS and part of the first floor has been taken over by CAB. These sites have been taken off the main floor area of the Civic Centre.
  • Car mileage was omitted from 08/09 and 09/10 data and have only been included from 2010-11 onwards.

Organisational Boundaries

We have used the financial control approach. It should be noted that Gravesham Borough Council has leased the management of its Leisure Centres to a private management organisation. The total emissions have continued to be included in this reporting year, 2013/2014 as from subsequent baseline year.

Intensity Measurement

In accordance with guidance and good practice, we have chosen Tonnes of CO2e per square metre of corporate building space as this metric will be a valuable comparator.

Intensity measurement comparison to date

Intensity measurement comparison to date
2013/2014 2008/2009
5889.98/27961.5 – giving a measurement of 0.211 tonnes CO2e per m2 or approximately 211.0 Kg CO2e per m2 8476.79/27165.5 – giving a measurement of 0.312 tonnes CO2e per m2 or approximately 312.0 Kg CO2e per m2
This equates to a decrease of 32% between 2013/14 to the baseline year.

The intensity is used for only those corporate buildings that have bearing on occupied use and does not include areas for example of: Car Parks, certain recreational areas, clock towers, Pontoon, Air Station.

Assurance Statement

All data used to calculate our GHG report has been carefully filed and stored and may be audited if necessary.

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