The council's carbon footprint
This page looks at the carbon emissions from the Council and its activities.
For carbon emissions from County Durham as a whole, see County Durham's carbon footprint.
The council's carbon footprint is calculated at the end of each financial year. The most recent figures cover April 2020 to March 2021. This information will be updated at the end of July each year with the latest figures.
The Climate Emergency Target for the council is to achieve 80% actual reduction on carbon emissions from 2008/09 baseline by 2030. That means that in the financial year 2029/2030, we should have a carbon footprint no greater than 21,526 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
|Year||Actual Emissions||Target Emissions|
|Footprint (tonnes CO2e)||Reduction (%)||Footprint (tonnes CO2e)||Reduction (%)|
Carbon footprint 2020/21
Our carbon footprint is split into three scopes.
Scope 1 is direct emissions, which means any emissions that come as a direct result of us burning a fuel such as oil, gas, or petrol.
Scope 2 is indirect emissions, which here just refers to the emissions produced when our electricity was generated in a power station.
Scope 3 is emissions from areas where we can't have full control. There has been a significant change in this since our baseline year of 2008/09 as Local Authorities no longer have control over all of our schools and some other services. Scope 3 also includes business travel, as we can not control the type of vehicle our staff choose to use, though we do encourage active and public transport or use of our electric pool cars whenever possible. Although some emissions have moved into scope 3 from scopes 1 and 2, the total footprint still covers the same total scope.
Annual Carbon Emissions (tonnes CO²e)
|Source of Emissions||2008/09 (baseline year)||2020/21 (last year)|
|Scope 1 (direct emissions)|
|Solid Fuel (wood pellets)||0||7|
|Vehicle fleet and plant||11,259||9,409|
|Scope 1 total||46,119||16,700|
|Scope 2 (indirect emissions)|
|Purchased electricity (Grid)||51,065||7,696|
|Scope 2 total||51,065||7,696|
|Scope 3 (emissions outside of DCC's control)|
|Solid Fuel (wood pellets)||0||2|
|Purchased electricity (Grid)||334||5,414|
|Scope 3 total||8,183||19,922|
|Annual total footprint||105,367||44,319|
The data in the table above shows a reduction from 105ktCO²e to 44ktCO²e from 2008/09 to 2020/21. That's a reduction of 58%. The graph below shows how that reduction has happened year-on-year.
The chart shows annual carbon emissions from 2008/09 to 2020/21. Reduction from the baseline year has progressed steadily to 58% in 2020/21. The biggest reduction is seen in emissions from electricity, so we need to do more work on heat and transport. The table below contains all of the data used in the chart. All figures are in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Reduction so far
More information on the council's carbon footprint can be found on the Durham Insight: carbon emissions page.
Where our emissions come from
The footprint includes:
- Gas, electricity, biomass, and oil used in;
- Buildings owned and used by us (the council) including; schools, leisure centres, libraries, depots, offices and more
- Buildings leased by us or from us where we pay the utility bills
- Street lighting including bus shelters
- Fuel used by fleet vehicles owned and used by us, such as refuse collection vehicles
- Staff business mileage for road, rail, and air travel
The footprint excludes:
- Domestic properties and council owned housing
- Staff commuting to and from work
- Buildings owned by us which are leased to and operated entirely by third parties including some industrial units and some schools
- Procurement of goods and services
- Water use (see note 1 below)
- Fugitive gasses (see note 2 below)
- Water use is monitored and well managed, but accurate metering is not always available. The total carbon footprint is estimated to be less than 1% of the total footprint.
- These are monitored separately. It is our intention to include them in the main footprint report in future.
- Sustainability Carbon and Climate Change
- Sustainability Carbon and Climate Change
- 03000 265 545
Our address is:
- 5th Floor
- County Hall
- County Durham
- United Kingdom
- DH1 5UQ