Reducing our organisational carbon footprint
In May 2010 the council adopted its first Climate Change Strategy, this has helped shape the steps we have taken so far to reduce our own impact on the environment.
A key area this has focused on is how we can better monitor and manage our energy usage. To help us do this we have installed smart meters in all the buildings owned by us as a council and we have also supported schools to install smart-meters too.
We have installed solar panels on council-owned buildings to generate zero-carbon electricity from a renewable energy source. The sites include schools, libraries, care centres, our main office Priory House, and Rushmere Country Park visitor centre.
The combined generation of zero carbon energy from the council’s buildings is estimated to produce over 540,000 kWh of electricity and reduces the council’s carbon footprint by 154 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. Solar panels installed at our Priory House offices provide nearly a third (30 per cent) of the buildings’ annual electricity usage, saving over 58 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
We have also recently made significant changes to the way we work; we have reduced paper usage by 30 per cent and car mileage by almost ten per cent in three years by using remote working and conference calls.
We’re also reducing our use of plastic as we recognise the impact that plastic, particularly single use is having on the environment.