Carbon management plan
Globally, climate change has become a cause for concern, with human activities dangerously increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Ashfield District Council (ADC) recognises that we have a responsibility to act and reduce our own contribution to climate change and achieve net zero emissions. In order to meet our aims we have conducted a full greenhouse gas analysis of the Council’s own operational emissions and produced this Carbon Management Plan.
ADC has already made considerable progress in reducing its emissions through multiple different projects, including installing solar PV on many council owned buildings, operating smarter working practices in council offices and launching a Climate Change Officer Working Group to collaboratively drive reductions in carbon emissions. Also, Council decision making now includes assessments of impact on sustainability and the environment. The impacts of these projects, actions, and other influential factors (discussed throughout this report) has meant that ADC emissions have already reduced by 25% since 2015/161.
This Carbon Management Plan analyses the trends of remaining ADC emissions and sets out key actions for ADC to take to reduce them, as well as actions to improve data quality and monitoring of ADC emissions footprint. Alongside reducing the Council’s own emissions, ADC recognises the importance of supporting the decarbonisation of the whole Ashfield District, in line with UK Government targets of achieving net-zero by 2050 and the international target of keeping global temperature rise well below 2oC, and will act where it can to influence and assist the wider district to meet such targets.
Emissions Reporting Boundary
Ashfield District Council (ADC) is reporting its full greenhouse gas emissions profile, following the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. This methodology is compliant with UK Government reduction targets, Global Covenant of Mayors and the Carbon Disclosure Programme (CDP).
ADC emissions are reported here across three different scopes2:
- Scope 1 - Direct emissions from ADC controlled or owned sources
- Scope 2 - Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy used by ADC
- Scope 3 - Indirect emissions associated with the value chain of the council, both upstream into the council and downstream out of the council.
The type of organisational boundary set by ADC determines which emissions are included in each scope. Ashfield District Council has chosen to use an operational control boundary, meaning emissions are reported in scope 1 and 2 where ADC has full authority to introduce and implement operational policy3. This boundary best represents emissions for which ADC has the ability to influence greenhouse gas emissions from its own assets and operations.
The majority of emissions reported in scope 1 and 2 are not impacted by the type of organisational boundary chosen. One of the most important considerations is with how leased assets are treated. Under operational control, assets that the council leases from external companies are deemed to be under ADC’s operational control and as such are included in Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Meanwhile, assets that the council owns but leases out to external parties are considered not to be under its operational control and are included as scope 3 emissions.
The calculation methodologies for each category of ADC emissions vary depending on the availability of data (see Appendix 3 and 4). Some methods use specific data (e.g. Scope 1 and 2 consumption data), whilst other categories use spend-based approaches (e.g. purchased goods and services). Actions to improve data quality and emissions monitoring for ADC to enact are outlined in Section 10.
It is important to note that ADC has chosen to report its full greenhouse gas footprint as carbon dioxide equivalences, this includes carbon dioxide (CO2) and wider greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and nitrous oxide. In doing so, the council aims to reduce emissions associated with its estate, travel, services and consumption. The GHG Protocol outlines 15 categories to report scope 3 emissions4; 9 of these being applicable to the local authority (see Appendix 4).
Following Chapter 5 of the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, the base year 2015/16 emissions for ADC have been calculated to include emissions from Ashfield Homes5. As the emissions have transferred from Ashfield Homes to Ashfield District Council, without any change in emissions released to the atmosphere, the emissions are also transferred from one organisation’s inventory to the other.
1 Not including ADC investment emissions – see section 2
2 Greenhouse Gas Protocol FAQ - https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards_supporting/FAQ.pdf
3 Carbon management: organisational boundaries - Guidance for public sector organisations - www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/sites/default/files/Organisational%20Boundaries%20-%20carbon%20management%20plans.pdf
4 Greenhouse Gas Protocol Technical gudiance for calculating Scope 3 emissions - http://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards/Scope3_Calculation_Guidance_0.pdf
5 Emissions for Ashfield Homes for example includes utility use in communal areas, and purchased goods and services (Scope 3 category 1) for example which might be used for repair, maintenance or retrofit of these homes. However, the tenants’ energy bills (and the reductions from these energy saving measures) are not estimated or included within this report.
- Ashfield District Council
- Automated Meter Reading
Energy consumption when a building is unoccupied and, for utilities used for heating, when heating degree days equal 0. This is the load which is always there and never switched off.
- Business as usual
- Combined heat and power
- Carbon Management Plan
- Carbon dioxide
- Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions
- Greenhouse gas
- Overall greenhouse gas emissions. These can be reduced through taking measures to reduce, for example, electricity or gas consumption.
- Heating Degree Day. A measure of how far below and for how many days the outside air is below 15.5oC. For example, if the outside air temperature is 14.5oC for 2 days, this would be 1 degree * 2 days = 2 Heating Degree Days. These are added up to give a total for a certain period (e.g. month, year). Used to help quantify likely demand for energy needed to heat a building.
- Key performance indicator
- National Indicator 185 (CO2 reduction from local authority operations) included Scope 1 and 2 emissions. The set of national indicators included 198 indicators, of which Local Strategic Partnerships (usually led by local authorities) were required to set targets against 35. The national indicators were introduced in 2008 and abolished in 2010.
- Reported in addition to the gross emissions. Net emissions reflect reductions which are not reflected in the total emissions, for example, exporting renewable energy generation.
- The border of a company’s own operations and influence.
- Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles
Report written by Nottingham City Council Energy Services
Address/client: Ashfield District Council, Urban Rd, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham NG17 8DA
Rachel Unwin, Performance and Monitoring Officer Michael Suddens, Carbon Neutral Policy Officer
Katie Greenhalgh, Energy Projects Manager