East Suffolk Council conducts an annual audit of the emissions arising from its estates and activities. In 2022/23, total quantified emissions, at 6064 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), were down by 660 tCO2e, that’s a decrease of 9.9% from 2021/22.
The chart below shows the council’s total emissions for each of the last seven years. For the years 2016/17, the data for the former districts of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney, which joined to form East Suffolk Council in 2019/20, are combined.
Over the period from 2016/17 to 2022/23, the council’s emissions overall have reduced by 32.4%.
The pie chart below shows the council’s total quantified emissions for 2022/23 according to the contributions made by various activities. Note that the three largest contributors (fleet, leisure centres and retirement living schemes) are collectively responsible for approximately 85% of the emissions. For this reason, the council’s emissions reduction plans are focused on these key aspects.
Whilst longer term solutions such as hydrogen as fuel remain under investigation, the council has commenced the implementation, as an interim alternative to diesel, the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil as fuel for the majority of its fleet which are compatible with this renewable fuel as a direct substitute for diesel. The fleet commenced limited use of this fuel from June 2022 onwards, and once the entire fleet is using it, it has the potential to make significant reductions in the emissions attributable to the fleet.
The council currently has ten battery electric (BEV) vehicles on its fleet, comprised of four electric vans and three electric cars on our car parks management fleet, and three electric pool cars. In 2022/23, these ten vehicles travelled a total of 117,258 km (72,861 miles) on council business that would otherwise have been incurred using diesel or petrol powered vehicles, providing an estimated non-deductible avoidance of around 12.2 tCO2e.
Whilst recognising that some business travel is essential, for example to carry out site inspections and to engage with our communities, we also recognise that much business travel, for example to attend meetings internally and with other organisations, can be conducted effectively through the use of remote technology and this approach has been embedded in our new system of agile working.
In 2022/23, business mileage was down 16.1%, and emissions from our business mileage were down 20.3%, when compared to the year 2019/20 (the last financial year before Covid restrictions took effect).
Solar PV arrays are installed on one of the council’s depots, three of its leisure centres, and ten of its retirement and communal housing schemes, providing a total combined capacity of approximately 293 kW, providing renewable energy and helping to contribute to the electricity requirements of these sites.
For more informaton see our Annual Greenhouse Gas Report.