East Suffolk Council conducts an annual audit of the emissions arising from its estates and activities. In 2021/22, total quantified emissions, at 5267 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), were up by 162 tCO2e, that’s an increase of 3.2% from 2020/21. This rise in emissions is largely due to the reopening from April 2021 of our leisure centres, which had been closed for most of 2020/21 due to restrictions imposed by government to restrict the spread of Covid-19. Our leisure centres represent the second largest source of the council’s emissions.
The chart below shows the council’s total emissions for each of the last six 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 2021/22, the council’s emissions overall have reduced by 35%.
The pie chart below shows the council’s total quantified emissions for 2021/22 according to the contribution made by various activities. Note that the three largest contributors (fleet, housing stock and leisure centres) are collectively responsible for 85.5% 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 implemented, 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 use of this fuel from June 2022 onwards, and once the entire fleet is using it, it has the potential to reduce quantified emissions of the fleet by up to 90% and contribute to overall reductions in the council’s emissions of around 30%.
In 2020/21 the council acquired an additional nine battery electric vehicles to bring its total battery electric fleet to ten vehicles – seven vans and cars on our car parks management fleet, and three pool cars. In 2021/22, these ten vehicles travelled a total of 133907 km (83206 miles) on council business that would otherwise have been incurred using diesel or petrol powered vehicles, providing an estimated non-deductible avoidance of around 14tCO2e.
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 2021/22, business mileage was down 56.6%, and emissions from our business mileage were down 57.8%, when compared to the year 2019/20 (the last financial year before Covid restrictions took effect).
Solar PV arrays are installed on two of the council’s office sites, three of its leisure centres, and ten of its retirement and communal housing schemes, providing a total combined capacity of approximately 116kW, providing renewable energy and helping to contribute to the electricity requirements of these sites.
For more informaton see our Annual Greenhouse Gas Reports below.