Reducing carbon emissions

Information about our carbon emissions and details of the projects we are running to reduce them further.

We are working to reduce carbon emissions from our buildings and schools. Below you can see the progress we are making and some of the projects and programmes we are working on to further reduce emissions.

Where our carbon emissions come from

Nearly all our council services emit carbon emissions, from lighting the streets to disposing of refuse and heating schools and care homes.

All councils must report on their carbon emissions to central government. These are reported as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in line with DEFRA guidelines on reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.

The carbon reporting scope includes:

  • buildings owned and used by the council, including schools, libraries, care homes and offices;
  • staff business mileage; and
  • street lighting.

The reporting scope excludes emissions from:

  • homes;
  • staff commuting to and from work;
  • council fleet data after 2012-2013; and
  • business properties owned by the council but outsourced.

Carbon emissions data

Annual carbon emissions (tonnes CO2e)

  2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Scope 1 (building gas and heating oil and fleet*)#  25,564 26,874 23,275 21,832 21,512
Scope 2 (building and street lighting electricity)*~ 25,109 20,937 19,853 21,720 19,487
Total 35,905 31,114 29,244 31,625 28,198
Scope 3 (business travel)** 3,843 3,035 3,163 3,114 2,907
Total emissions 65,312 81,960 75,536 78,290 72,104

* The data is not weather corrected so will fluctuate due to cooler and warmer weather from year to year.
# Data from 2012-13 onwards does not include emissions from the County Council's own fleet.
~ Emissions include all North Yorkshire County Council buildings (including schools but excluding academies), changes will take place as schools convert to academies.
** Data reflects travel by staff on County Council business in their own vehicles. It does not include commuting travel or third-party emission via suppliers.

  2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Annual revenue expenditure £938,482,000 £893,229,000 £943,394,000 £926,767,000 £983,918,000
Intensity measurement
(tonnes CO2e per million £ net revenue expenditure)
70.00 68.32 59.02 61.04 53.48

Commentary:

  • Carbon data from 2012-13 onwards uses latest DEFRA guidance and conversion factors for 2016. 
  • Scope 1 and 2 emissions will be affected by annual weather fluctuations as demonstrated by the change between 2011-12 and 2012-13. The later year was 30.71% colder than 2011-12, therefore more energy was required to heat buildings.
  • Scope 3's staff travel for business in own vehicles reflects fewer staff employed by North Yorkshire County Council making claims during the period, a reduction by 4.71%.

What we are doing to reduce carbon emissions

We are working on a range of projects and programmes to reduce both costs and the associated carbon emissions from energy usage. These include:

  • having dedicated staff who work with schools to help teachers and students understand and reduce energy use;
  • supporting the popular environmental scheme eco schools which more than two-thirds of our county's schools are working on;
  • producing mandatory display energy certificates and accompanying advisory reports for schools and public offices;
  • monitoring energy and water bills to spot errors and ensure accuracy;
  • monitoring heating and hot water systems remotely in many of our buildings to ensure they are running efficiently; and
  • undertaking changes to building systems to improve efficiency.