South Somerset District Council exceeds it’s 10% yearly carbon emission reduction target
In May 2019, South Somerset District Council (SSDC) formally recognised a climate and ecological emergency which led, not only to the development of an extensive Environment Strategy, but also a commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Throughout the year 2018-2019, the council monitored it’s usage of gas, oil, fuel, LPG (liquified petroleum gas), electricity, water and business travel, to give a baseline of net 1,633.43 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which the Environment team at SSDC could then comparatively measure the council’s progress against, year on year.
One of the ways to reduce carbon emissions is to use electricity exclusively generated from renewable energy technologies, so in April 2021 the decision was taken to switch SSDC’s electricity to 100% renewable energy supply, which only includes generation from wind, solar and hydro power. This change has supported an incredible 26% reduction on the previous financial year, 2020-2021!
Recently, much of the Council’s front-line services have returned to pre-covid delivery mechanisms and as a result, SSDC did see an uplift in LPG and electricity usage. Across the coming year, the Council are implementing a number of projects and decarbonisation works, including the installation of solar PV across the SSDC estate, and replacing a number of diesel vehicles with Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel, as an interim to switching to electric vehicles. Research is also currently taking place into switching fuel-powered tools to battery operated ones and SSDC are hoping to explore the use of biogas in place of LPG.
Councillor Sarah Dyke, Portfolio Holder for Environment explains, “I am delighted to announce that we have exceeded our 10% carbon reduction target for the past year. The Environment Team and wider staff here at SSDC are extremely dedicated to delivering the council’s Environment Strategy and continue to execute positive actions towards net-zero.
“Our detailed Environment Action Plan looks at a number of environmental aspects and what steps we aim to take to improve these areas, including transport, energy efficiency, natural environment and engagement. It is fantastic to see that we are upholding our strategy and action plan and will continue to do so to work towards a greener South Somerset.”
You can find out more about how South Somerset District Council is supporting the local environment at www.southsomersetenvironment.co.uk/
SSDC's Carbon Calculator 2021-22, view as a PDF here.