Following our Climate Emergency Declaration in April 2019, and as part of our Part 1 Carbon Action Plan work, we measure our Local Authority carbon footprint on an annual basis.
Our carbon footprint helps us to identify carbon hotspots associated with the services that we deliver as a local authority, which in turn helps us to implement carbon reduction policies, measures, and monitoring, so that we can reduce our contribution to climate change.
The ‘Financial Control Boundary’ covers the things that we own, purchase and sell. We have used this boundary to determine the extent and scope of our carbon footprint, which includes emissions reporting for:
- the buildings that we own and operate, such as leisure centres and offices
- the vehicles we own and lease, such as refuse and recycling vehicles
- the products and services we procure, such as IT services and equipment
- the assets we develop and purchase, such as regeneration projects and building repairs
See the Teignbridge District Council Carbon Footprint for a full summary of our carbon footprint.
Our carbon footprint will continue to evolve as enhanced metrics and datasets become available, and as we broaden the assessment to include further activities such as agile working and the impacts of our leased building portfolio.
Using 2018/19 as a base year, our direct carbon footprint (known as Scope 1 and 2) was 2,565 tonnes CO2e, and our indirect carbon footprint (known as Scope 3) was 4,134 tonnes CO2e.
Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions are based on energy meter readings and fuel consumption data and have lower levels of uncertainty. Scope 3 emissions are predominantly based on publicly available financial emissions factors and have higher levels of uncertainty.
Our carbon footprint covering the supply of heat to our buildings has reduced by 17% relative to our 2018/19 baseline; this includes an emissions saving of 88 tonnes CO2 owing to the completion of heat decarbonisation projects at Forde House and the Teignmouth Lido within the 2022/23 period.
With project commissioning taking place at Forde House and the Teignmouth Lido during 2022/23, including the completion of low carbon heating systems and the disconnection of gas supplies, we expect to see the full carbon saving potential of up to 148 tonnes CO2 between 2023/24 and 2024/25.
Whilst we have observed an overall decrease in heating-related emissions, there has been an increase in gas consumption at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre, and the group of sites collectively known as All Other Sites.
With a heat decarbonisation project due to complete at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre in 2023/24, involving the replacement of gas-fired heating with air source heat pumps, we anticipate a carbon saving up to 220 tonnes CO2 from 2024/25.
We also anticipate a further emissions reduction of 45 tonnes CO2 from 2025/26 following the completion of a heat decarbonisation project at Broadmeadow Sports Centre. There is further potential to reduce heat-related emissions across our building estate, for which we will pursue funding under the Swimming Pool Support Fund and covering our most energy intensive sites at our Dawlish and Newton Abbot leisure centres and the Teignmouth lido.
Our carbon footprint covering the supply of electricity to our buildings has reduced by 44% relative to our 2018/19 baseline, a saving which amounts to 313 tonnes CO2; this linked with decarbonisation of the UK electricity supply system, a reduction in electricity consumption, and increases in on-site renewable energy supply.
Year-on-year emissions relating to our vehicle fleet have remained consistent at about 1,300 tonnes of CO2, whilst emissions relating to claimed mileage have reduced by 36%; this reduction in claimed mileage emissions can be attributed to our embracement of agile and digital working, which has reduced the need for staff transport.
As part of our fleet decarbonisation plans, we will begin our first phase of fleet electrification in 2024/25, with several vans switching from diesel to battery electric equivalents. Following the completion of this project, we anticipate an emissions reduction of 58 tonnes CO2 from 2025/26.
Supply Chain Carbon Footprint
Our supply chain carbon footprint, which we report as part of our Scope 3 inventory, has seen a reduction since 2018/19 despite a rebound in emissions following the pandemic, during which time there was a reduction in our local authority spend. Below is a list of our carbon hotspots based on a combination of local authority spend and emissions factors extrapolated from Government databases:
- Infrastructure investments
- Building repairs and maintenance
- IT services
- Leasing of our Vehicle Fleet
- Various contributions to local authorities
Changes to Our Inventory
We have introduced two new categorise in our Scope 3 inventory to cover electricity and natural gas consumption at Sherborne House, a site that we own and lease out to third party tenants; this approach aligns with guidance set out in the Green House Gas Protocol.
Where we used to calculate biomass consumption emissions at Dawlish Leisure Centre based on the tonnage of biomass purchased, we now report emissions based on the kWh readings gained from thermal energy meters to provide a more accurate assessment of these emissions.
Although we have discontinued our reporting of refrigerant gases in our scope 1 carbon footprint owing to data availability and uncertainty, we will implement new policies covering these potential emissions within an update of our Part 1 Carbon Action Plan.