Our Carbon Footprint
In May 2019 SSDC recognised a climate emergency and committed to being carbon neutral by 2030.
To achieve this goal we needed to understand our annual carbon footprint. SSDC used a carbon calculator to calculate this and the infographic at the bottom of the page shows that in 2018-19 our net emissions of C02 equivalent were 1,650 tonnes.
The carbon calculator will be used to complete annual reviews to ensure we are moving towards carbon neutrality by 2030. To achieve this, each year we need to reduce our annual carbon by 10% accumulatively. During 2019-2020, we achieved over 10% carbon reduction.
2022-2023 Carbon Calculator Review
SSDC have seen an incredible 35% reduction in carbon emissions on the previous financial year, 2021-2022! With an overall 60% reduction on the 2018-2019 baseline.
South Somerset District Council became part of the unitary council on the 1st April 2023 and a new countywide combined carbon emissions baseline calculation will be completed for the new Somerset Council.
2021-2022 Carbon Calculator Review
SSDC have seen an incredible 26% reduction in carbon emissions on the previous financial year, 2020-2021!
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 energy switch was responsible for the largest reduction in carbon emissions.
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 Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel, as an interim to switching to electric vehicles. This drop-in replacement for diesel is made from recycled cooking oil, with up to 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Research is also currently taking place into switching fossil-fuel powered tools to battery operated ones and SSDC are hoping to explore the use of biogas in place of LPG to continue to meet our 10% reduction target for 2022/23!
2020-2021 Carbon Calculator Review
The latest calculation from 2020-2021 saw a 6% reduction in CO2e, which is lower than our target.
Although the period includes times when our offices and
leisure centres were closed due to the pandemic, there
was increased utilisation of some SSDC buildings due to
occupation by Avon & Somerset police 24/7 who now
rent part of the Brympton Way building.
Also, CO2 emissions from gas usage has increased,
influenced by increased use of the Crematorium over
the last year. Another factor was during lockdown our
Environmental Services and Countryside colleagues
had to use separate vehicles to carry out their work in
order to be covid safe.
Actions proposed for 2021-2022 will get us back on track.
Installation of improved insulation, additional PV and
air source heat pumps from the Public Sector
Decarbonisation Scheme grant will reduce gas and oil
use in our highest use buildings and in turn reduce
SSDC's CO2e emissions. Staff will also be encouraged
to continue reducing their travel for meetings by
replacing them with virtual communication technology
wherever possible. Electricity emissions will also
decrease due to our switch to a renewable energy tariff.
All of these will contribute to us being on target or better
2018 - 2019 Carbon Calculator baseline
2019 - 2020 Carbon Calculator
District Wide Carbon Calculator..
Place Based Carbon Calculator is a free tool which estimates
the per-person carbon footprint for every Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) in England. LSOAs are small statistical areas with a population of about 1,500 - 3,000. It draws on a wide range of data and research to give a representative view of how carbon footprints vary across the country. The Place Based Carbon Calculator is intended to help communities and policy makers understand where their carbon footprints come from and what we need to do to reduce them.