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Carbon emissions

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 (CO2) 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;
  • Fleet vehicles owned and used by the council;
  • Staff business mileage; and
  • Street lighting.

The reporting scope excludes emissions from:

  • Homes;
  • Staff commute to and from work; and
  • Business properties owned by the council but outsourced.

Carbon emissions data


Annual carbon emissions (tonnes Co2e)

Scope 1 - building gas and heating oil25,564T26,874T23,275T21,832T21,512T
Scope 2 - building and street lighting electricity35,905T31,114T29,244T31,625T28,198T
Scope 3 - business travel3,843T3,035T3,163T3,114T2,907T
Total carbon emissions65,312T81,960T75,536T78,290T72,104T
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)7068.3259.0261.0453.48

* tonnes CO2e per million £ net revenue expenditure.

Our carbon data has been reset each year using latest DEFRA guidance on conversion factors for reporting.

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: 

  • Working in conjunction with the Yorkshire energy partnership to offer a range of energy efficiency programmes for offices and schools including insulation, draught proofing and lighting upgrades;
  • Having dedicated staff who work with schools to help staff and pupils understand their energy use and work towards reducing it;
  • Supporting work on the popular environmental scheme eco schools which over two thirds of our county's schools are working on;
  • Producing mandatory display energy certificates and accompanying advisory reports for schools and public offices;
  • Supporting schools to install biomass boilers where appropriate;
  • Monitoring energy and water bills to spot errors and ensure data and billing accuracy;
  • Running a pilot solar PV installation scheme for schools;
  • 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.