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York Council Hits Green Target


1:35pm 7th March 2013

With Climate Week drawing to a close, City of York Council is celebrating reducing its carbon emissions by 28 per cent over the last five years - three per cent over its target.

In 2007, the council decided to act to reduce its carbon footprint and embarked on a Carbon Management Programme (CMP) to cut emissions across all its activities – from energy consumption in buildings to the fuel used in collecting the city's waste.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “The council emitted approximately 23,200 tonnes of carbon (tCO2) in 2006-7 and set itself a target to reduce this by 25 per cent or 5,810tCO2 by the end of March 2013, as it’s contribution to helping to meet the climate change challenge. 

“By the end of March 2013, the council will have succeeded in reducing its emissions by over 6,500 tCO2 - 28 per cent compared to 2006/07 levels - solidly beating its target. We hope other business, organisations and individuals will take this as an example as to what can be achieved with the will. It’s crucial that, notwithstanding the current major economic challenges, we all continue to work towards safeguarding the planet’s future.”

Measures taken to reduce emissions include:

  • Installing biomass heating systems in a number of schools and libraries, including Acomb Explore, York High School, and Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School, saving over 1000tCO2
  • Improvements in street lighting by replacing inefficient lanterns with low power versions, for example LEDs, compact fluorescents and replacing controls with more up-to-date examples saving over 400tCO2 so far
  • Measures to reduce emissions and fuel consumption from the council's refuse and recycling fleet, such as optimising round routes, fitting electric bin lifts and using higher capacity vehicles.

Reducing the council's office buildings from 17 to two will help cut emissions further. The new West Offices is heated and cooled with low and zero carbon energy sources including a biomass boiler and solar photovoltaic panels and Hazel Court is already very environmentally high performing and sustainable.

A report asking the Cabinet Member to note the progress made towards reducing city-wide carbon emissions will be going to a decision session next week.

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