Lambeth Council has reduced its carbon emissions by 552 tonnes this year figures show – the equivalent of 138 return flights to Australia.
The council has made the cut by rolling out carbon busting technology such as software that automatically shuts down computers at night and monitoring systems that allow staff to see where energy is being wasted in council buildings, as well as installing better pipe insulation at the town hall.
It means the council has avoided having to purchase £6,630 of CO2 allowances from the government under the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), the mandatory schemes where councils and other public and private sector bodies have to pay £12 per tonne for the CO2 that they emit.
The council launched its Carbon Management Plan this time last year, which sets out Lambeth’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions from corporate buildings and street lighting by 20 per cent by 2016 from a 2009/10 baseline in order to reduce costs and impact on the environment. The plan aims to avoid costs of approximately £400,000 a year within five years.
Cllr Lorna Campbell, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “With energy costs likely only to rise in the future we are taking decisive action to make sure we are as energy efficient as we can be, cutting bills and becoming more environmentally sustainable.”
Lambeth has been committed to the principle of sustainability for many years. Examples of policies and practices adopted by the council include:
The retendering of the council’s contract for its fleet of vehicles in 2008 that saw their replacement by more environmentally friendly models and a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions with a further 9 per cent reduction in 2009.
Introduction of solar powered parking meters, and an emission based policy on parking charges that sees owners of the most environmentally friendly vehicles qualify for free residents’ parking permit.
A pool bike scheme to allow staff to cycle between meetings, and showers and changing facilities in council buildings to allow staff to cycle to work.
Recycled material used in all road repairs.