Reading Borough Council has saved over £7 million in energy costs in the last ten years by cutting its carbon footprint.
The Council has also met a target to reduce its own carbon footprint by 50% a full three years early.
A report to the Council’s Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee this week showed the Council continued to make reductions of carbon emissions last year, with a 16.1 % reduction in corporate emissions and a 13.1 % reduction in emissions within the wider influence of the Council, against the previous year’s levels (2016/17). This saved £1.3 million in energy costs.
The 2017/18 carbon footprint for the Council’s corporate activities is 53.9 % lower than the baseline emissions in 2008/09, exceeding the 2020 target three years early.
The full SEPT Committee report can be found at http://www.reading.gov.uk/media/9735/Item13/pdf/Item13.pdf.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“To have cut its own carbon footprint by more than 50% three years ahead of schedule, and made more than £7 million in savings to the public purse, is a remarkable achievement by the Council.
“This has been achieved through a range of initiatives including investment in new technology, the installation of 7,500 solar panels, installing thousands of new low energy street lights across Reading and moving into more energy efficient and sustainable buildings like the relocated Civic Offices.
“We won’t stop there however. Looking forward new initiatives will build on this success including investments in energy efficient technologies in buildings such as the Town Hall, leisure sites and the Bennet Road depot. An energy awareness and training programme and improvements in capturing energy data also play an important part.”
The 2017/18 carbon footprint for the Council’s wider activities (including schools and managed services) is 38.1% lower than the baseline emissions in 2008/09. This excludes emissions from Reading Transport Ltd buses and other vehicles. Reading Buses already has one of the cleanest fleet of vehicles in the UK.
In 2016, the Council signed a pledge to move to 100% clean energy for Reading by 2050. This commitment is consistent with the Council’s original strategy, which sets out the aim for the Council to be zero carbon by 2050. The Council are working with the Reading Climate Change Partnership and Reading 2050 to establish a roadmap towards the goal of achieving the aim to become zero carbon by 2050. A new Climate Change Strategy and revised Carbon Plan will be published in 2020/21.