Issue - meetings

Working Towards Net Zero - Exeter City Council’s Corporate Carbon Footprint Report and Carbon Reduction Action Plan

Meeting: 29/11/2022 - Executive (Item 121)

121 Working Towards Net Zero - Exeter City Council's Corporate Carbon Footprint Report and Carbon Reduction Action Plan pdf icon PDF 600 KB

To consider the report of the Director Net Zero Exeter & City Management.


Additional documents:




RECOMMENDED that Council:


(1)   note and endorse the Corporate Carbon Footprint report, and acknowledge the detailed analysis and improved data provided on previous year’s reports, but also the challenge to improve data capture across the whole organisation. The projections reinforce the measures required across all Council activities, and that organisationally achieving Net Zero in such a short timeframe is extremely challenging;


(2)   acknowledge the scale of the challenge set out in the Corporate Carbon Footprint Report and the combination of aggressive carbon reduction measures included in the projections which require a step change in Council policy, activity, and capacity;


(3)   acknowledge the importance of the Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan, the work already in progress, and service wide commitment required to deliver net zero, with a dedicated team to lead on activity. Equally, the need to undertake an annual assessment of the Council’s GHG emissions to monitor, identify change and evaluate actions needed to deliver net zero;


(4)   note that to achieve Net Zero by 2030, an increase in capacity, financial investment and operational resource, both internally and from Government at a national level is required. Whilst the carbon footprint provides accurate carbon reduction measures, the precise amount of resource needed is currently not quantifiable. This will require a detailed investment plan based on costed proposals; and


(5)   recommend the Net Zero team’s research options for using carbon offsetting to achieve Net Zero.


Reason for Decision: As set out in the report.





The Executive received the report on the work of the Net Zero Team, which assessed the Council’s potential to achieve its commitment to be Net Zero by 2030 and to deliver the first City Council Carbon Reduction Plan. The report also shared the City Council’s Corporate Carbon Footprint report which analysed corporate activities to identify direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan provided a mix of potential actions across all services to work towards Net Zero.


Tony Norton, Head of the Centre for Energy and the Environment, Exeter University was in attendance and provided a presentation on achieving Net Zero by 2030 and for Exeter City Council’s corporate carbon plan. The University of Exeter had been commissioned to assess the potential for achieving the goal, through an assessment of Council documents and data, appraising Central Government policy and input from the Council’s Service Leads. The work had been split into seven sectors and points raised during the presentation included:-


·        The first step of the process was to highlight the 2021 carbon footprint, then break down the work involved into seven sectors that had been individually analysed.

·        Non-Domestic Building data had been provided which showed that 80% of emissions were from corporate estate and leisure centre buildings, with a split of 60% emissions from electricity and 40% from gas. Opportunities in this sector came from decarbonising the national grid, changes to asset management and energy efficiency.

·        Council Housing stock emissions were estimated from energy performance certificates, which estimated 75% emissions were from gas. Opportunities in this sector included the continuation of building Passivhaus standard homes, the potential for easy energy efficiency gains, decarbonising heat and retrofitting homes.

·        Transport identified that Council owned vehicles had been predominantly diesel vehicles with refuse vehicles showing 58% emissions, street cleaning vehicles showing 16% emissions and green space vehicles with 25% emissions. The indirect emissions were from business travel and commuting, which had increased following the Covid restrictions. Opportunities included the decarbonisation of the Council owned vehicles, moving to electric vehicles by 2030 and electrification of business and commuting mileage.

·        Procurement showed a high level of emissions at 62%. It was difficult to identify procurement emissions, with only 4% being calculated using activity data. Improving data capture in this sector was important and considering the need for new buildings as opposed to extending or refurbishing existing buildings. For construction emissions, setting embodied carbon targets would support reducing construction emissions and ensuring they were considered as part of the selection process for new buildings.

·        F Gas covered emissions from fridges and heat pumps and potential leakage. There was a national task in reducing F Gas emissions by installing low F Gas appliances.

·        Waste included corporate waste but there was no data available for estimating emissions. Waste from Green House Gas emissions were estimated at 103 tCO2e for landfill 3 and tCO2e for non-landfill, but was dependent on the disposal method.

·        Renewable energy across the Council was doing well, however the continued decarbonisation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121