Reducing our carbon emissions

A carbon-neutral organisation

Find out how we are working towards reducing the Council's carbon emissions and District-wide carbon emissions.

The Council's carbon emissions

The Council has agreed targets to reduce its own emissions. These are:

  1. An aspiration for the Council’s direct emission to become carbon neutral by 2030.
  2. The Council’s indirect emission to be carbon neutral by 2050

What do these carbon reduction targets mean?

  1. The Council’s direct emissions are those that are within our control. For example they come from the electricity and gas used in our buildings and the fuel in our fleet vehicles. Reducing these within such a short time will be challenging which is why this is an aspirational target.
  2. The indirect emissions come from the buildings that the Council leases to other users,  the goods and services that we buy, business travel, waste disposal and the water used in our buildings. Reducing these emissions involves influencing other organisations which is why the target date is longer. It matches the target for the whole UK. Many organisations do not set a target for these emissions as they are more difficult to deal with.

What does 'carbon neutral' mean?

Generally speaking, ‘carbon neutral’ or ‘net zero’ typically mean the same thing: That some carbon / Green House Gas emissions remain but are then ‘netted off’ or ‘offset’ through carbon dioxide removal. Such removal may occur due to Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs) such as geo-sequestration or biomass energy with carbon capture and storage, or, natural sequestration via means such as afforestation.

An audit of Horsham District Council’s own carbon emissions

An essential part of the work on reducing our carbon emissions is to complete an annual carbon audit for the Council. The latest audit told us that:

In 2021/22 the Council emitted approximately 4,131 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2e). These come from: -

  • The fuel that is used to heat and power our buildings.
  • The water used in our buildings.
  • The petrol and diesel used to run our vehicles.
  • The goods and services that the Council buys from external suppliers, for example, Places Leisure run the Council’s four leisure centres.
  • The fuel and heat from the buildings that we lease.
  • The waste we collect from residents and dispose of.
  • The carbon emissions data will be reviewed and updated every year. This will allow us to see if we are making progress on reducing these emissions.

Our Progress So Far:

1. Direct Council emissions

In 2021/22 we decreased our direct Council emissions by 57% since our baseline report in 2019/20 (see image to right).

These direct emissions are those that are within our control. For example they come from the electricity and gas used in our buildings and the fuel in our fleet vehicles. You can see a summary of our most recent 2021/2022 footprint here.

Yearly progress in direct emissions

2. Overall Council emissions

In 2021/22, we decreased our overall emissions by approximately 52% (see image to right).

Our overall emissions include both direct and indirect emissions. Reducing these emissions therefore also involves influencing other organisations we work with and support, in our aim to reduce overall emissions.

Read a summary of our 2021/2022 footprint here

We are continuing to work on delivering a range of actions to meet our targets and we will monitor and report on changes to our carbon emissions every year to keep you informed on our progress.

Yearly progress in all emissions

Read how we are delivering on our plans to become a carbon neutral council

3. District-wide carbon emissions

We are starting to understand and work with partner organisations, including West Sussex County Council, local parishes and neighbourhood councils, local businesses, community and voluntary groups and the public, to help reduce the district-wide carbon emissions.

Read how we are aiming to become a carbon neutral district

How to get involved

Get some great tips and advice on reducing our carbon footprint and biodiversity loss, opportunities for working with your community to reduce local emissions, and maybe even cutting back on your bills too with the suggestions below.

Find out more