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 and from the goods and services that we buy. 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 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 2019/20 the Council emitted approximately 8,588 tonnes of carbon dioxide (8 tCO2e). These come from: -

  • The fuel that is used to heat and power 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 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.

Target setting

A comprehensive report was prepared by sustainability consultants Anthesis to support us in our carbon reduction planning. The Anthesis report included:

  • A review of our 2018/19 footprint and identifies key emission sources
  • An assessment and advice on the most suitable targets for the Council
  • Recommendations on key actions necessary, in line with the agreed targets, and includes an estimation of cost and carbon savings.

Read the full Anthesis report.

We are now working on delivering a range of actions to deliver on our targets.  We will monitor and report on changes to our carbon emissions every year and keep you informed on our progress.

District-wide carbon emissions

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

Our progress so far

1. See how we are delivering on our plans to become a carbon neutral council

2. Find out how we are working towards becoming a carbon neutral district

How to get involved

Find out how you can make small changes but a big difference