The UK’s public sector has almost doubled its average carbon reduction target since 2006, according to new research by the Carbon Trust.
Despite the difficult economic times over the last five year, the 472 public sector bodies that the Trust looked at have increased their average carbon reduction targets from 16% to 28%.
The findings indicate that central government targets to reduce its own carbon emissions by 25% by 2015 are achievable and could be replicated across the whole public sector.
Making carbon emission savings at this level could add up to more than £2 billion in cost savings, says the Carbon Trust.
“The public sector has a vital leadership role to play in helping the UK to meet its carbon targets,” says Tim Pryce at the Trust. “We believe there is a case for this 25% ambition to be taken up by the wider public sector estate to ensure continued delivery on national carbon targets and further cost savings.”
Over the last eight years, the Carbon Trust has helped some 2500 public sector organisations cut 12 million tonnes of CO2 and save £426 million.
The Trust estimates that projects in the pipeline could save an additional 80 million tonnes in potential carbon reductions and £2 billion in cost savings.
To improve the situation, the Carbon Trust says that senior management need to recognise the cost saving potential of setting carbon targets and value energy and carbon managers more.
The Trust also warns that a fast changing policy landscape has made it difficult for organisations to commit to action, while schools remain a “notoriously complicated” issue for local authorities.
And interestingly, one of the Trust, ‘top six’ challenges that it has identified is that new projects are typically consuming more energy than expected.
For further information:
Turning down the heat could save businesses £35 million, says Carbon Trust (24-Oct)
UK’s local authorities are opting out of climate change efforts, says research (20-Oct)
UK homes will miss 2020 reduction target unless we get over love of gadgets (6-Oct)
Recession drives reduction in emissions across UK local councils (16-Sept)
28 November 2011