Climate change is perhaps humanity’s biggest challenge and its impacts are felt globally. In recent years, there has been an increase in the severity and occurrence of wildfires, flooding, and storms.
These extreme weather events will only intensify if global temperature continues to rise. The UK Met Office predicts an increase in summer temperatures of over 5oC by 2070 if emissions are not controlled. Further estimates suggest a 47% reduction in summer rainfall. This increase in temperature and reduction in rainfall will lead to extreme droughts, water shortages and increase the occurrence of wildfires. As wildfires release soot and smoke into the atmosphere, air quality will also be negatively impacted. The UK Met Office also predicts an increase to rainfall (35%) and the severity of storms during winter months, leading to increased flooding, damage to infrastructure and crops.
Many communities across the United Kingdom are already facing the impacts of rising sea and river levels. Given our geographical location an increase in flood occurrence and tidal levels are likely to cause significant impacts to Arun’s infrastructure, buildings, and residents.
Moreover, habitat loss will impact on Arun’s rich biodiversity. The maps below indicate the severity of just a 2oC and 4oC increase in temperature. The turquoise areas indicating that large areas of land near our shoreline and along the River Arun are at risk of being inundated.
2. Arun district in brief
Arun district is situated on the south coast of England. It’s made up of a number of towns and villages and has a large rural hinterland. Arun has approximately 15 miles of coastline to the south and reaches into the South Downs National Park to the north. The district is bisected by the river Arun, one of the fastest flowing rivers in the country. The diversity of Arun sustains a rich range of habitats and species which flourish within its borders. These include costal marine environments, freshwater ecosystems and a range of terrestrial habitats including sand dunes, woodlands, grasslands, and other green spaces.
In terms of population, Arun has the largest within West Sussex, estimated to be 164,910. The working age (15-64) population makes up just over half of the total population, 55.4% (91,376), followed up by 65+ at 29.4% (48,470), and finally 14 years and younger with 15.2% (25,064).
It is predicted that Arun’s population will grow by roughly 22,000 (14% increase) by 2031, with the majority of this being within the older population (60+); with an estimate increase of around 19,400. Arun is therefore likely to experience increased pressure on housing availability and an increase in household waste, emissions, and water usage. These changes will lead to higher impacts on the environment and local resources.
3. The journey so far
The council declared a climate emergency on 15 January 2020 and by pledging to become carbon neutral the council has committed to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This will be achieved by reducing our emissions of carbon dioxide and seeking alternative solutions, such as offsetting, for any emissions which cannot be removed. The work Arun undertakes through this strategy will feed into the national commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050, in accordance with the UK Climate Change Act 2008.
In support of the council’s target a carbon audit was commissioned to identify the sources of its emissions. The council will use this to produce a Carbon Reduction Action Plan which sets out how Arun will take a measured approach through the identification of crucial actions to reduce its emission across all services’ areas and the wider business of the council.
Appendix 1 provides further details on the council’s emissions.
4. What Arun District Council has already done
The council has a good track record of delivering environmental projects and energy efficiencies across all its services’ areas. These projects include the installation of renewable energies, such as the photovoltaic (PV) array on the Civic Centre roof, and efficient technologies, such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in the Wave leisure centre.
Audits of the council’s corporate estates and housing stock have also been completed to highlight how these buildings can be retrofitted to increase energy efficiency. The council also regularly reviews its estate to identify and install appropriate energy saving and renewable technologies.
The installation of infrastructure is key to ensure targets are met. The council is planning to install more electric charging points in its car parks to support the increase of electric vehicles ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars. It also has plans to transition its vehicle fleet to electric or low emissions vehicles by April 2022.
The adopted Arun Local Plan identifies improved transport infrastructure and active travel routes across Arun to ensure transport hubs are connected and to allow residents to travel safely and sustainably.
In addition to a move towards energy efficient technologies the council is working to protect and enhance biodiversity within Arun’s natural environments.
Habitat improvements have been implemented within our woodlands though the management of trees, ensuring that the right tree is planted in the right place. The council’s ten-year tree planting strategy will ensure our district has a diverse and sustainable tree population. Where possible, management is in place to recycle biomass in situ to encourage balanced and healthy woodland habitats.
Grasslands and wildflower meadows are managed in a positive and proactive way to ensure they can provide the maximum possible benefit to biodiversity. For example, keeping pockets of longer grass extends the benefits of these habitats providing a valuable source of food for a variety of insects, small mammals, and birds. In total the council has twenty-five wildflower meadow sites, with the first being developed in the 1990’s and now takes part in initiatives such as ‘No Mow May’ to protect habitats for pollinators during important stages of their life cycles.
Recently there has been exciting progress with the Sussex Kelp Restoration Project, stemming from the new implementation of the ‘Sussex Nearshore Trawling Byelaw (March 2021)’. This protects the seabed from fishing activities and stretches from Brighton towards Selsey. The Sussex Kelp Restoration Project is a collaboration of local and national organisations to provide protection for and help regenerate the kelp beds in the Sussex bay area. Arun is actively engaging with the project with an aim to help restore these kelp beds off our coast.
Energy and economic impacts
Economic impact – we wish to empower businesses across Arun to think more about their environmental impact. Not only will this help reduce emissions, but it will also give them an advantage as they lead the way to a new greener economic model. This, in turn, will provide more locally skilled jobs for residents and ensure a migration towards a circular economy.
Reduced bills – encouraging the implementation of energy efficient and/or renewable technologies for both homes and business, will help our residents reduce running costs to their properties.
5. The strategy
Climate change requires a united global and local response to overcome barriers to behaviour change that will help business and individuals to share in the responsibility for carbon reduction. The council is keen to play its role in the fight against climate change by ensuring its own emissions are reduced. This will be achieved by improvements to our estate, services and reducing our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, with a target to become carbon neutral by 2030.
There is no rule book on how to tackle climate change and no one has all the answers. The council has developed this strategy and expects it to evolve as the science improves and new technologies and practices are discovered.
|Scope 1||Direct emissions from sources owned/controlled by the council||Burning of fuels for heating and petrol/ diesel for our fleet|
|Scope 2||Indirect emissions from the generation of energy purchased by the council||Purchase of electricity and the associated emissions|
|Scope 3||Indirect emissions that result from activities occurring in the supply chain of the council, both upstream and downstream||Purchased goods and services, leased assets, business travel, employee commute, investments|
Source: The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (ghgprotocol.org)
6. The council's carbon footprint
Analysis was undertaken by CO2 Analysis (CO2A) on all of the council’s core emissions, including Scope 3, to allow for a full set of baselines to be calculated and to enable the council to monitor its performance in reducing emissions. To determine these baselines data was provided by the council from the years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Scope 1 and 2 make up only a small percentage (1.90%) of the total, with most emissions lying within Scope 3, which is common across other LAs and businesses.
It is important that all sources in the council’s carbon footprint are addressed and are included within the target to ensure that the impact is as large as possible. Scope 3 emissions can be difficult to reduce, however the council is able to influence its suppliers to be carbon neutral thus reducing its overall footprint. The table below illustrates that the largest opportunity is within Scope 3.
|Scope||Carbon (tonnes of CO2e)||Spend (£)||% of emissions||% of spend in £|
|1 and 2||392.02||726,115||1.9||1.457|
The council will continually challenge its plans and push to reduce emissions. It will also work with staff to make important behavioural and operational changes to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Scope 3 in brief
For the majority of organisations most emissions lie within Scope 3, with the supply chain being the largest single emitter as all goods and services have carbon associated with their products and activities. Emissions are further increased as the UK is heavily dependent on imports from other countries whose energy systems may not be as efficient as those found here.
The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 index shows that on average companies’ Scope 1 & 2 emissions make up 14.5% and Scope 3 makes up the remaining 85.5% of emissions. Arun District council has a slightly higher result, but they are in line with the FTSE 100 average.
Measuring and reporting
Measuring and monitoring the council’s progress to net zero will be key to ensure the 2030 target is achieved. Undertaking reviews will highlight projects that are succeeding, those which are not performing as expected and opportunities to initiate new projects. This is an ever-evolving document with room to develop, grow and change.
To calculate the council’s carbon footprint a number of tools were employed, using standard DEFRA carbon intensities and a proprietary algorithm. This approach has provided an accurate review of the emissions the council can control, how much carbon is present in the goods and services procured and a measure for each of the Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. It also gives an insight into the council’s suppliers and how much carbon they contribute to the council’s overall emissions. Using this methodology, the council will be able to monitor its total emissions as it progresses on its carbon neutral journey.
This data driven method gives a high degree of assurance in the measurements and provides the granular detail to allow the council to identify and tackle the sources of emissions with confidence.
The below figure showcases what emission sources have been included within the council’s carbon footprint.
To determine the best route to net zero carbon for the council’s 3,500 properties a high level desktop assessment by Parity Projects was commissioned. Over the coming months a more detailed analysis will be undertaken which will inform the council’s strategic approach and a roadmap to meet this target. Options being considered include retrofitting to ‘passive house’ standards, improving cavity/roof/floor insulation, optimising and upgrading heating systems and the installation of solar panels on roofs of larger blocks of flats to allow for onsite renewable electricity generation.
It is anticipated that some future funding will be made available through central government to contribute to achieving the target. Currently the funding option that the council is exploring is the ‘Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund’.
In total the government is making available £3.8bn over a 10-year period; which Housing Providers will have to bid for. The council will be sure to utilise all funding opportunities as and when these become available.
The waste produced within Arun is generated mostly from its residents (11.62% of extended footprint), with only a small fraction being produced by the council’s offices (0.08% core carbon footprint). How the council chooses to deliver the waste collection services can have a significant impact on the behaviour of residents as this determines how often waste is collected and how it must be sorted. Education is another important factor in helping to reduce waste, and it will be vital to continue to inform residents on the importance of the waste hierarchy, recycling and cutting back on single use plastic.
The council must align itself with the governments emerging ‘Resource & Waste Strategy’ and commit to support the principles of the waste hierarchy in the delivery of its waste services. This strategy is likely to have far reaching consequences in respect of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and the principle of ‘producer pays’, alongside the potential for Deposit Return Schemes (DRS); which should have a positive impact on the volume of single use plastic in the system.
The council is currently undertaking a 1-2-3 Food Waste collection trial, which is a positive first step in relation to reducing household waste production. This trial encourages residents to not only recycle more but to also separate food waste from their general waste bin by providing weekly food waste, biweekly recycling, and triweekly general waste collections. A waste collection system which helps support a reduction of food waste and general waste will ultimately contribute towards reduced demand for food production and emissions, helping with the fight against climate change.
8. Carbon breakdown
|Scope||Service area||Carbon (tonnes of CO2e)||Spend (£)||% emissions||% spend in £|
|1 and 2||Gas||132.42||161,944||0.64||0.325|
|3||Purchased goods, services and capital goods||17,942.98||48,936,033||86.88||98.191|
|Fuel and energy related outside Scope one and two||35.82||0||0.17||0|
|Leisure centres (scope one and two)||1,051.52||0||5.09||0|
|Housing (use of sold products)||0||0||0||0|
9. Priority areas
This is the largest part of the council’s carbon footprint and so it is vital that our suppliers are encouraged to reduce their carbon emissions. Though it is not an area that the council can directly control it does have influence over suppliers through its procurement policy. This is in line with the work being carried out within the NHS and central government.
To have the greatest impact, and therefore the largest reduction in emissions, changes to the council’s procurement policy must encourage suppliers to adopt their own carbon reduction practices. When tendering contracts, the process should include a carbon reduction statement. A further measure to drive down Scope 3 emissions could require companies to be actively working towards becoming net zero or carbon neutral.
In June 2021 central government mandated that from the 30 September 2021 all suppliers tendering for contracts with a lifetime value of £5m or above will be unable to bid if they cannot show a baseline measure and a plan to achieve net zero with agreed timescales. In line with this the council undertook a review of our largest suppliers against the Crown Commercial Contracts. It was found that this mandate impacted 22 of the councils suppliers who are responsible for 10% (or 2000 tonnes) of the total emissions. Ensuring that the council’s procurement activity is harmonised with that of Crown Commercial Services gives a straightforward way to measure how this will also contribute to reducing the councils carbon footprint.
Of the 1,674 contractors used within the last two years, half have been within local postcodes (386 within PO and 472 in BN). By sourcing locally, the council not only helps reduce emissions and congestion associated with transport but also supports local job opportunities and the local economy. Working with local suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions will benefit the council and the environment.
Priority 2. Energy
Petrol/diesel - 0.21% of carbon / 43.30 tonnes of CO2e
The council is currently installing the infrastructure required to support the transition of its vehicle fleet to electric cars and small vans at a number of locations. This is on track to be completed by April 2022.
The council is also working with its waste collection and grounds maintenance contractors to use alternatively powered vehicles and equipment to reduce the emissions associated with petrol and diesel usage.
Gas - 0.64% of carbon / 132.42 tonnes of CO2e
Only a very small percentage of the council’s emissions are a result of gas usage for heating in its corporate buildings. These can be reduced by improving building insulation and moving to more energy efficient technologies, such as heat pumps or CHP units.
Electricty - 1.05% of carbon / 216.30 tonnes of CO2e
As detailed above, demand is linked to the council’s corporate buildings and can be reduced using the same recommendations, such as improving insulation and air tightness and reviewing our under-utilised space. It should be noted that if heat pumps or electric boilers are installed there will be a corresponding increase in emissions associated with electricity. However electric based emissions have a lower impact when electricity is procured from renewable sources and the council is currently looking to move to a renewable tariff.
Fuel and energy related outside scope one and two - 0.17% of carbon / 35.82 tonnes of CO2e
These are the carbon losses from transmission of electricity and the extraction of gas for usage; and will reduce in-line with gas reduction and improvements in the local generation of electricity.
Priority 3. Other emitters
Leisure centres - 5.09% of carbon / 1,051.52 tonnes of CO2e
All the council’s leisure centres are outsourced to a leisure operator with an ambition to be net zero by 2050. Similar, to the council’s approach to reducing Scope 1/2 emissions the leisure operator will be encouraged to address its electric/gas usages by upgrading to more efficient technologies, improving building fabric and installing renewables.
Employee commute and business travel - 1.92% of carbon / 397 tonnes of CO2e and 0.17% of carbon / 36.11 tonnes of CO2e
The council has achieved a significant reduction in carbon emissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The council has adopted a flexible approach to working from home, however, there will likely be an increase in emissions associated with commuting as staff start to return to the office. Similar to the council’s approach to employee commute, it will strive to encourage staff travelling for business purposes to use public transport, active transport or virtual meetings before using gas/diesel cars. There is also an opportunity to implement pool cars.
Investments - 3.39% of carbon / 700 tonnes of CO2e
The council’s main long-term investment manager, CCLA LTD, has an agreed plan to reduce the emissions intensity and to achieve net zero by 2050, therefore these should be addressed according to their carbon reduction strategy.
10. High level actions
Priority 1 - supply chain
- Adapt procurement policy to reflect requirements of new contractors to be working to reduce their emissions
- Review tendering process to ensure contractors who are addressing their carbon footprint are favoured
- Contract managers to identify and highlight existing contracts over £5m
- Contract managers to review and highlight when contracts are up for renewal
- To produce a phased approach to moving over all contractors to those who are working towards carbon neutral goals
- To provide help and support to local contractors on their journey to become carbon neutral
Priority 2 - energy
- Ensure sufficient EV infrastructure is installed for use by council’s fleet
- Review additional locations which would benefit from the installation of EV infrastructure
- Review options for EV pool cars to be incorporated into the council’s car fleet Gas & electricity
Gas and electricity
- Review additional measures highlighted in buildings audits which have not been actioned
- Commission additional energy audits where required
- Develop an instalment and upgrade plan on a building-by-building basis
- Currently there are no feasible locations on council owned land for electricity generated from wind, tidal or hydro activities
- To track options for investments in locally generated renewable energies
Priority 3 - other emitters
- Work with Freedom Leisure to determine the best course forward to reduce their Scope 1 and 2 emissions
Commute and travel
- To start to encourage the use of active travel, public transport or car sharing to staff who chose to return to the office
- Commission a formal requirement / needs assessment on the council office space
- Undertake an appraisal of the council’s online resources and ensure these are fit for purpose – in line with the Customer Service Strategy
- Implement the tree planting strategy on council’s own land
- Support the Sussex Kelp Restoration project
- To provide council wide training to staff to increase carbon literacy
- To continue to work with staff to determine additional carbon saving opportunities in their areas of expertise
- Review planning policy to ensure that the council is supporting and encouraging rewilding, nature-based solutions, and implementation of biodiversity improvements within the district
- Review funding opportunities to help further advance council projects
- Review offsetting opportunities
The council will seek to identify the most suitable ways to report and share progress with its partners, residents and the wider community and encourage them to reduce their own carbon footprint.
A detailed action plan will provide a pathway to meet the council’s 2030 carbon neutral target.
11. Think local
A healthy and stable environment is key to the function of society. It ensures that we have the abundance of raw materials required for the resources we use in our daily lives, including soil used to grow produce, the clean air we breathe and the natural defences that protect our infrastructure as well as helping with our fitness and mental wellbeing. If we are able to embrace the challenges that we face in our fight with climate change by reducing emissions and changing our behaviours, there are a number of benefits to be gained.
A cleaner district
By encouraging and facilitating the transition to electric vehicles there will be a reduction of emissions, helping fight against climate change and improving the air quality within the district. To see the largest impact, it will be important to ensure this occurs across all vehicles, including private car ownership, public transport, and the council’s own fleet.
Reducing single use plastics
Another important step to help ensure Arun becomes cleaner. Plastic bags, straws and utensils often make their way into our habitats causing pollution and, in some instances, direct damage to animals and plants. Swapping over to biodegradable and reusable items will reduce the impact, along with the high emissions required to produce these single use plastics.
A greener district
Arun is lucky to have a variety of ecosystems within its boundaries for residents to enjoy. All these habitats, and the organisms that inhabit them are vulnerable. By reducing the impacts on the environment, protecting nature and choosing nature-based solutions, we will ensure that the biodiversity within these natural areas is protected and robust enough to deal with climate change.
A healthier district
Health and wellbeing is directly correlated to that of our surroundings. By reducing emissions, we will ensure residents are able to live cleaner and healthier lives. Actively enhancing and increasing natural areas will help to ensure the protection of our green spaces, as well as improving the health of our community.
A fitter district
Active travel will play an important role in helping society become more sustainable. It has been shown that where there is access to safe cycling and walking routes people tend to become less reliant on cars for transport, reducing emissions. There will also be other benefits, including a healthier and fitter population as people become more active. A reduction in congestion and noise pollution will also be seen as fewer cars are on the road. To aid travel across the district it will be important to ensure that transport hubs, such as train stations and bus stops, are connected via safe, active transport links.
Even with the most optimistic approach there will still be emissions that cannot be reduced. Where this is the case sequestration and carbon offsetting will be used to balance out the remainder of the council’s emissions. Native tree planting is a common approach which can easily be implemented. The council’s 10 year tree planting strategy will help with this goal and ensure the right tree is planted in the right place, at the right time.
The Sussex Kelp Restoration Project may also hold some exciting opportunities for carbon offsetting. Though at this stage there is still large amounts of research being undertaken to further our understanding on its importance and its wider adaptation and mitigation against climate change.
12. Appendix 1
120 tonnes Co2e - top properties only
The usage from the below sites were calculated from the billing period of 2020-2021 due to meter readings not being available from 2019-2020.
|Arun Civic Centre||2020/21||446||91.00|
|Bognor Regis Town Hall||2020/21||144||29.00|
43.30 tonnes Co2e - 0.21%
Petrol/diesel usage was based on using the records for the amount spent between 2020 and 2021. Allstar is used to record fuel usage.
The usage from the top 8 properties were calculated from billing information from 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.
|Site||Year||Kwh||tCO2e||% of year total||%YoY|
|Arun Civic Centre||2020/21||347,012.10||80.90||37.40%||-42.22%|
|Community Park Fort Road||2020/21||66,497.00||15.50||7.17%||+8.24%|
|Bognor Regis Town Hall||2020/21||44,435.40||10.83||5.01%||-20.15%|
Hotham Park Heritage Trust
Hotham Park Lodge
Old fire station
2. Breakdown of scope 3
Leisure centres - gas and electricity
1,051.52 tonnes Co2e – 5.09%
Leisure centres are outsourced to Freedom Leisure who have a target of 2050. 2019-2020 data was used as this is the predicted usage going forward.
|Leisure centre||Carbon footprint 2019/20|
Arun Leisure Centre
Electricity - 153 tonnes CO2e (14.55%)
Gas - 266 tonnes CO2e (25.33%)
Total - 419 tonnes CO2e (39.85%)
Electricity - 111.92 tonnes CO2e (10.64%)
Electricity - 6.6 tonnes CO2e (0.63%)
Electricity - 13.4 tonnes CO2e (1.27%)
700 tonnes Co2e – 3.39%
Investments are measured under the greenhouse gas protocol, by considering the total emissions of the organisation being invested, and then splitting this amongst the shareholders according to the % that they own of the organisation. e.g. if you own 10% of a company that emits 1,000 tCo2e then you are responsible for 10% which is 100 tCo2e.
The council uses CCLA (Churches, Charities and Local Authorities) Investment Management limited, and all investments were measured at the June 2021 portfolio holdings and value.
397 tonnes Co2e – 1.92%
Employee commute was measured for the 5-year pre-COVID period using health care travel outcomes tool and published figures for the number of employees.
Water and sewage
80.02 tonnes Co2e – 0.39%
Detailed translation level data was extracted from the council’s finance system and was reconciled against water and sewage bills to determine emission rates. An average over 2 years was used as there were several billing adjustments.
36.11 tonnes Co2e – 0.17%
Emissions were calculated between 2020-2021 and are a mix of business travel and personal mileage expenses. Business travel expenses were extracted from the financial statements and mileage was calculated from expenses.
Waste (council produced)
16 tonnes Co2e – 0.08%
Emissions from the waste production was calculated between 2019-2020 using the spend as total waste was not available.
To calculate the council’s carbon footprint a number of tools were employed, including standard DEFRA carbon intensities, algorithms and the use of Artificial Intelligence to analyse the supply chain carbon footprint to individual product and service level. For further details please refer to the Consultant’s findings document. Please note that some of these numbers have been rounded up or down.