Home: Community full menu: Climate change and the natural environment: Tackling climate change

Projects and initiatives to reduce council carbon emissions

Environment Unit - June 2009

Kirklees Council are committed to reducing our own CO2 emissions to help mitigate our effect on climate change. The council are implementing projects to address our carbon footprint through the key issues of waste, energy and transport, as well as our procurement process and for schools. 


The council has a number of schemes which enable us to comply with legislation and Environmental Management System (EMS) as well as improve the way we manage our waste, including:

Office paper recycling scheme

Office paper recycling is a well established scheme and is an essential part of the council’s Environmental Management System (EMS) requirements.

Green bin scheme

Analysis of Council office waste in 2007 has shown that in some of our larger town centre Council buildings we were only recycling just over 16% of office waste.  We have set a target of recycling 50% of all office waste for 2010/11.

The green bin scheme is a new scheme which is currently in place in approximately 50 offices including some of our biggest town centre offices. The green bins are for recycling paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food tins and drinks cans. To help us achieve our ambitious target we will be expanding this recycling scheme to all Council offices during 2009/10.

More information:


Intelligent Metering

Intelligent Metering is the technology of automatically collecting data from energy and water metering devices and transferring that data to a central database for billing and analysing.  It is currently in the early stages of development and consequently the Council is at the leading edge with this innovative technology.

Between April 2006 and January 2008, the Council successfully undertook a trial with key partners who are currently key players in this field and have the potential to provide the Council with a means to better control the use of electricity, gas and water.

The trial showed that Intelligent Metering would provide the Council with the tools to effectively monitor and manage the energy and water usage within buildings on a real-time basis.

Revenue funding has now been obtained, which will enable real-time technology solutions to be installed at 100 council buildings.

The implementation of Intelligent Metering across the Council Building Stock will provide building and asset managers with the tools to proactively tackle excessive building energy and water use and in turn produce significant cost and Carbon Dioxide savings.

Intelligent Metering will increase the awareness of building and asset managers to their energy and water consumption.  It will clearly show the potential for cost and Carbon Dioxide savings and indicate on a real-time basis where buildings are exceeding their expected performance threshold.  Existing funding mechanisms can then be accessed by building and asset managers to realise these savings.

Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS)

Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) are computer-based control systems installed in buildings that control and monitor the building's energy use. Checks are being undertaken to ensure that the systems are set up to reflect current building use and demand.

Voltage Optimization

This is an electrical energy saving technique, where a device is installed to give an optimum supply voltage for the site's equipment. 'Optimisation' results in a reduced power supply which saves the council money and carbon.

Hot Water Rationalisation

Work is being undertaken in some council buildings to rationalise the size of hot water tanks so only the required amount of water for the building use is being heated.

Pipe Lagging (Insulation)

Heat losses are occurring in boiler rooms where insulation is not fitted to bends, junctions, flanges, valves and pumps. The costs will be recovered within approximately 2 years through energy savings.


What do we do?

Transport falls into a number of key areas, travel to and from work (commuting), travel while at work (between sites for meetings), travel as part of work (site visits) and fleet travel (such as bin wagons, gritters etc).


We are working with Metro and subsidised travel is available for Kirklees Council employees.  Council staff can get 20% off an annual MetroCard for bus and train, or bus only (15% from Metro is increased by an additional 5% discount from Kirklees).  Annual season tickets which offer discounted travel on standard tickets will be available from the council soon.

We also have a car share network where you can log on and hitch a lift, or offer those spare seats in return for a financial contribution, save the planet and save some cash at the same time.

Travel while at work

We are currently piloting a number of schemes such as Pool Cars (Highways and Adult Services), pool bikes (highways) and  pool metro cards (highways and).

Pool cars are economical and efficient Euro V cars with below average CO2 emissions

Pool bikes are an alternative to using a car for shorter trips.

Pool metro cards are a way of staff using public transport for free at point of use to encourage more sustainable journeys.

Having access to all of these methods of alternative transport to the personal car can also allow staff to think twice about those commuter miles and how they get to work.

Travel as part of work

The council is looking to make mileage savings by plotting more efficient travel patterns, providing pool cars (more environmentally friendly models), exploring 21st century working patterns / mobile working / working from home, hot-desking, video conferencing and satellite offices.

Fleet travel

We are concentrating on reducing CO2 emissions in fleet vehicles by decreasing idling time (turning engines off!), making sure they are serviced and running efficiently, replacing stock with more environmentally friendly options, piloting the use of electric vehicles (piloted by Waste Services) and sending all council drivers on an ‘environmental driver training course’.

Sustainable Procurement

Kirklees Council has a purchasing policy to ensure that we take account of social, economic and environmental considerations in procurement decisions. This practice of ‘sustainable procurement’ brings direct benefits to the district,  and clear objectives and targets will be developed in the Kirklees Climate Change Plan.

Doing business with the council.

Green Schools

Kirklees Local Area Agreement (LAA) requires the Council to report on carbon emissions from schools under National Indicator 185 (percentage reduction in CO2 from Local Authority operations). In establishing the total amount of carbon emissions for the authority, it was discovered that schools contribute to nearly 50%, so have a large part to play in reducing our carbon footprint. 

The Carbon Reduction Commitment aims to reduce carbon emissions arising from energy use across the Local Authority, and includes emissions from schools. If the Local Authority fails to provide evidence of a reduction in emissions, then a substantial financial penalty will be incurred.

Both the Local Area Agreement and Carbon Reduction Commitment are concerned with carbon emissions from energy consumption eg. gas, electricity, coal or oil. However, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has produced a national framework for sustainable schools which identifies a selection of additional sustainability themes that act as places where schools can establish or develop their sustainability practices.

The themes are the main areas that schools should be considering in their journey to sustainability. These will be addressed through the Corporate Sustainable Schools Strategy (PDF 941 kb) for Kirklees.

For further information on what the Council is already doing to support schools in each of the areas, please contact;

Case Studies

Wind turbine at Spen Valley School


Council funding is available for schools through the Environment Grant Scheme and the Council Wide Initiative Fund. For further information please contact Allison Porter on 01484 223558 or email allison.porter@kirklees.gov.uk.

A selection of external funding opportunities (PDF 328 kb) is available for schools.

Useful links

Council carbon budget

The council has a carbon budget for services; which places a cap on corporate emissions and provides individual services with their own carbon budget, helping the council to comply with the Government's Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).

It is similar to a monetary budget whereby each council service is given an allowance of CO2 in which to operate and enable provision of their services. Service carbon budgets are expected to decrease annually by 3% with the aim that the council will be able to continue to deliver services to the district whilst decreasing its carbon emissions.

The budget

Street lighting

There are approximately 51,000 streetlights in Kirklees, and street lighting contributes 19% of the Council's carbon emissions. Work is planned to continue replacing the lanterns with more energy efficient options, and to trial solar powered / high reflectivity bollards.

Vehicle telematics

Installation of Telematics (vehicle tracking system) into all council fleet vehicles by March 2010 will save the council approximately 9% of carbon emissions from fuel use over the next three years. The ongoing roll out of environmental driver training will help drivers use fuel efficiently.

A to Z of the website