STAFFORDSHIRE County Council is taking more steps to become a greener council, after switching to renewable energy.
We reported last year that the County Council had declared a climate change emergency, and since then, the county council has been working hard to find ways of addressing the issue in its own business.
Now, the county council has switched to green energy in all its buildings, as well as street lighting and traffic signals across Staffordshire.
The result of switching to green energy means the council’s annual carbon usage has reduced by a total of 24,000 tonnes. Added to a saving of around 19,000 tonnes achieved previously for reducing the number of buildings in use and switching to smart street lighting, this means the council has reduced its carbon output by nearly 43,000 tonnes.
With a previous total carbon output for electricity and gas of around 65,000 tonnes, this represents a reduction of 66 per cent.
Green energy comes from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain and geothermal heat. These energy sources are naturally renewable, as opposed to fossil fuels that create more pollution and are a finite resource.
The new contract is in addition to a number of other measures the county council already has in place to reduce its carbon footprint, including using LED lights in buildings and for streetlights and traffic signals and using biomass boilers in Staffordshire Place 1 and 2.
County Councillor Conor Wileman, Cabinet Support Member for the Environment said: “Since declaring a climate change emergency last year, we have been working hard to ensure we are doing all we can to reduce our carbon footprint as a county council. Over recent years we have already reduced our carbon footprint, but realised we needed to go further and look at some of our contracts to see where further reductions could be made. The switch to renewable green energy in our contracts for buildings, streetlights and traffic signals will make a significant contribution to our goal of reducing our carbon footprint still further.
“As well as looking at our own contracts and processes, we will continue to work closely with our district and borough partners and continue to lobby the Government to address this climate emergency and consider the implementation of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”