It is clear that individuals and organisations must all play their part to reduce CO2 emissions. Action cannot be delayed if the targets defined through the agreed science are to be met.
The Middle Level Commissioners, and its associated Boards, recognise this imperative and are seeking to take positive action to reduce their Carbon Footprint.
Some steps have already been instigated but there is clearly more that can be and should be done.
It is also recognised that the first aim will be to reduce CO2 emissions but, in addition to this, where elimination is not currently possible without putting lives at risk, then options for mitigation need to be investigated and implemented, with the ultimate goal of being at least carbon neutral.
Working from home has been facilitated for office staff. They are now able to balance working in the office and working from home. This is reducing vehicle use.
Remote meeting technology is being used which vastly reduces the number of miles travelled to attend meetings. This also has the added benefit of removing unproductive time associated with travel to and from meetings.
However, there are times when site visits are required or offer a better likelihood of a productive outcome and these will continue to be attended.
Our offices have, for a number of years, had solar cells on the south facing elevation. This 23kw system supplies our offices and feeds any surplus electricity back into the grid.
All electricity supply contracts, for our offices and depot plus the nearly 80 pumping stations we look after (where they have electricity) are supplied via ‘green energy’ tariffs. There is an electric vehicle charging point in the staff carpark and more will be added in the future.
Last year, we planted 7000 new trees and we have plans to plant more in the coming years.
We are currently commissioning a Carbon Audit of all our activities. This will give us a better understanding of the scale of our challenge. It will also help us to focus where our efforts need to be to further reduce our carbon footprint.
Once the audit is completed, we will develop a plan to reduce and mitigate CO2 release. This will not only identify actions but will also give timescales and costings to ensure that our plan is deliverable.
In tandem with the above, we will produce a policy document which sets out our approach, targets and objectives in relation to meeting the challenges of climate change.