Glasgow councillors have agreed an ambitious carbon management strategy that aims to cut emissions by 20% and to establish Glasgow as the benchmark for economic and environmental sustainability in Scotland.
A comprehensive audit of fuel use, waste and energy consumption has determined that Glasgow City Council is responsible for 196,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Just over two-thirds of that is generated through the day-to-day operation of council buildings – from offices to depots, care homes and schools. Streetlighting is the next greatest CO2 generator at 14%, with waste at 11% and the city’s transport fleet at 7%. All come with a financial, as well as environmental, cost – totalling around £30 million.
The programme passed last week aims to reduce the council’s annual carbon dioxide emissions by almost 40,000 tonnes over the next five years. More than 30 potential projects that will result in significant CO2 and revenue savings have been identified – from the introduction of Blue Motion vehicles and swimming pool covers to complete energy audits of council buildings and the use of smart technologies, such a timer switches on vending machines and other equipment.
The Energy Saving Trust has already recognised Glasgow as having some of the lowest emissions per household anywhere in Britain – achieving a reduction of more than 30% in the last decade and, earlier this year, the council announced its intention to develop a wind farm to produce clean, sustainable power for services.
Councillor Steven Purcell said: "This plan sets out an ambitious, but practical and achievable programme of measures that will monitor and dramatically reduce the level of our carbon emissions.
"It should also realise savings and greater value for council taxpayers – helping us to deliver on our vision of Glasgow as a successful international city, where environmental sustainability and economic sustainability go hand in hand."