In 2005, the council began calculating the carbon emissions arising from our energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from our estate and operations. This assessment of energy use in our buildings, operations and staff travel identified the areas where we needed to cut carbon emissions and resulted in a baseline emissions data that formed the basis of our strategy and implementation plan. This was expanded in 2009 when the council collated a larger set of data, covering CO2 emissions from operational buildings, business travel and emissions from contracted services.
Over the past decade, the council has successfully reduced its carbon emissions by 24% from 5,476 tonnes CO2e in 2010 to 4,186 tonnes CO2e in 2018. We publish our carbon footprint annually which is found on the right hand bar of this page.
In 2019, Winchester City Council declared a Climate Emergency and in 2020 published its carbon neutrality action plan which sets out how the council is decarbonising its operations. This set the council a new baseline year and a further 20% reduction in emissions was achieved in 2020 as compared to 2016. Being Greener Faster is one of the council's top priorities and a revision of our Carbon Neutrality Action Plan is expected in 2023 to reflect the importance of tackling climate change.
However, the greater challenge is how to to decarbonise the Winchester district. In 2017, the Winchester district emitted an estimated 834,000 tonnes of CO2 including emissions from the M3 motorway. This figure, although representing a 25% decrease from the 2005 Winchester district emissions, will be a huge challenge over the years ahead, particularly as much of this reduction has come from the reducing carbon intensity of grid supplied electricity. To this end, the council has commissioned a Carbon Neutrality Roadmap for the Winchester District in 2022 and is now working to implement the recommendations working with a range of stakeholders across the district.