Council supply chains responsible for over 43.7m tonnes of CO2

New data has shown that local authority supply chains are responsible for over 10 per cent of UK carbon emissions.

The figure, shared by Oxygen Finance,  equates to 43,666,540 tonnes of CO2 emitted during year 2020/2021 based on published spend data by all English authorities and a proportion of those in Wales – a figure close to the entire CO2 emissions from countries such as Sweden and Norway.

More than 300 councils in the UK have declared a climate emergency with the majority pledging to go well above the minimum requirements set by the government and pledging to achieve net zero by 2030. However, supply chain emissions have continued to rise with a 14 per cent increase in emissions over the past five years to 2021.

Typically, 96 per cent of carbon emissions from local councils comes from their supply chain, with only two per cent coming from the council’s own operations, and another two per cent from indirect emissions from purchased energy.

Rebecca Dyer, Carbon Product Manager at Oxygen Finance, said: “For the first time, local authorities can see the scale of carbon emissions within their supply chain and take action to deliver the net zero commitments they’ve made. Until now, the scale of these emissions hasn’t been visible, and as a result authorities have tended to focus efforts on emissions from direct operations and indirect emissions from energy. This data presents local authorities with a real opportunity to work collaboratively with suppliers and other public bodies to act where it will have the greatest impact.”

The new data is taken from Oxygen Finance’s Insights Carbon product; a tool which allows local authorities and other public sector bodies to understand their Scope 3 carbon emissions.

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