top of page

So how are we doing?

We thought it would be useful to try to find out how Froxfield and Privett are doing in terms of its carbon footprint. And how do we compare with the rest of the UK?


As the image below shows, not particularly well. We emit more carbon per household than average and this mainly comes from housing.



The following 'Footprint Report' was produced by the Centre for Sustainable Energy.


1. Our Footprint Report 


This report tells you about our community’s carbon footprint – both the scale of emissions and the main activities responsible for the emissions. This information comes from Impact – an online community carbon footprint calculator: https://impact tool.org.uk/


The tool was developed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and the University of Exeter, initially to make carbon footprinting at parish level possible. Since its inception a number of improvements have been made, including the ability to look at different-sized geographical areas. 


Your report shows both ‘consumption based’ and ‘territorial’ emissions, and also shows how your footprint compares with the district average and the national average. 


It shows our ‘territorial’ and ‘consumption’ footprints. 

There are two ways of viewing a community’s carbon footprint: territorial-based, or consumption-based. 


Territorial footprints consider the emissions produced within a geographical boundary – such as from heating buildings, transport, industry, and agriculture – regardless of whether the residents within the community are engaged in or demand those activities. For example, if a factory lies within the boundary of a local authority, then regardless of whether what is produced in the factory is consumed locally or exported to other parts of the country (or world), the factory’s emissions would still be counted as part of that local authority’s territorial footprint.


A territorial footprint is largely created by taking national and local authority datasets and cutting these down to the local geography in as accurate a way as possible. 


A consumption footprint captures all the emissions produced from the activities that the area’s residents engage in, regardless of where geographically they occur. For example, emissions resulting from the food they eat, the clothes and household items they buy, the leisure activities they engage in, their travel behaviours, and the heating of their homes. The consumption-based footprint is based on household and address-level data, which is then aggregated up to the community level (rather than cutting down from a higher geography as with the territorial approach). 


A ‘carbon’ footprint, includes carbon dioxide as well as other gases which impact the climate. 


Apples and pears. 

Showing both territorial and consumption footprints gives you useful information, but it is important to recognise that the two footprints cannot be directly compared as they look at the question of ‘where do our emissions come from’ in different ways, using different methods, and with different datasets. 

Take your footprint as a guide, not as complete fact. 

The carbon footprints are modelled, drawing on data from more than 30 datasets (some of which are themselves made up of multiple further datasets!). As with all models, decisions have been taken in terms of what data is used, and how the data is ‘cut’ and analysed. The Impact footprints have been developed with the intention that they are as useful as 

possible, but remember to take them as a guide, not as complete fact. 


If you would like more detail about the method and datasets, please read the Impact methodology paper: https://impact-tool.org.uk/static/doc/Impact-methodology-paper v2.2.pdf


You can also download the raw data here: https://impact-tool.org.uk/download 


How does knowing our carbon footprint help us tackle climate change? 

Footprint information can guide us to where we should target our efforts to reduce emissions and have the greatest impact. To help you think about what to do next with your footprint information, in each section of this report there are change targets for reaching net zero, and some questions to help you think about possible areas for action. 


Note that these footprints are intended to raise awareness and improve understanding of the types of activities which contribute to emissions in any given area in order to stimulate individual and collective action. Local Authorities may well have carried out their own analysis and have made climate emergency declarations, drafted action plans, set out policies or be delivering schemes. We hope that the Impact tool can be used to complement this activity.



2. Our Community’s Consumption Footprint 


Our whole footprint 

This diagram shows the annual carbon emissions (measured in tonnes CO2e* ) emitted as a result of the different activities that residents within our parish’s boundary engage in – from heating to eating. 



*CO2e stands for "carbon dioxide equivalent" and is a standard unit of measurement in carbon accounting. It expresses the impact of a number of different gases collectively as a common unit. 


A breakdown of the numbers 

The table below shows your area’s consumption footprint – total estimated emissions and per-household averages – so that you can see a breakdown of the numbers. 



How does our area compare? 

Here is what the average consumption footprint for our area looks like per household, and how this compares with the district average and the national average. Note that these per household footprints are averages. Within a larger (e.g. local authority) area you may have neighbourhoods with very different per household consumption footprints and it will be worth looking at more granular data if you are planning area-specific initiatives or messaging. 




Energy facts from: Energy consumption in the UK, BEIS (January 2021) 


Housing

Change targets:

  • Hugely reduced energy demand from existing buildings, including heritage and older buildings 

  • Smarter and more flexible energy demand patterns, including uses of batteries for excess renewable energy to be stored for later use 

  • Decarbonised heat generation (this means using heat that has not been generated from fossil fuels e.g. instead is generated by a heat pump) 

  • New buildings and developments achieve net zero emissions (including associated new transport) 


 

Our community’s residents use of energy in their homes results in annual carbon emissions per household of 6.5 t CO2e. This compares with 2.8 t CO2e at district level and 3.4 t CO2e at national level.


In the average UK home, 64% of energy is used for space heating, 17% for heating water, 16% for lighting and appliances, and 3% for cooking. As such a large proportion of household energy is used for heating, the type of heating system (i.e. is it low carbon?), and how well the home retains heat, are critical factors shaping the scale of a home’s emissions.


How well a home retains heat depends on a number of factors, including: when and how it was built; how much insulation has been installed; how draughty the home is; the efficiency of the windows; and the behaviour of the residents. 


 

Carbon footprints covering a large geographical area will encompass a range of smaller communities with different housing types and demographics. This will influence the types of activities which are most likely to be successful and have the greatest impact in terms of reducing emissions from housing. 


Below are some questions to help you to start to think about the implications of your community’s household footprint information. 


  1. How does our community’s household energy use compare with the the district and national averages? What might the reasons be for the differences? 

  2. What type of housing is there in our community? And what is the main heating fuel (oil, gas, electricity, etc.)? 

  3. Is the housing easily retrofitted to improve how well it retains heat and install low carbon heating? Do you know if residents are doing this? Are there already initiatives to increase demand and encourage and support residents to take action? 

  4. What opportunities are there to retrofit community buildings? 

  5. Many homes, public and commercial buildings have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which measures the energy efficiency of the property. You can look at the EPCs of the buildings in your community here: https://epc.opendatacommunities.org 

  6. Could you identify homes and buildings where the residents / owners have already made improvements, and showcase these – for example with an event? 

  7. Have you explored local potential for renewable energy generation schemes, such as a solar farm, rooftop solar, or wind? Could a community owned (or jointly owned) initiative be possible? 

  8. Are there opportunities to shift households, community buildings and businesses in your area onto green energy tariffs, where energy is generated from renewable sources? 


Transport 

Change targets: 

  • Reduced private car travel and a comparable increase in active travel (walking and cycling) and public transport use 

  • A complete shift to electric vehicles for remaining road mileage, after shifting a large proportion of private car journeys to other modes (public transport/active travel) 

  • Massively reduced air travel, particularly among frequent flyers 


 

Car use: Residents’ car use results in annual carbon emissions per household of 1.5 t CO2e. This compares with 1.2 t CO2e at the district level and 1.5 t CO2e at the national level. 


Air travel: Residents’ air travel results in annual carbon emissions per household of 1 t CO2e.

This compares with 0.9 t CO2e at the district level and 1.1 t CO2e at the national level.

 

Public transport: Residents' use of public transport results in annual carbon emissions per household of 0.4 t CO e. This compares with 0.4 t CO e at the district level and 0.5 t 2 2 

CO e at the national level. 

 

  1. How do your community’s car use-related emissions compare to public transport emissions? And how do these both compare with the district and national averages? What might the reasons be for the differences? 

  2. Could existing or new community schemes help residents shift their transport behaviours to using public transport (if this is a choice) or more active travel options (e.g. electric bike hire or subsidised purchase schemes)? How could the impact of local initiatives be increased? 

  3. Is there scope more strategically to influence provision of public transport (e.g. routes, frequency, fares, subsidies, low carbon fleets)? 

  4. What is the provision of walking and cycling routes like? How accessible are local service centres and facilities to residents in different neighbourhoods? Is it possible for most households to access what they need without needing to use a car? 

  5. What do you think are the key reasons for air travel in your community? Are there likely to be differences between residents of different neighbourhoods? It is worth noting that about 10% of England’s population take more than half of all 

  6. international flights – so trying to address ‘frequent flying’ is a good way to target any activities or communications campaign. 


Food & diet 

Change targets: 

  • Altered dietary patterns, especially reduced meat and dairy consumption, and a massive reduction in food waste 

  • Widely adopted land management practices that reduce emissions, increase soil carbon and protect and promote biodiversity 


 

Meat and fish: Residents’ consumption of meat and fish results in annual carbon emissions per household of 2 t CO2e. This compares with 1.8 t C2e at the district level and 2.4 t CO2e at the national level. 


Other food and drink items: Residents’ consumption of other food and drink items results in annual carbon emissions per household of 0.9 t CO2e. This compares with 0.8 CO2e at the district level and 1.1 t CO2e at the national level. 

 

So, where do the emissions from our food actually come from? Without understanding this it can be difficult to know what we can do to change the carbon footprint of what we eat and drink. 


Research shows us that changing what we eat will have a greater impact on carbon emissions than changing where our food has travelled from – although, of course, eating locally-produced food brings multiple other benefits such as supporting local economies, having more control over mandating more ethical and environmentally-beneficial growing practices, and creating opportunities for people to better understand where the food they eat comes from and how it’s grown or made. 


Whilst the emissions from a food item can really vary depending on how it is grown or reared, it is clear that animal products, and most significantly beef and lamb, account for the largest proportion of food-related emissions. Explore the BBC’s Climate Change Food Calculator to better understand how food and drink items compare: https://www.bbc.com/future/bespoke/follow-the-food/calculate-the-environmental

footprint-of-your-food.html 


Below are some questions to help you to start to think about the implications of your community’s food and diet footprint information. 

  1. How do your community’s food and diet-related emissions compare with the district and national averages? 

  2. Could you establish or support a behavioural change campaign to encourage people to reduce the amount of meat and dairy they consume? (It is critical that any community-based activity or communications campaigns around dietary changes is sensitive to concerns about farmers’ livelihoods and people’s cultural and traditional links to meat-eating). 

  3. The amount of food wasted ‘post-farm-gate’ in the UK is equivalent to 22% of food purchased. What initiatives could raise awareness about food waste and encourage unwanted food to be redistributed (e.g. through a ‘community fridge’)? 


Goods & services 

Change targets: 

  • Decarbonised power generation (this means using electricity that does not come from fossil fuels e.g. instead is generated from solar panels) 

  • Hugely altered consumption patterns, buying less and re-using & repairing more 

  • Goods & services: Residents’ consumption of goods and use of services results in annual carbon emissions per household of 5.2 t CO e. This compares with 4.3 t CO2e at the district level and 5.2 t CO2e at national level. 


For further information, you can also read this Our World in Data (Oxford University) study: 


All goods that we buy will have had carbon emitted in their making (including the sourcing of raw materials), packaging, shipping and sale. Without clear carbon labelling, it is difficult to know the scale of emissions resulting from each item, but it is clear that with every new product made, more carbon is emitted (and more resources are extracted and sourced – which itself can have huge environmental and social impacts). Reducing how many new goods we buy in the first place is the best place to start in terms of reducing goods-related emissions; and then of course re-using and repairing items where goods are needed. 


Carbon emissions from the services we use will relate to the energy used by that service provider (e.g. heating in a leisure centre, pub or hospital), as well as the carbon emitted as a result of goods they buy and use (e.g. gym equipment, vehicle repair machinery). 


Here are some questions to help you to consider ways to reduce emissions attributable to goods and services: 

  1. How do your community’s goods and services-related emissions compare with the district and national average? What might the reasons be for the differences? 

  2. Are there opportunities to: grow the second-hand market; enable residents to upcycle and repair household items; share larger/more expensive/rarely used items, such as power tools? 

  3. Are there opportunities to encourage businesses to switch to green energy tariffs (where energy is generated from renewable sources), or to support local businesses who want to reduce their emissions (e.g. with cargo bike deliveries to replace vans; energy efficiency improvements to buildings to reduce heat demand; low carbon procurement policies; local sourcing and carbon-conscious materials? 


Waste 

Change targets: 

  • Greatly increased recycling rates, achieving a ‘circular economy’, and taking unnecessary plastics and other packaging out of the waste stream. 

  • Widespread, actively managed and planned carbon capture and storage strategies. 

  • Waste: The management of residents’ waste results in annual carbon emissions per household of 0.08 t CO e. (Emissions associated with waste management are 2

  • distributed out evenly across the population.) 

  • The waste ‘wedge’ in your carbon footprint may look small, but remember that emissions from the management of waste only represent a small fraction of the total emissions associated with every item that ends up in our bins or recycling boxes. So reducing waste in the first place is critical. 


What sort of messaging could be effective in helping to reduce the amount of waste being generated (e.g. avoiding plastic packaging, water bottle refills, home composting)? 


What initiatives are likely to be popular (e.g. local food boxes, repair cafes, swap shops)?


3. Territorial Footprint 


Our whole footprint 

This figure shows the annual carbon emissions (measured in tonnes) emitted as a result of activities taking place within your parish’s boundary. 




While these figures should give you a reasonable indication of the major sources of emissions within your parish’s boundary, they should be taken with a small pinch of salt, as some sectors are difficult to apportion territorially. For example, emissions from international shipping are calculated for the whole country and apportioned to each parish based on its population. For more information, see the Impact methodology paper


A breakdown of the numbers 

Housing: 

4,695 

Mains gas: 

1,819 

The table below shows our parish’s territorial footprint – total and per-household averages – so that you can see a breakdown of the numbers.



Total emissions (t CO e) Per-household emissions

Below are some questions to help you to start to think about the implications of your community’s territorial footprint information. 

  1. Are there particular sectors which account for a high proportion of the territorial emissions in your community? 

  2. Based on your knowledge, are these sectors surprising or are they what you would expect? 

  3. Who are the key stakeholders you would need to engage with to address the emissions from the highest emitting sectors? 

  4. For example – for agricultural emissions can you engage with local land owners, or the NFU/other farmer groups to understand what is happening in your area to reduce emissions from agriculture? For industrial and commercial emissions, are there ways that businesses could be supported with reducing their emissions? For road transport what changes would be needed to improve public and active travel links? 


4. Sources of information 

There are lots of sources of support and information on how to reduce carbon footprints – too many to list here! Here is an introductory range of resources that we hope will help you take your next steps now that you know your carbon footprint. Most of these contain many other links relevant to the topic under discussion: 


CSE resources 

Support for town and parish councils: 


Future Energy Landscapes: a community consultation method to start a 

conversation about renewables in your area: 

landscapes-community-consultation-method 


Community Retrofit Guide: 


Funding for your community project or building: 


Climate action support for town and parish councils: 


Home energy factsheets: 


Neighbourhood Planning in a Climate Emergency guide: 


Engaging and communicating 

Britain Talks Climate is an evidence-based toolkit designed to support any 

organisation that wants to engage the British public on climate change: 


Place standard tool. This is an engagement tool developed by Public Health Scotland provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place, based around 14 questions. There is a climate focused version of the tool as well. 


Other resources 

The National Association for Local Councils has also produced a list of case studies of local councils doing work on the climate emergency: 


Ashden Trust, tools for councils: 


The Community Works, offering links to expert advice on local change and climate action: 


Hubbub, climate action resources: 


Possible, climate action resources and case studies: 


Community Energy England: 

1 view0 comments

Comments


bottom of page