Environment Agency leads by example

The Environment Agency's Head of Climate Change, Malcolm Fergusson, addressed a public service audience yesterday (February 23) at the Sustainable Development conference in London.

Mr Fergusson outlined how the Environment Agency is addressing the target of cutting emissions by 42% by 2020 through its management of the CRC energy efficiency scheme.

So far around 3,000 large organisations have signed up to the CRC efficiency scheme. Most of the organisations are private with only 20% of that total in the public sector.

The emissions of this 20%, however, account for 28% of the total emissions of the organisations in the scheme.

The Environment Agency, he said, is doing its bit as a signatory of the CRC. The Agency’s carbon footprint is 65,000 tonnes per annum and is aiming to reduce this by 30% by April 2011.

48% of the Agency’s emissions come from electricity use in its water pumping operations, which is dependent on the weather.

They are working to improve the efficiency of these operations by replacing old inefficient equipment and altering pumping methods.

33% of the emissions come from electricity used in their buildings, primarily office buildings. The Agency has developed a new head office to reduce its impact on the environment, and save resources and costs.

Their new building in Bristol, Horizon House, was awarded the highest ever BREEAM rating for an office building in the UK.

The corporate office uses ground source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, water harvesting, natural ventilation and an intelligent lighting system.

He acknowledged that there were problems with the CRC and DECC are holding a consultation to simplify the scheme.

Alison Brown

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