Derby's carbon footprint
A useful first step in understanding what we can do is to look at Derby's own carbon footprint. This is a sum of the greenhouse gases produced by all the industrial, transport, commercial, domestic and public sector activities taking place in the city.
It includes our council carbon footprint from delivering our services (1-3% of the total).
The total carbon footprint is usually expressed in CO2e. This represents each different greenhouse gas in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that would create the same amount of warming. It includes:
- carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fuel, including gas for heating buildings and creating electricity at power stations, and petrol and diesel
- methane (CH4), mainly from raising livestock and from landfill sites
- nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural fertilisers and transport fuels.
The city’s carbon footprint is measured by monitoring our carbon emissions from sectors such as: housing, private road transport, manufacturing, energy use in office buildings and schools; fleet vehicles and employees' business travel, street lighting and waste. The two largest areas of emission are the use of:
- energy in residential homes (29%)
- fuels to power vehicles (26%, mainly in domestic vehicles).
Chart showing only the emissions directly generated from sources located within the city boundary, such as all on-road traffic, all manufacturing in the city and the use of grid-supplied electricity, for example; heat, steam or cooling.
The total emissions directly generated in Derby are approximately 1.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses.
This figure is our best estimate using the government funded SCATTER tool, which has been created for local authorities.
The focus on direct emissions doesn't include all other, indirect, greenhouse gas emissions generated by citizens of Derby, such as flying abroad to have a holiday and consuming fruit and vegetables grown overseas.
Recently published research draws attention to the alarming fact that the overseas proportion of the UK’s carbon footprint increased substantially. From just 14% in 1990 to 46% in 2016, coming from emissions released overseas to satisfy UK consumption. When estimating the total footprint we have had to draw upon the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates in order include imports and 'consumption' emissions. Having done so the estimate that Derby’s total emissions are approximately 2.4 million tonnes CO2e.
This includes the green areas and spaces that contribute positively (5 thousand tonnes CO2e) by capturing carbon.