Climate change strategy


Information on our emissions as a council.

BEIS data for 2018 reveals that Welwyn Hatfield emitted 198,000 tonnes CO2 from industrial and commercial activities, 164,000 tonnes CO2 from domestic activities and 267,000 tonnes CO2 from transport activities. This equates to an average of 5 tonnes per person, identical to the county average and slightly less than the UK average. The more important point is that emissions have been on a downward trend since 2005 and we want that this strategy to continue that trend.

Council's emissions of CO2

An independent Carbon Footprint Appraisal Report has calculated that the Council's buildings, services and transport activities emitted 2,507 tonnes CO2 in 2019/2020. It includes Campus East, Campus West, Jim McDonald Centre, Mill Green Museum, Roman Baths, Coronation Fountain and Vineyard Barn, but does not include emissions from council housing.

Emissions by activity
Activities Emissions tonnes CO2
Electricity consumption at sites owned/operated by Council 829
Gas consumption at sites owned/operated by Council 693
Council-owned car and van travel 5
Greenwich Leisure Ltd sites 846
Grey fleet: staff car travel for work purposes 55
Electricity transmission and distribution 70
Paper consumption 8
Total 2,507

Treeconomics Report 2019 reveals that the Council manages a total tree stock of about 100,000 woodland trees and 16,900 street trees. In total they store 78,000 tonnes of carbon, annually sequester 2,400 tonnes of carbon and annually remove 31 tonnes of pollution from the ground and air.

The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership Annual Report 2019/20 reveals that each household in the borough produced an average of 781 kg per year, of which 47% was recycled or composted.

Hertfordshire Building Futures reveals that Hertfordshire is one of the driest counties in the country and that our residents use 8% more water than the national average.  The average unmetered usage is 170 litres per person per day, against the aspired target of 110 litres per person per day.

The Hertfordshire State of Nature Report identifies that 1,500 out of nearly 11,000 species recorded in the county are of conservation concern.

It is clear from baseline information that the most significant action that the Council can take to reduce up to 94% of our carbon emissions is to reduce electricity and gas consumption in council buildings and GLL sites.  This can most easily be achieved by purchasing renewable energy and/or installing on-site renewable energy systems.  On-site systems would save a further 3% from electricity transmission.  Using electric vehicles charged by renewable energy and encouraging staff to do the same would save 2%.  Achieving net zero carbon entirely through off-site actions would require the planting of about 125,000 trees.

Residents can check their own carbon emission baseline for free using a footprint calculator such as