As part of its carbon footprint reduction project, the Gwynedd Local Services Board – which represents public sector bodies in the county – has launched the Think Green electronic environmental handbook.
It is hoped that the electronic booklet will encourage staff to reduce energy use, waste and carbon emissions in key areas by helping them to change their behaviour and adopt activities which should lead to carbon reductions.
Climate change has been identified as one of the major risks facing the world today and it is widely recognised that cutting carbon emissions can go a long way to stem the threat. Because of this, carbon reduction is a key theme of the Gwynedd Local Services Board.
The booklet has guidelines for staff on how to reduce their carbon emissions and also includes examples of how people are already making changes at their offices or places of work. For instance, significant carbon reduction has been achieved across the board by installing building insulation; updating boilers; improving heat management systems; installing solar panels; increasing recycling and raising awareness among staff. It is hoped that by explaining what changes have been made in the booklet, others will be inspired to follow suit.
So far, by taking these simple steps, carbon emissions within the Gwynedd Local Services Board have been reduced significantly. This includes a reduction in carbon emissions produced by energy consumption in public sector buildings of eight per cent; carbon reduction through changes in how staff travel by nearly nine per cent and the carbon emitted by waste has been reduced by 520 tonnes.
Some of the changes adopted by the authorities who make up the Local Services Board include:
Gwynedd Council has seen a 40% reduction in energy consumption and a 60% reduction in carbon emissions at the Dwyfor Leisure Centre in Pwllheli since installing new smart technology. The energy saving programme will be rolled out in other leisure centres throughout the county.
The Snowdonia National Park Authority is saving 800 gallons of water daily at Plas Tan y Bwlch, enough to fill 16 average sized bathtubs, after detailed monitoring of services revealed leaks in the water pipe system. This amounts to saving £4.15 a day or £1,500 annually.
Bangor University has installed numerous transparent recycling bins on campus which has improved recycling rates by helping staff and students to sort their waste.
Dilwyn Williams, Gwynedd Local Service’s Board Carbon Footprint Reduction Project Executive and Gwynedd Council Corporate Director, said: “The e-booklet is an useful resource for staff who are keen to reduce their carbon footprint at work. It’s a simple and colourful guide on how to be greener.
“Changing our ways at work can have a massive impact on the local and global environment – for instance, energy use in the commercial, business and public sector accounts for 46% of the UK’s carbon emissions.
“We hope that public sector staff can take the message home with them and maybe change their ways outside work too, from simple steps such as turning off the lights when a room is not in use to considering major changes such as insulating the home or upgrading technology to more efficient equipment.
“As the public sector is a major employer here in Gwynedd, we hope changes will have a wide influence.”