Council carbon emissions

Harlow Council's Carbon Footprint (GHG emissions)

The Council has calculated the Greenhouse gases (GHG) it emits by recording the energy and fuel used to carry out Council services (including HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd and Veolia fleet) and using conversion factors provided by the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). These conversion factors enable the conversion of activity data (e.g. litres of fuel used, number of miles driven) into kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Carbon dioxide equivalent is a universal unit of measurement used to indicate the global warming potential of one unit of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) annual emissions data

This table covers all emissions from Harlow Council sources between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018. Gas and electricity consumption relates to buildings occupied by the Council and also those occupied by HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd. UK guidance produced by DEFRA has been used to measure and report greenhouse gases (this guidance is aligned to international guidance on greenhouse gas reporting – the GHG Protocol). Note: Historical Veolia fleet information has had to be recalculated due to inconsistencies in raw data and DEFRA greenhouse gas conversion factors.


2017-18 emissions Scope 1 (kg CO2e) Scope 2 (kg CO2e) Scope 3 (kg CO2e) Total (kg CO2e)
Natural gas 799,916   108,544 908,460
Electricity   698,246 65,284 763,531
Operational vehicles - petrol 8,064   532 8,596
Operational vehicles - diesel 6,535   1,571 8,105
Staff business travel 30,328   7,917 38,845
Veolia fleet 305,233   73,346 378,579
HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd fleet 461,615   111,025 572,640
HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd LPG 7,397   6,538 13,935

Annual emissions comparison

A comparison of the Council's emissions data and chart year on year can be found below. It should be noted that any changes to services offered by the Council from year to year, or changes in building occupied are detailed below the table to allow you to see any factors which may influence increases or decreases in emissions levels.


Measuring all of the emissions from the Council means considering the emissions related to fuel used directly by the Council, emissions relating to the use of electricity (including emissions produced from loss of energy from the electricity distribution grid). It also includes calculating the indirect emissions relating to the activities which are beyond the Council’s control but related to the energy and fuel used; some examples of these indirect emissions from activities in vehicles not owned or controlled by the Council (such as those used by HTS and Veolia). Emissions arising from the refining of fossil fuel sources are also calculated and included in the total figures. In order to easily refer to each of these emissions groups they are referred to as Scope 1, 2 and 3.

carbon emissions

Data collection

The following information has been used to calculate the Greenhouse Gas emissions for Harlow Council in 2017/18:

  • Scope 1
    • Gas consumption data from energy supplier
    • Transport fuel consumption for operation vehicles from mileage log books.
  • Scope 2
    • Electricity consumption data from electricity suppliers and meter read information.
  • Scope 3
    • Car business mileage payment data from employee claims
    • Transport fuel consumption for HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd from HTS mileage logs
    • Transport fuel consumption for Veolia fleet from Veolia mileage logs.

Harlow Council's Greenhouse Gas reporting includes emissions from buildings where Harlow Council is the tenant and the landlord pays energy bills directly. This reporting does not, however include emissions from properties owned by Harlow Council but occupied by a third party where the tenant ultimately pays for the energy consumed.

Carbon Management Plan

Harlow Council recognises the importance of reducing energy usage in both its own operations and across the district. We are continually working towards reducing our own carbon footprint and encourage residents and local businesses to do the same.

As a town, Harlow’s emissions decreased by nearly 50% during the period 2005-2015 and will only continue to do so if we continue to act together. Our last recorded emissions per person were 4.5 tonnes (2015); this amount of carbon weighs the same as approximately five adult giraffes. We are no longer able to record the total emissions for the town, however we monitor the Council’s own emissions to make sure we are playing our part in keeping the town’s emissions as low as possible.

As a Council, we have set a target to reduce carbon emissions by 5% each year for the period 2016-2021. To read more about the Council’s commitment to reducing emissions, please read our Carbon Management Plan (pdf).