Good news for the environment: Government advisor Natural England halves its carbon emissions

It’s the government’s wildlife and conservation advisor, so it makes sense perhaps that Natural England, has successfully reduced its carbon emissions by 50%.

Over four years, it’s delivered a series of carbon-saving projects that have cut carbon emissions in half compared to 2007 levels, saving over £1.75m per year in the process.

Dr Helen Phillips, Natural England’s Chief Executive, said: “The Natural England Board set a hugely ambitious target to halve our carbon emissions by the end of 2010.  As a new environmental organisation, we wanted to demonstrate our credibility in tackling climate change and show that significant reductions in carbon could be rapidly achieved, whilst maintaining our customer service and delivering important financial savings

“A 50% reduction in carbon emissions is a remarkable achievement and, at a time when the public sector is being asked to make sizeable carbon reductions, shows that there is real scope for major change.”

Staff were encouraged to take ‘ownership’ of their carbon footprints by establishing carbon reduction targets for teams, offering flexible working policies such as working from home, and introducing new technologies such as telephone and video-conferencing.

The organisation also acted on suggestions from staff, such as converting its National Nature Reserve vehicles to run on used biodiesel derived from cooking oil, lending staff folding-bikes from its main offices and bicycles on its National Nature Reserves as an alternative to 4×4 vehicle transport.

Natural England installed energy saving technology such as  ‘intelligent controllers’ for lighting, so that overhead lights only come on when someone is nearby.

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