Manchester City Council has successfully reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 7,161 tonnes in the 2021-2022 financial year.
Manchester City Council’s operational estate is made up of 316 buildings which include offices, leisure centres and properties that provide social care services. Property assets account for around 75% of the local authority’s total carbon emissions and so have become a significant area of focus in achieving the city’s target of becoming net zero by 2028.
A council report for the city’s resources and governance scrutiny committee on 10 January shows that the 2021-2022 financial year saw a reduction of 7,161 tonnes of carbon emissions compared to two years ago when operational building emissions were 24,071 tonnes. This reduction exceeds the requirement set out in the city’s Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2025 to reduce carbon emissions from the council’s buildings by a minimum of 4,800 tonnes per year by April 2025.
The reduction in emissions was delivered through the council’s Zero Carbon Estate Programme, which was established to oversee the delivery of a wide range of energy efficiency and low carbon energy generation measures throughout the estate. The programme is supported by public maintenance buildings provider Equans, who will carry out 80 energy audits to provide data which will inform the council’s long-term strategy.
The first phase of the Zero Carbon Estate Programme focused on upgrading leisure centres with energy conservation measures, while the second phase saw the council secure £18.2m of funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to invest in projects with associated savings of 1,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
Major construction projects also underway in the city’s effort to make buildings more efficient include the Gorton Hub, a new multi-purpose public sector hub which provides a low-carbon operating environment. The full demolition of Abraham Moss Leisure Centre and Library also commenced in early 2021 to be replaced with an energy-efficient and low-carbon-use building.