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Highland Council hails carbon savings of 6000 tonnes over the past year

By Hector MacKenzie

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LED lighting in Dornoch Academy gym hall.
LED lighting in Dornoch Academy gym hall.

Councillors have acknowledged Highland Council’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint over the past year.

The local authority claims to have saved over 6000 tonnes of carbon this year, a figure it says comprises 15 per cent of last year’s output.

This "significant carbon saving" through the work of its Energy Team equates to £85,000 in savings for the local authority, it says.

Finlay MacDonald, Highland Council’s head of property & facilities management said: “Everything we are doing cuts across services in the council - such as deliveries and travel affecting our carbon footprint.

"We are heavily involved in the installation of LED lighting into schools and offices and replacing our street lighting across the region which has been upgraded to LED so there are actual physical improvements that we are demonstrating in communities that we are delivering on. That will continue with our travel and electric vehicles.”

He added: “How we pull the information together as a council to highlight to communities on what benefits we are producing across different areas and council services is something that we can improve upon. We can show where we are successful and going forward, we will work with council services together to demonstrate the benefits that are being achieved.

“We are also looking at Passivhaus construction to meet strict energy performance standards for new school builds. Although they will cost more to construct with higher levels of insulation required for more, increased air tightness and triple glazing – they will ultimately reduce the cost to the council on throughout the life cycle of its future assets. Collectively we are making savings in the long term for the right reasons, for better comfort, combined with improved user behaviour and consuming less energy which are all improving part of achieving the council’s carbon reduction commitments.”

Members commended the level or carbon and financial savings being made to the council.

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