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 Kier Harlow Ltd / 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 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017. Gas and electricity consumption relates to buildings occupied by the Council and also those occupied by Kier Harlow Ltd / 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.


2016-17 emissions Scope 1 (kg CO2e) Scope 2 (kg CO2e) Scope 3 (kg CO2e) Total (kg CO2e)
Natural gas 674,535   91,614 766,148
Electricity   909,650 82,776 997,934
Operational vehicles - petrol 0   9 9
Operational vehicles - diesel 18,308   3,839 22,277
Staff business travel 36,368   7,343 43,979
Veolia fleet 263,041   59,439 344,949
Kier Harlow and HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd fleet 356,404   74,725 433,717
Kier Harlow and HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd LPG 0   0 0

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 Kier Harlow Ltd / HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd​ 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.

Emissions groups 1, 2 and 3

Data collection

The following information has been used to calculate the Greenhouse Gas emissions for Harlow Council in 2016/17:

  • 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 Kier Harlow Ltd / HTS (Property and Environment) Ltd from mileage logs
    • Transport fuel consumption for Veolia fleet from Veolia

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.


Harlow Council aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 5% each year for the period 2016-2021 as per the Council's Carbon Management Plan.