Despite the economic downturn twenty four leading public sector organisations will today take action to reduce their carbon footprints, which could help to slash more than 25% from their energy bills over the next five years.
Participants in the Carbon Trust's service come from local authorities, the NHS, further and higher education institutions, central government departments and executive agencies. Over the next ten months they will be investing in their own carbon performance and savings.
The twenty four organisations will be following programmes that have been developed by the Carbon Trust and honed by over ten years of experience working with the public sector, which has helped to save over 17 million tonnes of CO2 and £600 million to date.
The public sector is responsible for up to 23 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, which carries an associated energy cost of some £5 billion.
The potential for savings is immense, and the return on investment makes the case for cutting carbon even more compelling. With the right guidance, and the implementation of the most cost effective solutions, it is estimated that a capital investment of £1.5 billion could reduce that annual bill by £500 million, providing payback in as little as three years.
James Smith, Chairman of the Carbon Trust, said:
"Climate change means droughts and floods. We should be daunted by the dangers of climate change. But more so, we should be invigorated by the economic opportunities in energy efficiency and new, low carbon energy technologies. The cost benefit equation on climate change favours action.