Changes We Have Made
Since we agreed back in 1996 that "the principle of sustainability should be central to all the Authority's future policies, plans and programmes", Snowdonia National Park Authority has been committed to doing our bit to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Through participation in several green initiatives and undertaking practical changes at all of our properties, we, as an Authority, have significantly reduced our carbon footprint, reductions we aim to continue towards the future. The below table summarises how the Authority managed a further reduction of 5.48% in the total CO₂ emissions during the financial year 2011/2012 in comparison to the previous year:
|kWh natural gas||0.19||839,483||771,977||159,502||146,675|
|Miles of Diesel||0.19||359,871||364,870||68,375||69,325|
|Miles of Petrol||0.36||57,808||83,743||20,811||30,147|
Whilst emphasis was given to practical, achievable projects up until 2008, projects which had cost very little financially but had reduced Authority emissions by 18% since 2005, the Authority is now moving forward with larger projects which will further greatly reduce its carbon footprint. Listed below are just some examples of projects and initiatives Snowdonia National Park Authority have undertaken in order to reduce our carbon footprint:
Hydro Electric Power Scheme, Plas Tan-y-Bwlch study centre, Maentwrog
In 2012, the Authority will be installing a 28kW hydro electric power scheme at our study centre at Plas Tan-y-Bwlch, Maentwrog. The scheme will provide a projected 90,000 units of renewable energy annually, equivalent to the consumption of approximately 20 UK homes, and saving over 70 tonnes of CO₂ per annum! This will reduce the Authority’s carbon footprint by a staggering 22.3% against our total emissions for the year 2011/2012.
New condensing boilers, Plas Tan-y-Bwlch study centre, Maentwrog
In December 2008, new condensing boilers were installed at Plas Tan-y-Bwlch to replace the existing aging and inefficient ones. During the first full year of monitoring, it was clearly shown that after carrying out these improvements, 30% less C02 emissions was being discharged into the atmosphere. Clearly this shows that the new boilers are a huge improvement in the Authority’s performance, in both environmental and economic terms.
Solar Heating scheme, Wardens Office, Llyn Tegid, Bala
At Llyn Tegid Boathouse/ Warden Centre near Bala, we have installed a solar heating scheme together with a rainwater harvesting installation for toilet flushing purposes. Not only will this project reduce the Authority's carbon footprint it will also be used as an educational tool for the many school children that visit the Warden Centre.
Cycle to Work scheme for staff
Snowdonia National Park Authority promotes the cycle to work scheme for all our staff, giving them the opportunity to purchase a bike and repaying the cost over a period of 1 year. As well as reducing our carbon footprint, the scheme also promotes health and well-being amongst our staff and saves them money on fuel!
The 10:10 Project
In 2010, the Authority, with the assistance of a grant from CAE, took part in the 10:10 Project. Its purpose was to reduce our carbon emissions by 10% during the course of the year by undertaking practical works at some of our properties. These included:
At our Head Office, Penrhyndeudraeth:
- Replacing inefficient lights with new low energy lighting;
- Draft proofing exposed areas in the open plan office by sealing the ceiling tiles on the first floor with decorators caulk (a white emulsion-based sealant and filler typically used for repairing cracks and gaps around interior walls, skirting boards, windows and door frames);
- Installing 2 isolation switches to cut off all power supply to the west side of the building during the night and at weekends.
At our Wardens Office in Pen-y-Pass:
- Improved the insulation in the open plan café by installing 75ml thick kingspan insulation sheets between the rafters;
- Re-lagged all pipe work;
- Improving the heating system in the open plan café by replacing 10 small inefficient radiators with 5 new high tech convector radiators that run off the hot water. The heat convected from these radiators rises towards the centre of the café and the warm air forced downwards by 2 ceiling fans therefore keeping the customers warm!
- Installing new energy efficient lighting.
And finally, at our study centre in Plas Tan y Bwlch:
- Zoning the heating system in order to give us more control over the heating system at different parts of the building.
The combined savings of the above projects prevented approximately 137,000kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, which is roughly equal to the Authority's total CO2 vehicle travel emissions for 2008-09.
The Green Dragon Environmental Standard
The Green Dragon Environmental Standard is a stepped environmental management standard recognising effective environmental management. There are 5 levels in total within the Green Dragon Environmental Standard, each incorporating the key elements of:
- Taking Action
- Checking Progress
- Reviewing Achievements to realise Continual Environmental Improvement.
Snowdonia National Park Authority achieved level 4 in March, 2007. Further information on the standard can be found by clicking on the following link.
As you can see, we, as an Authority, have undertaken several steps over the past decade in order to reduce our own carbon footprint, and will strive to continue doing so over the coming years. Whilst some of the projects are more elaborate than others, even the smallest changes can make a difference. Our hope is that by setting an example to others, we can all work together in reducing our carbon footprint, thus doing our bit to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.