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Whitehill Bordon eco-town: Modelling of carbon and ecological footprint reduction in East Hampshire and comments on the Energy Strategy

November 2009

A report from BioRegional for East Hampshire District Council


Revision

Description

Date

Issued by

V1

1st Draft

12/11/09 Sam Smith

Reviewed by Ben Gill

Authors: Sam Smith, Sue Riddlestone

BioRegional BedZED Centr e 24 Heli os Road Wallington Surr ey SM6 7BZ Tel : 020 8404 4880 Fax : 020 8404 4893 Emai l : info@bioregional.com Website : www.bioregional.com BioRegional Consulti ng is a company limited by shar es. Register ed in England and Wales no. 05108874. BioRegi onal C onsulti ng is a subsidiar y company of BioRegional Development Gr oup, a visionar y envir onmental or ganisation dedicated to dev eloping pr actical solutions for sustainabi lity. This r epor t is made on behalf of BioRegi onal C onsulti ng Ltd for the stated pur poses and for the sole us of the named Cli ent. By r eceiving the r epor t and acting on it, the c lient, or any thir d par ty r elying on it – accepts that no i ndividual is per sonally liable in contr act, tor t or br each of statutor y duty (including negligence). BioRegional Consulting Ltd accepts r esponsibility to t he Client alone t hat the r epor t has been pr epar ed with skill, car e and diligence. Neit her the whole nor any par t of the r epor t may be included in any pub lished way without BioRegi onal Consulti ng’s wr itten appr oval of the for m and cont ent i n which it may appear .


Contents Introduction............................................................................................. 1 Creating a sustainable community ................................................................... 3 East Hampshire’s current carbon and ecological footprint ..................................... 3 Scenarios.............................................................................................. 6 Results................................................................................................. 6 Conclusion and next steps............................................................................10 Appendix: Energy strategy...........................................................................11


Introduction Background and scope of work BioRegional were asked by CLG to advise East Hampshire District Council on the Sustainability Strategy for Whitehill Bordon eco-town. A meeting was held on 22 October 2009 at East Hampshire District Council offices where the Sustainability Strategy prepared by AECOM in October 2009 was presented and discussed by key members of the East Hampshire District Council team, BioRegional and AECOM. BioRegional’s main observation was that the Sustainability Strategy is currently too narrow to encompass all of the expected sustainability outcomes of the eco-towns or the eco-towns PPS. AECOM agreed but noted that the output reflected the brief and a broader strategy could be prepared at a future date. BioRegional pointed out that the ambition of the ecotowns programme is to be better than BedZED, Freiburg or Hammerby, that the eco-towns should show what our communities will be like in our low carbon future. Our recommendation was that the Sustainability Strategy needs to take the perspective of the people who will live and work there. Extensive research and experience shows that the strategy needs to look at where all impacts arise and to develop a holistic action plan to create a great place to live and work which allows residents to live within their fair share of carbon emissions and eco-footprint, that is, one planet living. The strategy needs to cover infrastructure (energy, transport etc) and lifestyles (purchasing habits, personal travel choices etc). A carbon footprint is contained within the WB Sustainability Strategy but AECOM were not able to carry out any modelling of footprint within the scope of the work, and also only had generic data for the whole UK. It was therefore agreed that BioRegional should use local data to model the outcomes of the some of the aspects of the eco-towns to assist East Hampshire District Council and the team when considering the relative impacts of choices to be made about the design of the ecotown. For example, BioRegional were concerned that the design should be of the appropriate density to facilitate walkable neighbourhoods and that local shops and employment creation should be considered as a key part of the Sustainability Strategy. These measures correctly applied could help to reduce car use. This short report presents an overview of the one planet living challenge and models some of the strategies and requirements to help enable residents of Whitehill Bordon eco-town to achieve a one planet living lifestyle. The report uses carbon and ecological footprinting to model the typical environmental impacts of a resident in East Hampshire and then models the types of actions required in the design of an eco-town to help enable one planet living. BioRegional were also asked to comment specifically on the Energy Strategy. This is therefore included in this report as an appendix.

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What is one planet living? One planet living is a vision for a future in which everyone can enjoy a high quality of life, while living within their fair share of the Earth’s resources and leaving space for wildlife and wilderness. Humans rely on the Earth for the resources needed to sustain our economy and lifestyles and as a result, our well-being is inexorably linked to the well-being of the planet. Living unsustainably means exceeding the rate at which the Earth’s resources naturally regenerate and renew themselves, resulting in the degradation of our environment. The Living Planet Report1 shows that it now takes the Earth one year and four months to regenerate what we use in a year and if everybody lived as we do in the UK, we would need three planets to support our lifestyle.

What is ecological footprinting? Ecological footprinting is an indicator that shows the demand of human activities on nature. More precisely, it measures the resources consumed by a population and compares this consumption against the productive capacity of the land and sea. As an indicator it is used by scientists, businesses, institutions, governments, and individuals working in sustainable development. The output from an ecological footprint is the amount of land space (measured in global hectares, gha) required to meet human demand; this includes land for food production, materials, energy production, waste management, and the re-absorption of greenhouse gases produced from our use of fossil fuels. Humanity’s impact indicates that in the UK, we roughly need to reduce our Ecological Footprint by 66% 1 .

What is Carbon Footprinting? Together with ecological footprinting, this report also uses carbon footprinting as a quantitative indicator of sustainability. This measures emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) which is one of the most important greenhouse gases as it is a by-product of fossil fuel combustion; currently the main method for generating electricity, heat and providing transport in the UK. Scientific studies indicate that the UK should reduce its carbon emissions by roughly 90% to reduce its contribution to climate change2 .

1 Living Planet Repor t. 2008. WWF, ZSL and Global Footprint Network. 2 Ander son, K., Bow s, A. 2007. A response to the Draft Climate Change Bill’s car bon r eduction targets. Tyndall Centr e for Climate Resear ch.

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Creating a sustainable community In the report ‘What makes an eco-town?’3 BioRegional and CABE outline a strategic approach to designing eco-towns that help people to live sustainable lifestyles within their fair share of the earth’s resources. This report takes forward the principles outlined in this work and the following section conducts some scenario modelling specific to the Whitehill Bordon ecotown development.

East Hampshire’s current carbon and ecological footprint East Hampshire’s environmental impact was measured using data from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) using the Resource and Energy Analysis Programme (REAP) modelling program. This program uses a sophisticated model that measures the environmental pressures associated with consumption. Current data availability meant it was only possible to understand the impacts at a county level, and it is appreciated that there are likely to be some differences in the carbon and ecological footprint of a typical Whitehill Bordon resident compared to the typical resident in East Hampshire. For example, it is known that many people currently travel out of the Whitehill Bordon for employment, shopping, leisure and services and this means that transport impacts in this study may be underestimated. Considering this, it is recommended that a more detailed survey of Whitehill Bordon residents should be carried out to confirm actual resource use, habits and lifestyle choices. This study can be used to ensure that there is reliable data to create a benchmark of what needs to be tackled to create an eco-town in Whitehill Bordon. The analysis shows that the average resident in East Hampshire has an annual ecological footprint of 6.2 gha, and a carbon footprint of 13.6 tonnes CO 2. A breakdown of this data is presented in Figure 1. It also shows how 58% of the ecological footprint is made up of carbon emissions. The footprint of an average resident in East Hampshire is 12% higher than the UK average ecological footprint of 5.45gha and carbon footprint of 11.87 tonnes CO2 . Looking at the breakdown of the figures, transport, goods and services impacts in East Hampshire are higher than average. Transport impacts are 20% higher than the UK average, consumption of consumer goods is 40% higher and use of services is 19% higher than the UK average. Research on the productive capacity of the earth indicates that to live within a fair share of the earth’s resources, we would require an ecological footprint below 1.8 gha4 and a carbon footprint of 2.37 tonnes of CO 2 per person per annum. Not all of our impacts can be tackled at the eco-town level, some are national level responsibilities. Therefore the target in eco-towns should be for residents to be enabled to reduce their impact to 2.59 gha or 4.7 tonnes of CO 2 per person per annum. That is, by tackling housing (construction and building energy use), Transport, Food and Consumer Goods as shown in Figure 1. 3 4

What makes an eco-town? BioRegional Development Group, CABE. 2008. Available at: http://bit.ly/BJjk9 Living Planet Repor t, WWF, ZSL, Global Footprint Network. 2008.

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Ecological footprint (gha / cap)

Per cent

(tonnes CO2 / cap)

Per cent

Housing

1.6

25%

4.0

30%

Transport

1.0

17%

3.4

25%

Food

1.3

20%

1.0

7%

Consumer goods

1.1

17%

2.1

16%

Services

0.6

10%

1.4

11%

Government

0.4

6%

0.9

7%

Capital assets

0.2

4%

0.6

4%

6.1

100%

13.4

100%

Total

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Carbon footprint

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Figure 1 Current ecological and carbon footprints for a typical East Hampshire resident

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Scenarios With an understanding of the baseline and how current environmental impacts breakdown, scenarios were modelled using the REAP methodology to understand how different actions will influence carbon and ecological footprint of residents of East Hampshire. The scenarios are given in Table 1; these were modelled separately and also together to understand their cumulative effect. Apart from the scenario that models a national future energy mix, the scenarios were chosen to demonstrate what is possible in a community-scale development that considers community lifestyles and habits. The modelling should not be used to choose between different scenarios, as action is required in all areas to reduce our impact down to a sustainable level. Table 1 Scenario models in REAP Scenario

1

Code 4 house

The inf luence of building housing that meets Code 4 compar ed to meeting Code 6 in t he C ode for Sustainable Homes 5 .

2

Zero carbon house

This scenar io shows code level 4 levels of insulation with all housi ng ener gy needs met by r enewab le ener gy.

3

Consumer goods

Use of faci lities and net wor ks that pr omote the sale and exchange of unwant ed items and shar ing of r esour ces. Assumed that this r educes consumption of consumables and dur ables by 20%.

4

Transport

Modelled the i nfluence of a 75% r eduction in car and mot or cycle use, 50% r eduction in c ar owner ship and double the aver age car , bus and tr ain occupancy r ate. (Incr eases in vehic le efficiency was not mod elled in this sc enar io, however is likely to occur and gener ate gr eater savings).

5

Food

A r eduction in food waste of 22% (ther eby r educing pur chasing by 22%), and 25% of vegetables, fr uit, meat and dair y ar e or ganic.

6

Future energy mix

A model that i nvestigated how a national r enewab le ener gy supply affects footpr int. It is assumed that 50% of the UK electr icity pr oduction and distr ibution comes fr om a 50% r enewable supply.

Results Table 2 shows the carbon and ecological footprint reductions according to each scenario modelled. Scenarios 1 and 2 show the advantages of building zero carbon homes, that is defined as levels of energy efficiency to code level 4 and all housing energy needs met through renewables. This action reduces the ecological footprint of an average resident by 18% and carbon footprint by 22%.

5

The Code for Sustainable Homes has been intr oduced to drive a step-change in sustainable home building practice. For mor e information, visit: http://bit.ly/2TO1qr

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Scenario 3 considered a reduction of 20% in consumer items. However in East Hampshire this figure is already 40% higher than the UK average so perhaps there is more scope to reduce this. Scenario 4 showed that significantly reducing the reliance on the car and motorcycle showed carbon and ecological footprint savings of 11% and 8% respectively. This model did not take into account increases in vehicle efficiency, which is likely to help yield greater savings. Personal transport emissions are 20% higher in East Hampshire than the UK average, and as pointed out earlier, may actually be even higher than this in Whitehill Borden. Therefore this area requires significant further research of actual habits and modelling of reductions as part of a green travel plan for the eco-town. Scenario 5 considered one way to reduce food impacts, which had an effect of a 5% reduction in eco-footprint and a 2% reduction in carbon emissions. Scenario 6 modelled what would happen if the national renewable energy mix is increased to 50%. This should be of interest to the national government, but perhaps not so useful to Whitehill Bordon. However a greater difference is made to the ecological footprint when the national renewable energy mix is increased to 50%; this measure alone creates an ecological footprint saving of 26% and a carbon footprint saving of 10% as it improves the efficiency of offsite goods and services. Table 2 Non-cumulative carbon and ecological footprint reductions for each scenario Ecological footprint (gha)

1

Saving

Carbon footprint (t CO2e)

Scenario

Total

Total

Saving

Baseline

6.1 5.4

0.7

11%

13.4 11.4

2.0

15%

5.0

1.1

18%

10.4

3.0

22%

5.9

0.2

3%

13.0

0.4

3%

3

Housi ng Code 4 Zer o car bon6 Housi ng Consumer goods

4

Tr anspor t

5.6

0.5

8%

11.9

1.5

11%

5

Food Futur e ener gy mix

5.8

0.3

5%

13.2

0.2

2%

4.5

1.6

26%

12.0

1.4

10%

2

6

The cumulative impact of the scenarios is given below which shows that in many cases the savings are not directly additional, but will combine to give a slightly lower saving.

6

Code 4 levels of insulation and all ener gy demand met fr om r enewab les

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Scenar io Housing

The inf luence of building housing tha t meet s Code 4 compared to meet ing C ode 6 in t he Code for S usta ina ble Homes. Building to Code 6 inc ludes creat ing a renewa ble energy infra struct ure how ever this only impacts the housing c omponent of the car bon and ecological foot prints. 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Eco log ical foo tp rin t (gh a) = 5.0 gha

Ba sel in e

Code 4

= 5.4 gha

Zero carbon house Carbon foo tprint (t CO2) Code 4

= 10.4 t CO2e

Z erocarbon house

11-18%saving

15-23%saving

= 11.4 t CO2e 0

2

Consumer items

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

Use of facilities and networks to promote sale a nd excha nge of unwanted it ems and shar ing of r esources. Assumed to reduce consumpt ion of c onsumables a nd dura bles by 20%.

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Total = 4.8 gha

21% saving Basel ine

Zero carbon house

Ecological footprint (gha)

Total = 10.0 t CO2e

26% saving

Carbon footprint (t CO2) 0

2

4

Transport

6

8

10

12

14

16

Assumed a 75% reduction in car a nd motorcycle use, 50% r educt ion in car ownership, and double the av erage car, bus a nd train occ upa ncy rat e. Increa ses in vehicle eff iciency was not modelled in this sc enar io, howev er is likely to occur and genera te gr eat er savings.

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Total = 4.3 gha

Total = 8.2 t CO2e

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30% saving

Carbon footprint (t CO2) 0

Food

39% saving Basel ine

Zero carbon house

Ecological footprint (gha)

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

This sc enario modelled a reduction in f ood wast e by 22%, and 25% of veg eta bles, fruit, mea t a nd dairy ar e org anic.

BioRegional


0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Total = 4.0 gha

35% saving Basel ine

Zero carbon house

Ecological foot pr int (gha)

Total = 7.9 t CO2e

41% saving

Carbon footprint (t CO2) 0

2

4

Future energy mix

6

8

10

12

14

16

This sc enario modelled invest igated how a na tional renewable energy supply affects f ootprint. It is assumed that 50% of t he UK electricity pr oduction a nd distr ibution comes from a 50% renewable supply.

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Total = 3.7 gha

40% saving Basel ine

Zero carbon house

Ecological footprint (gha)

46% saving

Total = 7.3 t CO2e Carbon foot print (t CO 2) 0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

The cumulative effect of these measures is a reduction of approximately 40% of ecological footprint and 45% of carbon emissions. To reduce down to a truly sustainable, or one planet level, further changes will need to be made, such as: •

Further reduction in transport, or increased uptake of zero carbon technologies

Further reduction in consumption of goods

Efficiencies in the food supply chain

100% renewable electricity grid ( a national measure)

This highlights the need to put in place the correct infrastructure and services at the ecotown from day one, but also the need for action at a national level.

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Conclusion and next steps The cumulative impact of the actions modelled in this report show how ecological footprint can be reduced by 40% and carbon emissions by 45%. This highlights the necessity of ensuring that the eco-town puts in place measures that influence all parts of a resident’s carbon and ecological footprint. It also highlights the wider requirements for action across the whole of UK infrastructure, since the lifestyles and behaviour of a community are still closely tied and dependent on other sectors and services.

Ecological footprint (gha)

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Before Total = 6.1 gha After Total = 3.7 gha (40% saving)

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

A more detailed survey of Whitehill Bordon residents actual resource use, habits and lifestyle choices is recommended to ensure that there is reliable data to confirm the scale of what needs to be tackled to create an eco-town in Whitehill Bordon. Keys to the success of Whitehill Bordon as an eco-town will be in: •

Thinking about the design from the point of view of a resident or worker trying to reduce their impacts in all the categories

Building a settlement which links seamlessly to the existing communities and wider region

Creating employment and a community which provides the facilities people need, as much as building eco-homes.

Reducing transport by creating local employment and facilities, safe alternatives to the car and through the correct density of dwellings to allow walkable facilities.

Investment in public transport in the region to ensure that residents do not have to rely on the car to leave the eco-town.

A m o re d te lia d e su rv ye o fW h ti ih e l B o rd o n r sie e d tn s tca u la sre o rcu e su ,e h ib a st a d n fli se lyt e h c o i e c si rs ce o mme d n d e t o e sn ru e h t ta h t re ie rs le a i le b d a t ta o o c fin rm t h se a c le o f wa h t e n d e ts o e b t ca le k d o t rc a e e t a n ce o t- o n wn i W ih e t lih l B o rd o n .

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Appendix: Energy strategy BioRegional were asked to comment specifically on the energy aspect of the Whitehill Bordon Sustainability Strategy prepared by AECOM in October 2009. Our observations were as follows: 1. More context is needed for what is required. That is, the number of units and types of units and the expected demand for heat and electricity. It is also important to see the types and sizes of proposed renewable energy installations, timeline of development and so timeline of energy requirement. 2. Biomass is mentioned as a likely source of renewable energy. Calculations on the amount of biomass required to supply the expected amount of energy are necessary. This would then be followed by research to check that the required biomass is definitely available. 3. Wind power is also suggested as a local renewable energy source. Our experience has shown that it might be difficult to get planning permission for this in Hampshire. There is a history of rejected applications. The Ministry of Defence have historically prevented wind turbines from going ahead because of security and flight path concerns. The civil aviation authority may say no. Therefore we suggest there is a need to ask for permission now. Waiting until the planning stage would be too late. 4. It will a lso be important to bring in or establish the energy services company or a multiutility services company at an early stage. This is because whatever energy solutions are proposed by consultants, the people who are actually going to pay for the installation and carry out maintenance and billing will have their own ideas about what equipment would be viable or preferable. This will avoid duplication and wasted work. This could also be true of developers and eco-facilities management where building mounted renewables are planned. 5. The energy strategy on pages 14 and 15 does not include the non-domestic emissions. It should do. 6. It’s a good outline energy strategy but it is not a full strategy yet. It would be expected to change as the strategy itself develops. In the meeting at East Hampshire District Council with AECOM on 22 October, we understood that the AECOM team had only just finalised the number and type of units and so it was planned to create the suggested overarching strategy but it had not been possible to do this before now. AECOM have since collated the expected electricity and heat demand for the existing homes, new homes and new non-domestic buildings. However, it is expected that the figures may change as there is a public consultation taking place in November. It had also been too early to carry out the next steps identified as necessary on wind, biomass and bringing in delivery partners as noted above until now. Therefore perhaps all of the above issues will be able to be progressed now that the masterplan has more detail.

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About BioRegional This report has been prepared by BioRegional, an entrepreneurial charity, which invents and delivers practical solutions for sustainability. BioRegional is among the UK’s leading environmental entrepreneurs, developing pioneering sustainable communities, products, services and production systems – and establishing them as successful role models.

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Modelling of carbon andecological footprint reduction in EastHampshire  

Modelling of carbon and ecological footprint reduction in East Hampshire

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