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FOCUS: Gov’s eco progress under the microscope

FOCUS: Gov’s eco progress under the microscope

Monday 11 April 2022

FOCUS: Gov’s eco progress under the microscope

Monday 11 April 2022

The Government’s air travel dropped to a fifth of pre-covid levels in 2021, while cutting automatic printing saw the public sector ‘save’ 4.4 trees last year.

These are just two of the highlights in a new report, forming part of the Annual Report and Accounts, analysing how sustainable the Government was in 2021.

Express breaks down some of the key findings...


Most of the Island's emissions come from local transport, with this sector accounting for 44% of emissions in 2019.

As a result, the Government's Carbon Neutral Roadmap and Sustainable Transport Policy make clear the need to "decarbonise" the Government fleet.

The report explains that the Government's transport fleet is made up of "low emission lease hire pool cars", including electric vehicles.

In 2020, there were 26 EVs. In 2021, that number grew to 45. There are now a further 24 EVs on order and due to arrive this year.

In July 2021, the Government commissioned a review of its fleet by the Energy Saving Trust, which made recommendations as to where "carbon savings" could be made.

After a successful trial of Second-Generation Renewable Diesel, this fuel will be used across the Government's fleet from this year.

Air travel


Air travel was one fifth of pre-covid levels, totalling just 1.4 million km in comparison to 6.6m in 2019.

As a result, our travel expenditure reduced and resulted in just 0.3 kt CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions.

Including hospital transport, however, air travel in 2021 totalled 3.7m km.

Heating and energy use


36m kWh in electricity were consumed in 2021, less than 2020, though consumption of heating oil and gas was higher than pre-covid levels.

The Government says that the "need for increased fresh air ventilation" in the wake of covid has "impacted overall energy use.

However, it says that energy efficiency across its estate has been improved in a number of ways, particularly through refurbishments at St. Mary's School, Grainville and Haute Vallée, and the installation of 3G pitches which need less maintenance.

Solar panels and LED lighting are now part of "standard installation", and heat pumps are also being increasingly employed.

"This will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but may also result in increases in energy use and cost. These refurbished and new projects have been delivered through a more holistic sustainable approach based on larger environmental issues rather than purely based on cost," the report noted.

Last year also saw the introduction of a new pilot project of the 'Green Kitchen Standard', which is due to conclude this year.

"The pilot is taking place with the Hospital Catering team, the catering team at La Moye Prison and with Flourish (primary school meals partnership with local charity Caring Cooks). To be awarded with the standard, caterers must prove their environmental credentials which can mean cost savings as well as tackling energy and water consumption and waste management in line with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals."

Water use

Government water use includes all public toilets, showers and schools plus the airport, hospital and all other Government of Jersey activities.

Since 2017, the Government has had water meters in place across all its properties, which it says has enabled it to "identify leaks and take corrective action more quickly to avoid waste.

Water consumption reduced by around 60 million litres, from 807 million in 2020 to 745 million in 2021.

It cost the Government £2m.

Pollution incidents

There were 96 recorded incidents of water pollution in Jersey last year – more than 30 fewer than the year before when there were 129.

However, the number of incidents that Government was responsible for – around one in 10 – was greater than in 2020 when it stood at one in 20.

The report stated that "oil is the pollutant at approximately a quarter of the these, although other types of pollution include sewage, chemical, construction, agricultural and contaminated land."

It added that average nitrate levels in streams and groundwater were "continuing to reduce year on year from 83 mg/l in 1994 to below the EU limit of 50mg/l" and that "the number of pesticide detections in surface waters has also reduced."



The Government, which now uses recycled A4 paper as its "default" paper, says it reduced its print volumes by 10% in 2021.

They said that the use of 'Pull printing' – where someone must go to the printer and release a print from machines – had led to 357,261 A4 sheets not being printed. This equates to saving 4.4 trees and 1,607kgs of CO2. This was ever so slightly less than the revious year, when 4.5 trees were saved.

Looking to the future...

The Government's proposed Carbon Neutral Roadmap is due to be voted on by States Members at the end of this month.

It sets out four key priority areas for "decarbonising Government":

  1. Supporting people to travel more sustainably and volunteer insupport of carbon neutral projects.
  2. Putting carbon reductions at the heart of the new strategy for managing the public estate.
  3. >Delivering services that support the reduction of emissions across the island and encouraging emissions reduction from suppliers.
  4. Trialling biodiesel as is transition fuel, acquiring electric fleet where available and providing sustainable transport solutions to reduce mileage.

To assist with this, the policy proposes that a new 'Decarbonisation Unit' will be established in Government in 2022 to develop an action plan, which will set quantified emissions reduction targets in Departmental Operational Business Plans from 2023.

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