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					tHe rougH guide to

Saving energy
& reducing your carbon footprint

                                  book is
                        See car


                                                    e ta


                                   eut             fo
a typical carbon footprint
                                                              tHe rougH guide to

 the average briton produces 11 tonnes
of co2 – the main greenhouse gas – each
year. Here’s how that breaks down.

recreation 1.95 tons
Everything from driving to a sports club to
watching television.                                            energy
Heating 1.49 tons                                                 & reducing your
Central heating and stand-alone heaters.
                                                                 carbon footprint
food 1.39 tons
Agriculture, food transport, cooking and
Household 1.37 tons                                foreword by John Varley 2
Lighting, fridges, home building and DIY.
                                                   being carbon neutral 4
Hygiene 1.34 tons                                  climate change 5
Bathing, showering and washing, and                your carbon footprint 14
health services.
                                                   Heating & insulation 17
clothing 1.00 tons                                 the big switch off 26
Production, transportation, retail, washing        electricity supply 32
and drying of clothes and shoes.
                                                   on the road 38
commuting 0.81 tons                                Holidays 49
Travelling to and from work by car or public
transport.                                         food 53
                                                   Waste & water 57
aviation 0.68 tons                                 carbon offsetting 62
Flying for holidays or work.
                                                   and finally… 64
education 0.49 tons
School buildings, equipment and travel
                                               Rough Guides has done its best to ensure the accuracy and currency of all information in this book;
                                               however Rough Guides and Barclays cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience
                                               sustained by any reader as a result of information or advice in the guide. In particular, Barclays makes
                                               no representation as to the suitability of suppliers or products. Specialist advice should be sought
                                               before making changes to your property.
                                               This Barclays special edition is excerpted from the Rough Guides to Ethical Living (by Duncan Clark) and
                                               Climate Change (by Robert Henson). It is adapted from a book produced for Sky, published to coincide
                                               with Sky News’ Green Britain: The Big Picture week.
                                               The paper used in this book is 50% recycled and 50% fibre from sustainably managed forests.
                                                                 dialogue that I’ve had with our leaders around the world
                                                                 that we’ll be taking similar steps in our businesses in the
                                                                 United States, and Europe, and Africa and Asia.
                                                                    You will expect Barclays to be a leader, not a follower,
John Varley                                                      in tackling climate change and in incorporating envi-
                                                                 ronmentally friendly principles into our business lives. I
                                                                 assure you that we will do this and that I take with deadly
I guess that, like me,
                                                                 seriousness our corporate responsibility in this area.
you’ve been hearing
                                                                    One of the ways in which Barclays can also help is by
a lot about climate
                                                                 providing you with information about what we can all do
change. And, like me,
                                                                 as individuals. That’s what this guide is about. If people
you’re also thinking
                                                                 are going to save the world – it sounds emotive but that’s
quite a lot about
                                                                 what it amounts to – we can’t just look to governments,
what we should be
                                                                 or even to big organisations like Barclays to do it all. We
doing, as individuals,
                                                                 need to be active in our home lives. So this guide is trying
to reduce our carbon
                                                                 to suggest some things that we can all do to save energy,
footprints. And, like
                                                                 to save money, and to help tackle climate change. There
me, you’ve probably
                                                                 are lots of practical solutions in this book. I hope you’ll
thought about it more
                                                                 take a look at it and choose the options that suit you best.
over the last twelve
                                                                 If everyone in Barclays saved one tonne of CO₂ (which is
months than you ever
                                                                 about 10% of the carbon which each of us generate per
did before.
                                                                 year), we’d save the equivalent of taking 43,000 cars off
I find that my children are very aware of the subject, and       the road each year, or the same as the CO₂ generated by
challenge me about how I should do things differently,           seven buildings the size of our global headquarters at One
and how we as a family can do things differently, to make        Churchill Place in London.
a bigger effort to conserve energy.                                 It would be wrong for me to ask you to look at this
   And then again, as Chief Executive of a big organisation      unless I was giving you a commitment that Barclays, as
like Barclays, climate change has come rushing up the            your employer, will be doing what it should. I give you my
priority list of our business and corporate responsibility       promise that we will.
agenda.                                                             And I hope that by taking action as a Group, and as a set
   What’s clear is that there’s no point being in denial         of individuals, future generations – including our children
about what’s happening: the evidence is as overwhelming          – will say of Barclays and its people that, as a result of what
as it is shocking. So we must act. Climate change affects        we started to do in 2007, we made a positive difference.
us all as individuals. But it also has a significant potential
impact on our business – on the markets in which we
operate, and on the customers and clients we serve.
   As an organisation, we’ve taken some big steps already.
Our UK-based operations are now carbon neutral, and                John Varley
we’re looking at how quickly we can achieve this in all the        Group Chief Executive
other countries around the world in which we operate.              April 2007
It needs to be fast. We’ve recently announced that from
April, 50% of the energy that we use across all our United
Kingdom facilities will be renewable, and I know from

being carbon
Barclays UK operations are now carbon neutral. That’s an
important milestone in our Climate Action Programme,
but what does it actually mean?
   First we’ve reduced our carbon dioxide emissions from
energy use and business travel by investing in energy              Key questions & answers
efficiency measures and buying renewable energy. We’ve
then offset the remainder of our 2006 UK emissions by
investing in emissions reduction projects in China, India          is the planet really warming up?
and Southern Africa.                                               In a word, yes. Independent teams of scientists have labo-
   Offsetting is not the solution to climate change but it’s a     riously combed through more than a century’s worth of
valuable part of a balanced set of measures. Our priority has      temperature records (in the case of England, closer to 300
always been, and will continue to be, reducing emissions in        years’ worth). These analyses all point to a rise of close
the first place. Find out more about how Barclays is tack-         to 0.8°C (1.4°F) in the average surface air temperature of
ling climate change at:             Earth over the last century.
                                                                      The first five years of the twenty-first century, along
Andrew Flett                                                       with 1998, were the hottest on record – and quite possibly
Head of Environmental Management                                   warmer than any others in the past millennium. Apart
                                                                   from what temperatures tell us, there’s also a wealth of
                                                                   circumstantial evidence to bolster the case that Earth is
                                                                   warming up. Arctic sea ice is thinning; glaciers are melt-
  barclays climate action programme
                                                                   ing; the growing season is lengthening; species are being
  Barclays five-point plan for tackling climate change:            pushed into new territories… the list goes on.
  1 Reduce CO₂ emissions by improving energy efficiency.

  2 Buy renewable energy.

  3 Make our UK operations carbon neutral by offsetting the
  remaining emissions.

  4 Develop products and services that help our customers to
  reduce their own climate change impacts.

  5 Engage with key stakeholders and contribute to the debate on
  climate change action.

                                                                   Temperature change by region, 1976–2000 (IPCC)

           ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs                                   ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs

but don’t many experts claim
that the science is uncertain?
Not really. There’s near-unanimous agreement that global
climate is changing and that fossil fuels are at least partly
to blame. Today, most of the scientific debate is about the
details: exactly how much the planet will warm, the loca-
tions where rainfall will increase or decrease, and so on.
Some of this uncertainty is due to the complexity of the                   Earth’s atmosphere seems huge, but it’s actually extremely
processes involved, and some of it is simply because we                    thin – like a piece of paper wrapped around a football
don’t know how individuals, corporations and govern-
ments will change their greenhouse emissions over time.
                                                                couldn’t the changes have
is a small temperature                                          natural causes?
rise such a big deal?                                           As sceptics are fond of pointing out, Earth’s atmosphere
A degree or so of warming may not sound like much, but          has gone through countless temperature swings in its 4.5
the rise has been steeper in certain locations, including       billion years. These are the results of everything from
the Arctic, where small changes can be amplified into big-      cataclysmic volcanic eruptions to changes in solar output
ger ones. The warming also serves as a base from which          and cyclic variations in Earth’s orbit. So how can we be
heat waves become that much worse – especially in big           sure that the current warming isn’t “natural” – ie caused
cities, where the heat-island effect comes into play. The       by something other than burning fossil fuels?
concrete oceans of pavement in an urban area heat up              That query has been tackled directly over the last dec-
more readily than a field or forest, and they keep cities       ade by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
warmer at night. During the most intense hot spells, cities     (IPCC), a unique team that draws on the work of more
can be deadly, as evidenced by the thousands who died in        than 1000 scientists. Back in 1995, the IPCC announced
Paris in 2003.                                                  that:

                                                                      “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible
How could humans change the                                           human influence on global climate.”
whole world’s climate?
                                                                By 2001, the picture had sharpened further:
By adding enormous quantities of carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere over the last                “There is new and stronger evidence that most
150 years. These gases absorb heat radiated by Earth                  of the warming observed over the last 50 years is
and release only part of this heat to space, resulting in a           attributable to human activities.”
warmer atmosphere.
                                                                   One way scientists support claims like these is to look at
   The amount of greenhouse gas we emit is staggering.
                                                                the changes taking place and compare them to what you’d
Just in terms of carbon dioxide, also known as CO₂, the
                                                                expect from non-greenhouse causes. For example, over
global figure is around 26 billion metric tonnes per year.
                                                                the past several decades, Earth’s surface air temperature
That’s more than four tonnes per person. And all this
                                                                has warmed most strongly near the poles and at night.
gas goes into an atmosphere that’s remarkably shallow.
                                                                That pattern is consistent with the projections of compu-
If you picture Earth as a football, the bulk of the atmos-
                                                                ter models that incorporate rises in greenhouse gases; it’s
phere would be no thicker than a sheet of paper wrapped
                                                                less consistent with the warming that might be produced
around that ball.
                                                                by other causes.

           ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs                                   ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs

How do the rainforests                                             In the decades to come, the warming of the planet and
                                                                the resulting rise in sea level will likely begin to force
fit into the picture?
                                                                people away from some coastlines. Low-lying islands are
The well-publicized destruction of rainforests across the
                                                                already vulnerable, and entire cities could eventually be at
tropics isn’t the main cause of global warming, but it
                                                                risk. The implications are especially sobering for countries
plays a highly significant role. Tropical forests hold nearly
                                                                such as Bangladesh, where millions of people live on land
half of the CO₂ present in vegetation around the world.
                                                                that may be inundated before the century is out.
When the forests and their undergrowth are burned, they
                                                                   Another concern is moisture – both too much and
release huge amounts of CO₂ into the atmosphere. Along
                                                                too little. Rainfall appears to be increasing slightly on a
with other changes in land use, rainforest destruction
                                                                global average, and in many areas rain appears to be fall-
accounts for as much CO₂ emission as the US and China
                                                                ing in shorter but heavier deluges conducive to flooding.
                                                                Paradoxically, drought also seems to be becoming more
                                                                prevalent. Changes in the timing of rainfall and runoff
and the ozone hole?                                             could complicate efforts to ensure clean water for growing
There are a few links between ozone depletion and global        populations, especially in the developing world.
warming, but for the most part they’re two separate issues.        Warming temperatures may also facilitate the spread of
The world community has already taken steps to address          vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
the Antarctic ozone hole, which is expected to disappear        Many of these dangers are already with us. The World
by the end of the twenty-first century.                         Health Organization estimates that in the year 2000 alone,
                                                                more than 150,000 people died as a result of direct and
Was Hurricane Katrina related                                   indirect climate-change impacts.
to global warming?
It’s impossible to tie any single weather event, including      Will new york and London
Katrina, to global warming. Several hurricanes of com-          really end up under water?
parable strength have been observed across the Atlantic         Not soon, but it may be only a matter of time. Sea levels
over the last century. That said, the waters of the Gulf of     are expected to rise between 90 and 880mm (3.5–35.0") by
Mexico that fuelled Katrina were at near-record warmth.         2100, depending primarily on how much greenhouse gas
It appears that the tropics are part of a global trend          we emit. The top-end estimate could inundate the lowest-
towards ocean warming that goes hand in hand with               lying parts of some cities. Even if the sea-level rise were
atmospheric warming, and in the last 35 years the fre-          more modest, hurricanes and coastal storms on top of that
quency of the most intense hurricanes (category 4 or 5)         rise could cause major problems.
has doubled.                                                       Longer term, if emissions continue to rise, the Greenland
                                                                ice sheet could be thrown into an unstoppable melting
Will anyone be killed or                                        cycle that would raise sea level by more than 7m (23ft).
displaced by climate change?                                    This might take a few centuries, but should it come to
                                                                pass, many of the world’s most beloved and historic cities
Quantifying the human cost of climate change is difficult.
                                                                would be hard-pressed to survive.
Weather-related disasters kill thousands of people each
year, regardless of long-term changes in the climate. And
many of the projected impacts of global warming are             Will agriculture suffer?
inseparable from other issues such as poverty and popula-       That depends on where you live. Global agricultural
tion growth. But there’s no doubt that millions of people       productivity may rise over the next century, thanks to
could be seriously affected by climate change.                  the extra CO2 in the atmosphere and to barren regions

           ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs                                 ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs

becoming warm enough to bear crops. However, yields in
the tropics, home to hundreds of millions of subsistence
farmers, are likely to drop.

and wildlife?
Climate is expected to change quite rapidly from an evo-
lutionary point of view, so we can expect major shocks
to some ecosystems. According to a 2004 study from the
University of Leeds, climate change between now and
2050 may commit as many as 37% of all species to even-
                                                                            The Kyoto World
tual extinction.
                                                                                Signed and ratified (or ratification pending)
                                                                                Signed, no intention to ratify
What’s all this about the gulf Stream?                                          No position

The Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift bring warm
water (and with it warm air) from the tropical Atlantic to    Will Kyoto make a difference?
Northern Europe. This helps keep the UK several degrees       Only if it leads to a more ambitious next step. Even if all
warmer than it would otherwise be. There is a distinct        the Kyoto targets were met by 2012, it would only make
possibility that this system could be diminished by climate   a tiny dent in the world’s ever-increasing output of green-
change, because increasing rainfall and snow-melt in the      house gases. And few of the world’s big economies are on
cold north could send more freshwater into the North          track to meet these targets anyway. Moreover, the cen-
Atlantic, pinching off part of the warm current. The best     tury-long lifespan of atmospheric CO2 means that even
estimate is that the flow might weaken by 10–50% over         if we turned off every fuel-burning machine on Earth
the next century – not enough to stop the UK from warm-       tomorrow, the world would continue to warm for decades
ing, but enough to reduce the effects of climate change       as the oceans slowly release the heat they’ve collected in
somewhat.                                                     recent years.
                                                                 The bottom line is that we won’t come close to keeping
What’s the Kyoto protocol?                                    greenhouse heating in check until changes in lifestyle and
It’s a United Nations-sponsored agreement among nations       technology enable us to massively reduce our emissions
to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions. The treaty was      – or until we find a safe method to remove enormous
finalized in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, but it didn’t become      amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.
international law until early 2005. As of 2006, more than
160 states have ratified the treaty (see map), including      Will we reach a “tipping point”?
most of the industrialized world. Two significant excep-      The effects of climate change aren’t linear. A 4°C warm-
tions are the US and Australia.                               ing could be more than twice as risky as a 2°C warming
    Under Kyoto, industrialized nations have pledged to       because of so-called “feedback processes” that tend to
cut their yearly emissions of carbon by varying amounts,      amplify change and make it worse. For example, melting
averaging 5.2% by 2012, as compared to 1990. That             ice in the arctic reveals dark-coloured sea and land; this
equates to a 29% cut in the values that would have oth-       absorbs more heat from the sun than the ice did, hence
erwise occurred. However, the protocol didn’t become          accelerating global warming and making it more likely
international law until more than halfway through the         that further ice will melt. And so on. The worry is that at
1990–2012 period. By that point, emissions had risen          some stage – a so-called “tipping point” – these processes
substantially in many countries.                              could make global warming uncontrollable.

                            10                                                               11
            ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs                                          ClimaTe Change: The key faCTs

  Since each feedback has its own triggers, there is no sin-
gle temperature agreed upon as a tipping point for Earth                   employee focus: Mike dickinson
as a whole. However, one goal adopted by the European                   “It has been said that climate change is a global issue and so it
Union, as well as many environmental groups, is to limit                is, but it is also a local one,” says Mike Dickinson, Barclays Local
                                                                        Business Manager.
global temperature rise to 2°C (3.6°F) over pre-industrial
levels. Worryingly, we’re already about 40% of the way                  “Living on the coast, just six miles south of Southport our com-
                                                                        munity is facing the prospect of coastal erosion through chang-
                                                                        ing climate and rising seas. Within the next 40 to 50 years our
                                                                        community may well be under water and English Nature and
does the growth of china and india                                      the National Trust, both active on our coastline, have declared
                                                                        it is a lost battle. “
make a solution impossible?
Not necessarily. The economic rise of these huge, popu-
lous countries is indeed daunting from a climate perspec-             winner is coal – or some other, less-proven fossil source
tive. But much of their development is yet to come, so                such as shale or methane hydrates – it raises the potential
there’s a window of opportunity for those nations to adopt            for global warming far beyond anything in current projec-
the most efficient technologies possible. China is already            tions.
making progress on vehicle fuel efficiency and other key
standards.                                                            Won’t nature take care of global
   It’s worth bearing in mind that the per-person emis-               warming in the long run?
sions in both China and India are much lower than those               Only in the very long run. The human influence on the
in Europe.                                                            greenhouse effect could last the better part of this mil-
                                                                      lennium. Assuming that it takes a century or more for
if oil runs out, does that                                            humanity to burn through whatever fossil fuels we’re des-
solve the problem?                                                    tined to emit, it will take hundreds more years for those
No. It’s true that if oil resources do “peak” in the next few         greenhouse gases to be absorbed by Earth’s oceans.
years, as some experts believe, we’re likely to see economic             There are few analogies in the geological past for such a
downswings, and those could reduce oil-related emis-                  drastic change in global climate over such a short period,
sions. But the longer-term question is, what fuel sources             so it’s impossible to know what will happen after the
will the world use to fill any energy shortfall: coal, nuclear,       human-induced greenhouse effect wanes. All else being
renewables or some combination of the three? If the big               equal, cyclical changes in Earth’s orbit around the Sun can
                                                                      be expected to trigger an ice age sometime within the next
                                                                      50,000 years, and other warmings and coolings are sure to
     barclays and clean development                                   follow. In the meantime, we’ll have our hands full dealing
  To tackle climate change properly, the developed world needs        with the next century and the serious climate changes that
  to help developing countries access clean technology to meet        our way of life may help bring about.
  their rapidly growing energy needs. The ideal is to move straight
  to clean energy and to skip the stage of using fossil fuels
  where it is possible. But there are barriers to this – producing    can i make a difference?
  alternative energy is often more expensive than burning fossil
                                                                      Yes. As individuals, we can each attempt to reduce the
  fuels. Barclays is supporting two wind farms in China and India
  in order of offset the CO₂ emissions from our UK operations.        greenhouse-gas emissions that we’re personally responsi-
  Developing countries can generate income from producing             ble for. The rest of this book explains how to get started.
  emissions reductions, which helps to incentivise clean develop-
  ment. To find out more about Barclays offsetting projects visit:

                                 1                                                                     1
                                                                                                                     your Carbon fooTprinT

your carbon
                                                                                   The diagram below shows how this typical 11 tonne
                                                                                carbon footprint breaks down into different sectors. A
                                                                                more detailed break-down is provided on the inside cover
                                                                                of this book.

                                                                                   As the chart shows, more than half of our emissions
                                                                                are accounted for by “hidden extras”: manufacture, con-
                                                                                struction, food and services. We can help slim down

                                                                                        How the typical UK carbon footprint breaks down
… and how to reduce it                                                                                                           Manufacture/
                                                                                                         What’s included?        construction   Food 5%

                                                              Based on figures from Best Foot Forward
                                                                                                           Food: farming         40%                      Services 6%
When trying to reduce your impact on the                                                                 Homes: electricity,
                                                                                                              heating                                          Home
climate, a good first step is to take stock of your                                                                                                             20%
                                                                                                          Personal travel:
personal ”carbon footprint” – the total amount of                                                       road, air, rail, water
CO₂ emissions that you are directly or indirectly                                                         Services: shops,
responsible for.                                                                                          health clubs, etc
One way to get started is to use a carbon calculator.                                                      construction:
                                                                                                        factory goods, road
These simple online tools allow you to work out roughly
                                                                                                            building, etc
how much carbon dioxide various activities in your life
generate. You enter a few simple details about your car,                                                                                            Personal
                                                                                                                                                    travel 29%
energy bills and flights, and the calculator works out the
emissions generated. The various carbon offset schemes                          these emissions by favouring products and companies
(see p.62) all have simple carbon calculators on their                          with smaller carbon footprints – buying local food, for
websites, though they’re not quite as fun as the one found                      example.
here:                                                                              All that said, it’s true that the two areas where individu-
The Bigger Picture                     als can make the most significant carbon cuts are home
                                                                                and travel…
eleven tonnes each
Online carbon calculators do a good job of helping us
understand the carbon emissions of our homes and travel.                        According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average British
However, for a really complete analysis of your overall                         household could reduce its CO₂ emissions by a third
carbon footprint, we have to consider not just the obvious                      – and save up to £300 per year – simply by becoming
things, but also less obvious areas such as the food and                        more energy efficient. The best way to get started is to
goods we buy, the construction and maintenance of the                           take stock of energy use in your home. The chart overleaf
roads and buildings we use, and so on.                                          provides a breakdown for a typical UK household. As
  If you factor in all the emissions in the UK and divide                       it shows, space and water heating are the most energy-
them up equally between the people in the country, the                          hungry areas.
average carbon footprint for a UK citizen works out at                             To help you reduce your home’s impact on the climate
around 11 tonnes of CO₂ per year. Put another way, a typi-                      we’ve devoted the next three chapters to heating, insula-
cal adult accounts for carbon dioxide emissions equiva-                         tion and electricity. For more comprehensive advice, con-
lent to their own body weight every two days!                                   sider a home energy check. These can usually be arranged
                                                                                for free via your local Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre

                            1                                                                                                      1
                  your Carbon fooTprinT

                                                             Heating &
                             Cooking 3%
               Lights and                       Space
          appliances 13%                        heating

   energy use
    in the UK
                                                             Warm your home,
                                                             not the climate
or online at Call 0800 512 012 for
more details. An expert will advise you on how to make       Heating accounts for around 60% of all household
your home greener and let you know about any grants you      carbon dioxide emissions, so even a small improve-
may qualify for.                                             ment in the way we warm our homes and water can
                                                             make a big difference. The first step is to minimize
                                                             waste; the second is to improve insulation; the third
travel                                                       is to consider upgrading to a more efficient boiler
On average, we travel more today than ever before – both     or even a renewable-energy heating system.
within the country and on trips abroad. This is having a
major impact on the climate, since nearly all our vehicles
are powered by fossil fuels. To find out how to reduce       Step 1: tweaking your heating
the emissions of your car, turn to p.38. For more on air
                                                             Most households can achieve significant cuts in their CO₂
travel and how the various modes of transport compare,
                                                             emissions just by making a few adjustments to the way
see p.49.
                                                             they use their existing heating system. Here’s how:
                                                             A Turn it down Reducing your room and water
                 barclays uK carbon
                                                             temperatures by just a small amount can make a major
                   footprint 2006
                                                             difference to your energy consumption. You may find
         Buildings                                           you sleep better, too. For rooms, try 18–20°C and throw
     	   Electricity     156,109 tonnes   70%                on a sweater. Turning down your room thermostat by
                Gas      28,122 tonnes    12%                just one degree can save 10% of your heating bill and
   Business travel                                           around 300kg of CO₂ emissions each year. As for hot
     	         Car       11,388 tonnes    5%
                                                             water, aim for 60°C.
     	         Rail	     584 tonnes       0%                 A Keep your tank warm If you have an uninsulated hot
     	          Air      26,570 tonnes    12%                water tank, be sure to equip it with an insulating jacket.
             Total       222,773 tonnes                      For just a few pounds, this could save you 150kg of CO₂
                                                             and around £20 per year.
                                                             A Heat rooms not walls Put foil reflectors behind
                                                             radiators to reflect heat back into the room. You can
                                                             make your own, but you’ll get better results buying them
                                                             off the shelf.

                               1                                                        1
                 heaTing & insulaTion                                               heaTing & insulaTion

A Close the curtains Draw the curtains at dusk, before          takes only around three hours. The process involves drill-
the warmth starts to escape.                                    ing holes in the building’s exterior wall and injecting the
                                                                insulation material, which can be foam, mineral wool or
A Don’t heat empty spaces Efficient heating controls
                                                                some other option, depending on your budget.
– especially those that let you specify the temperature of
                                                                   Unfortunately, nearly a third of the UK’s 24 million
individual rooms, or programme different temperatures
                                                                dwellings have solid walls, while a further 75,000 have
for different times of day – can take a significant
                                                                cavity walls that are unsuitable for filling. It is possible to
chunk out of your energy demands. Also look into
                                                                insulate solid walls but it’s more costly and labour inten-
thermostatic radiator valves, which allow you to control
                                                                sive. The main decision is whether to go for internal or
each room’s temperature automatically.
                                                                external insulation. The former will reduce your room
                                                                sizes by around 1cm on each side and will mean complete
Step 2: insulating
It may not be as glamorous as installing a solar panel on         paybacks for insulation products
your roof, but improving the insulation of our homes can
have just as big an effect for far less money.                    The exact cost and payback period for each type of insulation
                                                                  and draught-proofing depends on your specific home and
                                                                  heating system, but the following figures show how the various
Loft insulation                                                   options typically compare.
Decent loft insulation can reduce the annual CO₂ foot-                              Typical      Typical      Typical
print of a typical UK home by 1.5 tonnes and reduce                                 cost         annual       payback
heating bills by a fifth.                                                                        savings      period

   Current building regulations state that loft insulation in     Cavity wall       £260         £130–160     1–2 years
new buildings should be 27cm (11"). If your current insu-
lation is 10cm (4") or less, you should seriously consider
                                                                  Internal wall     £40/m2       £270–340     9–12 years
topping it up to the 27cm level, and possibly adding even         insulation (for
more. If you want a grant to install a renewable-energy           a gas-heated
                                                                  3-bed semi)
technology (see p.34), you’ll need at least 27cm.
   Any type of loft insulation is better than nothing but         Loft insulation   £230         £180–220     1 year
                                                                  (from 0 to
certain types are greener than others. As a rule, those that      270mm)
use minerals as their raw material use more energy in             Loft insulation   £200–240     £50–60       3–5 years
their production – and are less likely to be locally sourced      (from 50 to
– than those that use natural materials such as wool or
flax. The latter, though often more expensive, allow for          Draught           £50–75       £20          3–5 years
better circulation of air and help to avoid the retention of
toxins in a building.
                                                                  Floor             From £100    £40–50       2–3 years
Wall insulation
Most houses built after the 1920s have cavity walls – an          Filling gaps      £20          £10–20       1 year
                                                                  between floor
inner and outer wall with a gap in between. (A typical            and skirting
cavity wall is around 30cm thick, whilst a solid wall will        Hot water tank    £10          £20          6 months
usually be only around 23cm.) Filling the cavity with             jacket
insulation can lead to huge energy savings and usually

                             1                                                                 1
                 heaTing & insulaTion                                               heaTing & insulaTion

redecoration; the latter is more expensive and will change
the look of your building.
                                                                   electric heating
  One good option for internal wall insulation is sem-             Compared to gas systems, electric heating can cause far more
patap. It can be decorated with any finish (emulsion,              damage to the environment, producing on average around twice
wallpaper and even tiles) and enables the wall surface to          as much CO₂ per unit of heat than gas does. At present, there are
                                                                   2 million UK residences heated by electricity. Many of these are
remain warm, eliminating condensation and black mould
                                                                   rural houses that aren’t connected to the gas network, but even
growth. By installing sempatap in all rooms, a typical             in cities a significant number of homes use electric radiators and
three-bedroom semi-detached house could save around                storage heaters. Because of this, many well-insulated residences
3800kWh per annum, equating to £95 or 18% of heating               built in the 1990s produce as much CO₂ via heating as poorly
                                                                   insulated houses from the 1890s.
costs. However, the up-front cost would be about £1300
plus redecoration, so it would take at least fourteen years        If you own a home with electric heating, consider switching to
to pay for itself.                                                 gas or even wood. If you’re renting, probably the best you can do
                                                                   is use your heaters as efficiently as possible. Set thermostats at
                                                                   sensible levels and switch heaters off a while before you go out.
Old single-glazed windows are a major source of heat loss,
so it’s worth considering double-glazing. However, new           better gas boilers
windows are expensive, so if you have a limited budget it’s      If you’re on the gas network but don’t have an effi-
better to start off with adding loft insulation and replacing    cient condensing boiler, then it’s worth considering an
inefficient appliances.                                          upgrade. Combination (aka combi) boilers heat water on
  If money is no object, probably the greenest choice is         demand rather than filling a tank with hot water that may
wooden frames – but be sure to get wood from certified           or may not be used. Modern condensing models are also
sustainable sources. Second best is metal, followed by           highly efficient, producing more than 10% extra heat per
PVC, which doesn’t last as long and can’t be recycled. If        unit of energy than a model made ten years ago.
you’re on a more modest budget, you might explore DIY               Condensing boilers aren’t cheap, but you could easily
secondary glazing, which involves adding extra (openable)        save around £1000 (and plenty of CO₂ emissions) over
windows either inside or outside your existing ones.             the space of ten years, depending on your gas demands
                                                                 and future prices. A combi will also let you reclaim the
                                                                 cupboard space occupied by your hot water tank.
Step 3: consider upgrading                                          When shopping for a boiler, be sure to look for one
your heating system                                              bearing the Energy Saving Recommended label. You can
The most common fuel in the UK for space and water               find a list here:
heating is natural gas, formed underground by decom-             EST Boilers
posing matter over millions of years. Gas heating systems
                                                                 One way to make a combi boiler even more efficient is
are better for the environment (and cheaper to run) than
                                                                 a Zenex Gas Saver. This “top box” (pictured) bolts onto
those powered by coal, oil or electricity. So if you’re on the
                                                                 your combi, extracting otherwise wasted energy from
gas network but don’t have gas heating, seriously consider
                                                                 gases exiting the system via the flue and using it to pre-
making the switch. If you live in one of the 15% of UK
                                                                 heat the incoming cold water feed. The box costs £575
homes that’s not on the gas network, there are various
                                                                 (plus installation costs) but can pay for itself in three years,
renewable options to consider.
                                                                 since it cuts gas demand by around 11% and saves around
  Whichever system you’re installing, one low-cost meas-
                                                                 5000 litres of water (around £25 per year on a metered
ure worth taking is to insulate your hot water pipes.
                                                                 water bill). It will reduce a typical home’s CO₂ emissions

                             0                                                                   1
                 heaTing & insulaTion                                               heaTing & insulaTion

by almost a tonne
per year. The Gas                                                        in barclays: investing to save
Saver can be used                                                  During 2006, Barclays installed the Atkins Remote Technology
with all Alpha and                                                 system in 90 UK branches – to control the heating boilers from
                                                                   a single location. This is one of the ways Barclays UK Retail
Veissmann boilers                                                  Banking is investing in energy efficiency. The system monitors
and many others                                                    the boilers and makes adjustments where necessary. Each boiler
besides. For more                                                  uses less energy and can be turned off when it is not needed. It
information, see:                                                  has saved an average of 32% on gas bills for those branches as
                                                                   well as the equivalent of 836 tonnes of CO₂. We are now plan-
Zenex Gas Saver a 0800 328 7533               ning to put the same technology in more branches.

Solar water heating                                              compressor, but can be made completely renewable when
Though most people associate solar power with generat-           combined with a green source of electricity.
ing electricity, it’s also possible to convert solar radiation     You could produce all your heating with a ground-
directly into heat. The typical set-up is a roof-mounted         source pump, but it’s generally more cost-effective to opt
solar collector panel, which channels the sun’s energy           for a smaller system with a fossil-fuel-driven immersion
into your hot-water tank. Such systems have been around          system to kick in during times of peak need. The ground
since the 1970s and there are currently about 80,000             loop needs a trench 75–100m long and 1–2m deep for
installations in the UK. Generally, the collector is com-        a typical house. Vertical systems are possible but more
bined with a traditional hot tank system, but some combi         expensive. The pump itself is a fridge-sized box.
boilers are also compatible.                                       A typical 8kW system costs £6000–10,000. That’s a big
   Solar hot water is well worth considering if you have         outlay, but the system could reduce your bills by up to
electric water heaters and/or high levels of hot-water           two-thirds, thereby paying for itself within twenty years.
demand in summer – but you’ll need a southerly fac-              The Low Carbon Buildings Programme (see p.34) offers
ing roof. A typical system will provide most of your hot         grants of up to £1200 or 30% of total costs.
water in the summer and about 30% of your total annual             Note that you’ll need a high level of insulation in the
demand. Expect to pay around £3000–4500, depend-                 home, since poorly insulated properties will require the
ing on the type and size of collector. The Low Carbon            pump to work harder, consuming valuable electricity. For
Buildings Programme (see p.34) offers a £400 grant               more information, see:
towards the cost.
                                                                 Ground Source Heat Pump Club
   For a list of accredited installers, see the following web-
site. It’s advisable to get several quotes before committing
to an installer.                                                 biomass heating
                                                                 Biomass fuel comes from organic matter of recent origin,
EST a 0800 512 012
                                                                 such as wood. When wood is burnt, it does produce CO₂
                                                                 but this is absorbed by new trees planted to replace the
ground-source heat pumps                                         mature ones felled. Some additional CO₂ emissions come
Heat pumps extract warmth stored in the ground. A plas-          from harvesting and transporting the wood, but the over-
tic pipe is buried and filled with water and antifreeze. The     all carbon footprint is far smaller than with a fossil-fuel
liquid absorbs heat from the ground and a compressor             heating system. Automatic wood heating systems are far
raises the temperature to a useful level. The heat is distrib-   more efficient (by 80–90%) than traditional open fires or
uted around the home by underfloor heating or radiators.         wood-burning stoves. They also provide a manageable
Such systems require some electricity for the pump and           heat source that is controlled by thermostats, and require

                                                                                                                heaTing & insulaTion                                                                                                         heaTing & insulaTion

                          Heating costs of biomass far less maintenance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          air conditioning

                                                                                                                                                                                               Electric storage heaters
                          fuels compared to other  At the moment there
                                                   are only a few hun-                                                                                                                                                    Once relatively rare in the UK, air conditioning (A/C) is
                                                   dred installations in
                                                           Wood pellets at £150 per tonne                                                                                                                                 becoming increasingly popular with British householders.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This trend has been driven by the searing heat waves made

                                                                                                                                                                        LPG at 33p per litre
                                                   the UK, but Austria
                                                   alone already has                                                                                                                                                      more common by human-induced climate change. That’s

                                                                                                                                                 Oil at 40p per litre
                                                                                                                     Mains gas at 2.5p per kWh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          somewhat ironic, since A/C units themselves are quickly
                              Wood chip at £45 per tonne

                6                                  more than 100,000.
                                                     A biomass room                                                                                                                                                       becoming a significant contributor to global warming.
                                                                                            Grain at £85 per tonne

                                                   heater      provides                                                                                                                                                   One recent report estimated that by 2020 domestic air
Pence per kilowatt hour

                                                   heating for a single                                                                                                                                                   conditioners in the UK could account for almost five mil-
                                                   room, though some                                                                                                                                                      lion tonnes of CO₂ per year.
                                                   models can be fitted                                                                                                                                                      A typical home AC unit running at full power uses
                                                   with a back boiler                                                                                                                                                     around 1–2 kilowatts of energy, which makes its car-
                                                   to provide hot water.                                                                                                                                                  bon footprint roughly equivalent to that of a fan heater.
                                                   Log and pellet boil-                                                                                                                                                   Greener ways to keep interior temperatures down include
                                                   ers are larger and                                                                                                                                                     fans (which are far less energy hungry) and adding pale,
                                                   can produce enough                                                                                                                                                     reflective blinds to south-facing windows. A more serious
            heat and hot water for a standard home. You’ll only need                                                                                                                                                      option is a ground-source heat pump. If you must use
            to take the ash out every week or so, but you will need                                                                                                                                                       electric air conditioning, try to avoid pushing the tem-
            plenty of space to store the fuel, since wood has a lower                                                                                                                                                     perature dial below 25°C.
            energy content than coal or oil.
               Costs are around £3000 for a room heater and £5000–
            10,000 for a log or pellet boiler, but the fuel is cheaper                                                                                                                                                      Selling an energy-efficient home
            than with electric or oil heating (see chart) and the Low                                                                                                                                                       When deciding whether to invest in energy-efficiency and renew-
            Carbon Buildings Programme offers a grant of up to £600                                                                                                                                                         able-energy measures for your home, bear in mind the benefits
            for a room heater (up to a maximum of 20% of total cost),                                                                                                                                                       they might bring if you ever sell the property. A poll carried out
            or £1500 for boiler systems (up to a maximum of 30% of                                                                                                                                                          by the Energy Saving Trust suggests that 65% of homebuyers see
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            energy efficiency as an important feature.
            overall cost). You can find your nearest woodfuel supplier
            at:                                                                                                                                                                                                             From June 2007, everyone selling a house will have to produce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a Home Information Pack. As part of this process an inspector
            Log Pile                                                                                                                                                                                      will produce an Energy Performance Certificate, which will assess
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the energy efficiency of the home through a simple A–G energy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rating, complete with recommendations for improvements.
                             barclays and the national trust
                          Barclays is helping the National Trust adapt to climate change.
                          The Trust has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emis-
                          sions and hopes to achieve this, in part, through micro-genera-
                          tion of energy at many of its sites.

                          Barclays has funded the installation of solar panels at Dunster
                          Castle, on the Somerset coast. This project aims to be a beacon
                          of environmental innovation, proving that new technology can
                          be adapted for Grade 1 listed buildings, which are a challenge
                          to maintain at the best of times.

                                                                                          The big swiTCh off

the big
                                                                       a day. Each bulb can save you up to £100
                                                                       in power and replacement incandescent
                                                                       bulbs during its lifetime. If you want to
                                                                       spread the cost, replace old bulbs when

switch off
                                                                       they stop working, putting the efficient
                                                                       bulbs in the rooms where you use lights
                                                                       the most (not forgetting outdoor secu-
                                                                       rity lights).
Slimming down your                                                        What about halogen lights? These
                                                                       tend to be mid-range performers in the
electricity use                                                        efficiency stakes. Better-quality halogen
                                                                       bulbs are around twice as efficient
                                                                       as typical incandescents and half as
Unless you’ve spent your life savings going energy                     efficient as compact fluorescents.             Most compact
self-sufficient, it pays – environmentally and                         However, halogen light fittings often fluorescent bulbs look
financially – to reduce your household electricity                     take multiple bulbs, raising their like this, but traditional
consumption. This doesn’t have to mean drastic                                                                     bulb shapes are also
                                                                       overall energy consumption. If you            widely available
lifestyle changes, as at present a surprising pro-                     want to make your halogens as green
portion of our household power is simply wasted,                       as possible, use 30W rather than 50W bulbs or consider
frittered away by the likes of energy-inefficient                      LED alternatives. The latter use as little as 1W per bulb,
fridges, overfilled kettles and TVs on standby.                        but they generate considerably less light, so aren’t always
                                                                          Regardless of which type of bulbs you use, you can
Lighting                                                               reduce their carbon footprint by turning the lights off
Light bulbs account for around 10–20% of domestic elec-                when you leave a room. This alone can knock £7 off your
tricity usage – that’s more than £1 billion each year in bills         annual electricity bill. Don’t believe the myth that you
between us – yet around 95% of the energy that typical                 need to leave lights off for ten or twenty minutes before
incandescent bulbs use is lost in heat. Energy-efficient               you start saving energy. This simply isn’t true: when a light
compact fluorescent bulbs reduce energy waste by more                  isn’t in use, switch it off.
than 75% and they also last up to twelve times as long.
   Energy-saving bulbs cost around £2–3 each but can
pay for themselves within a year if used for four hours                appliances & gadgets
                                                                       fridges and freezers
        in barclays: the lights are off                                Household fridges and freezers run non-stop and col-
            when nobody’s home                                         lectively consume more energy than the total used in
  Working with the Carbon Trust, Barclays Capital has invested         running all the offices in the country. If you have an old,
  £250,000 upgrading the lighting systems in its two buildings in      inefficient model, consider upgrading. It will save you
  London’s Canary Wharf. Motion sensors have been installed so
  that lights switch off when areas are unoccupied. The upgrade
                                                                       money in the long term and make CO₂ savings from the
  is expected to save 1.5GWh of electricity each year, saving the      moment you plug it in.
  amount of carbon dioxide produced by 100 average UK homes.              If you don’t want to invest in a new fridge you could
  The move will also save £100,000 a year in electricity bills, mak-   still make savings with a SavaPlug, available from various
  ing it good for business as well as for the environment.
                                                                       websites and shops. It replaces the fridge’s normal plug

                      The big swiTCh off                                                        The big swiTCh off

and has a sensor that reduces                                            and dirt. This will add to the efficiency and lengthen the
the amount of electricity used to                                        fridge’s working life.
pump the refrigerant around the
fridge. Savings of more than 20%                                         Washing machines
can be achieved, but before buy-                                         When you use a washing machine, around 90% of the
ing be sure to check that your                                           energy consumption goes towards heating the water.
model isn’t on the incompatible                                          This means the easiest way to cut the carbon footprint of
list at:                                                                 your laundry is to select the lowest temperature (and the
Savawatt                                                shortest cycle) that will get the job done to a satisfactory
                                                                         standard. A 30 or 40 degree wash is sufficient for most
Whatever type of fridge you                                              non-heavily soiled clothing. If there’s an economy setting,
have, its energy consumption                                             use it. For even greater CO₂ savings, always let clothes
is influenced by the amount of                                           dry on a line or rack rather than using an energy-hungry
time the door is left open and,
strangely, how clean and ice-free it is. So defrost regularly
and once in a while check the grille at the back for dust                  Shopping for energy efficiency
                                                                           When buying any electric device, it makes sense to choose the
  tVs, computers and gadgets                                               most energy-efficient model available; some appliances use
                                                                           double the energy to get the same job done. Efficient products
                                                                           reduce CO₂ emissions and	save you money. And they’re easier to
  Electrical goods are proliferating, and this could result in a 20%
                                                                           find than ever thanks to the following labelling schemes.
  increase in household electricity consumption by 2020. Some of
  the worst offenders are flat-screen plasma TVs, which typically          A EU Energy Label By law, all retailers
  use four times as much energy as traditional models. A cheap             must show the EU Energy Label on
  plasma TV is typically rated at about 550 watts. Used for four           or alongside all new fridges, freezers,
  hours each day, the result will be 344kg of CO₂ and nearly £100          washers, tumble dryers, dishwashers,
  in electricity bills.                                                    lamps, ovens, light bulbs and air
                                                                           conditioners. Each item is ranked from
  Many set-top boxes need to be on or in stand-by mode to
                                                                           A (efficient) to G (inefficient) in terms of
  ensure the programme schedule is up-to-date. Switching the box
                                                                           its power consumption under standard
  to stand-by when it’s not in use can save 30–50% of the energy
                                                                           running conditions. These days all
  used by the box.
                                                                           washing machines available in the UK
  Computers vary widely in terms of energy consumption – both              tend to be graded above D and fridges/
  in use and in standby. You can reduce the period of inactivity           freezers above C, so a “middle” rating is
  that causes the machine to sleep or hibernate via the Control            actually relatively low, and really efficient
  Panel (on a PC) or System Preferences (on a Mac). Better still, turn     models are labelled A+ or even A++.
  off computers when they’re not in use for extended periods or,
  if you must keep them on, dedicate their stand-by time to the
                                                                           A Energy Saving Recommended
                                                                           Administered by the UK’s Energy Saving
  fight against climate change (see to
                                                                           Trust, the Energy Saving Recommended
  find out more).
                                                                           Logo was developed to point customers
  Portable devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players tend              to the most energy-efficient products
  to consume relatively little electricity in themselves. However,         on the market. It can be found on light
  around 95% of their total energy consumption is accounted                bulbs and appliances as well as boilers,
  for by chargers that are plugged in and working even after the           heating controls, insulation and more.
  device is fully recharged. So try to get into the habit of unplug-       The criteria are strict. For example, to
  ging devices when charged and switching their chargers off at            bear the logo at the time of writing, fridges must be A+ or
  the wall.                                                                A++ . You can find endorsed products online or by phone:
                                                                  a 0800 512 012

                   The big swiTCh off                                                    The big swiTCh off

dryer. And if you’re replacing your machine, be sure to
choose a model rated “A” for energy efficiency.
                                                                 get to know your meter
                                                                 Most people know roughly how much they spend on
                                                                 shopping but have no idea how much energy they use.
dishwashers                                                      Monitoring your meter will help you understand how
As with washing machines, most of the energy consumed            much electricity you consume and where savings can be
by a dishwasher is used to generate heat – both to warm          made. Even better, get a plug-in power meter that allows
the water and, for drying cycles, to warm the air inside         you to monitor individual appliances over a number of
the machine. So always opt for the coolest setting that will     days to see how much energy they use. Start with your
get the job done.                                                fridge or freezer as this is on every hour of every day, so
   As for how dishwashers compare with washing up by             it’s easy to extrapolate its yearly consumption from a few
hand, this depends on the individual machine, the effi-          days’ use. If any of your appliances give figures that equal
ciency of your hot-water heater and how economical you           or exceed the levels in the table below, you might be better
are when washing up by hand. One University of Bonn              served changing to a more energy-efficient model.
study reported that dishwashers use less energy overall
than the typical person at a sink, but this doesn’t include       Appliance        Typical     Efficiency      Annual        Annual
the energy costs of producing, delivering and eventu-                              annual      savings of a    cost          CO₂
ally disposing of the machine. Moreover, the study gives                           running     model rated     savings       savings
                                                                                   cost        A+
figures for hand-washing that can be slashed with just a
bit of care, and assumes you run your machine with full           Refrigerator     £30         65%             £20           80kg
loads, skipping extra features such as “pre-rinse”.
                                                                  Fridge-freezer   £67         68%             £45           189kg
                                                                  Dishwasher       £39         40%             £17           70kg
don’t standby, turn off                                           Washing          £25         33%             £8            35kg
Around 8% of our domestic electricity is consumed by
appliances such as TVs, DVD players, stereos and com-
puters left on standby. Many devices use almost as much            If you really want to be in
energy when left plugged in and on standby as they do            touch with your energy usage,
in use. So try to get into the habit of turning devices off      consider an Electrisave unit.
properly. This can take a decent chunk out of your emis-         These £80 devices connect to
sions and bills, as the following table shows.                   your meter and transmit real-
                                                                 time usage info (in terms of
Appliance    Time on       kWh used   Annual cash   Annual CO₂   units, CO₂ and cost) to a wireless
             standby/      each       savings of    savings of   display. For more information,
             plugged in    year in    switching     switching    or to buy online, visit:
                           standby    off           off
Typical TV   17 hours      20         £2            8kg
             per day
DVD player   21 hours      24         £10           2kg                in barclays: power to the people
             per day
                                                                   Barclays employees can borrow a plug-in power meter to check
Battery      159 hours     18         £2.16         7.5kg          the electricity usage of appliances at home. Try it! Does your tel-
charger      per week                                              evision use more energy when left on standby overnight than it
Microwave	   23–24 hours   20         £2            9kg            does when it’s in use? Just email to
             per day                                               borrow a meter for five days.

                                0                                                                 1
                                                                                            eleCTriCiTy supply

                                                                         the next two decades, wind is set to become a dominant
                                                                         renewable source, though it remains to be seen how much
                                                                         this development will be held up by opposition to wind-
                                                                         farm planning applications. If you’d like to voice your

                                                                         support for wind power in your area, drop into:
                                                                         But what can we do directly to become greener users of
from green tariffs to home                                               electricity? One option is to buy your power from renew-
                                                                         able sources – or even buy the equipment to generate your
generation                                                               own. People argue about whether the UK could be entire-
                                                                         ly reliant on green sources, such as wind and solar, but
                                                                         few doubt that the more we generate, the better. Another
Currently, around three-quarters of the UK’s elec-                       option is to simply consume less power – something we
tricity is generated by coal and gas plants, which                       can do surprisingly easily, as the previous chapter shows.
pump vast quantities of CO₂ into the atmosphere.
The government aims to make the national supply
more climate-friendly over the coming decades                            green electricity tariffs
by expanding renewable and nuclear capacity                              There are a wide range of green electricity tariffs on offer
and developing next-generation fossil-fuel plants                        – both from major power suppliers and from specialist
which are more efficient and able to sequester                           companies that only deal in renewable energy. The basic
(bury) the carbon dioxide they produce. But even if                      premise is that you pay a little bit more and the company
these target are met, it still makes sense to reduce                     supplies you with energy
your electricity consumption as much as possible.                        generated from green
In the short term, every unit you use leads directly                     sources. The actual flow of
to CO₂ emissions.                                                        electrons arriving in your
Of course, renewable sources already provide some of our                 plug sockets won’t be any
electricity – nearly 5% at present, with targets of 10% by               different from before, but
2010 and 20% by 2020. Ironically, though, much of our                    the supplier will agree to
current “renewable” capacity comes from burning the gas                  put green-generated elec-
formed as our rubbish decomposes in landfill sites. Over                 tricity into the national
                                                                         grid to match all of the
                                                                         power you buy.
  Switching power companies                                                 Unfortunately, how-
                                                                         ever, due to current laws,
  Various websites make it quick and easy to compare your current
  electricity and gas tariffs with those of other suppliers, including
                                                                         signing up for a green
  the various green options. Such sites are all much the same, but       tariff doesn’t necessarily
  use Switch and Give and a dona-                                        increase the amount of
  tion will be made to a charity of                                      renewable energy being
  your choice if you do decide to
  change supplier.
                                                                         generated. That’s because       Kilgarven Wind Farm in the Republic
                                                                         you may simply be help-         of Ireland was financed by Barclays
  Switch and Give                                  ing the supplier meet its       Natural Resources Team

                     eleCTriCiTy supply                                                    eleCTriCiTy supply

legal obligation to purchase a certain proportion of its                 That said, a system that will make you anywhere close
power from renewable sources. Even if your supplier deals              to self-sufficient in electricity will require massive up-
only in green energy, they’ll probably be selling “credits”            front investment, and in most cases it’s far more efficient
to companies who aren’t meeting their legal minimums.                  to start off by improving your heating and insulation.
All of this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother signing up,                The government recently proposed making changes to
but it does mean you should continue to do your best to                the planning system so that installing micro renewables
reduce your power use – don’t think a green tariff makes               on existing houses will be classed as a permitted develop-
your electricity carbon neutral.                                       ment. In the meantime, you should always contact your
  For a list of green electricity tariffs, including details           local authority planning department before you start
about their sources of power, visit:                                   work. Typical issues that need addressing include visual
Green Electricity                            impact, noise and changes to the character of listed build-
                                                                       ings or conservation areas. Planning applications cost
                                                                       around £120–200.
generating your own electricity
If you want to put renewable power in your home on a
                                                                       Wind turbines
more tangible level, there are a number of options. Most               Wind turbines create electricity from the kinetic energy
of the renewable energy sources – from wind to geother-                of moving air, most commonly with a three-blade rotor.
mal – can be exploited on a household scale.                           There are two categories of micro turbines: small ones
   Whilst microgeneration systems are expensive to install,            designed to be mounted on buildings, and bigger ones
you will usually save money in the long term through                   designed to be raised on stand-alone masts.
lower energy bills, and there are grants available to con-                The power output of either type depends on the length
tribute to the price of installation (see box). You may even           of the blades, the windspeed (which rises with height) and
be able to feed any extra power back into the national grid            whether there’s any air-flow obstruction from buildings or
and get paid for it. For example, some companies will pay              trees. Therefore you should ideally monitor windspeeds
about 5p for each kilowatt hour of electricity generated.              at the proposed site for several months to check there is
First, however, you’ll need an export meter, which will                enough wind resource to generate a decent amount of
cost around £400.                                                      electricity. As a rule of thumb, you should only install
                                                                       a microwind turbine where average annual windspeeds
                                                                       are at least 6 metres per second, and there are no nearby
  renewable energy grants
  The UK government offers grants for household renewable
  energy projects via the Low Carbon Buildings Programme,
  launched in April 2006 and managed by the Energy Saving Trust.
  Of the £80 million initial fund, £12.7 million is ring-fenced for
  householders. However, a successful application depends on
  your home already having basic levels of energy efficiency in
  place, including 270mm of loft insulation, cavity wall insulation
  if possible, low-energy light bulbs, thermostatic radiator valves
  (TRVs) and a room thermostat and programmer. The application
  process is fairly simple and you’ll normally get a decision within
  thirty days.

  Low Carbon Buildings a
  0800 915 0990
                                                                       Two Swift Turbines on a domestic building in Berwickshire

                      eleCTriCiTy supply                                                      eleCTriCiTy supply

obstacles such as buildings, trees or hills. You can find

windspeed estimates for your postcode here:
UK Wind Speed Database
As for costs, expect to pay £1500 for a roof-mounted
wind turbine, or £11,000–12,500 for a 2.5 kilowatt mast-
mounted turbine. Grants are available to help with these
costs under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.
  For more information on micro wind turbines, see:
British Wind Energy Association

Solar photovoltaics
Photovoltaics (or PV) panels generate electricity from
sunlight. It’s a beautiful concept, though there are a few
catches. First, the panels are energy-intensive to make and                That said, the government will pay for as much as half of
can take around three years to repay their carbon debt (the              the total costs via the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.
amount of CO₂ emitted during manufacture).                               So PV is worth considering – especially if you have an
  Cost is another issue. Expect to pay around £10,000–                   unobstructed south-facing roof in a sunny part of the
18,000 for a 2.5kW system, which would be capable of                     country, and if you tend to consume electricity in the day,
providing about half of your total electricity demand,                   when the panels are active. For more information on solar
depending on your location. Factor in the panels life-                   photovoltaic systems, see:
expectancy – around 25 years – and it’s unlikely the sys-                British PV Association
tem will ever pay for itself, unless electricity prices go up
by around 70%.
                                                                             employee focus: Kathryn cleverley
  Micro cHp: the way forward?                                              Kathryn Cleverley has grand designs. Barclays Head of HRSS
                                                                           Operations, Human Resources is working towards energy self-
  Micro combined heat and power (CHP) units, which are due to              sufficiency at home – a huge project, but a rewarding one.
  hit the UK market in the next couple of years, are a bit like super-     “I’m living proof that a ‘normal’ person can be inspired to take
  efficient domestic-scale power stations. They replace your stand-        action and have great fun doing so”, says Kathryn. “I’ve recently
  ard boiler, burning fuel (usually gas) to generate electricity and       purchased a partially derelict water mill with the target of living
  channelling the heat produced during this process into water             from renewable water power. As part of the project I am totally
  and radiators. This dual approach reduces energy consumption             reviewing our family lifestyle.”
  and carbon emissions by as much as 25%. Furthermore, since
                                                                           At work, Kathryn is tackling some of the most paper-heavy
  the electricity is consumed where it’s produced, there are fewer
                                                                           sections of the recruitment process and replacing them with
  transmission losses, reducing CO₂ emissions even further.
                                                                           more environmentally-friendly options – which also benefit the
  Two main brands are currently being tested in the UK:                    customer. Introducing online processes is just one example of a
  WhisperGen (Powergen) and Microgen (British Gas). Both are               win-win, where both Barclays and the environment benefit.
  expected to be available before 2008 and will retail for around
  £500–1000 more than a normal boiler, with a payback time of just
  3–4 years. For more information, see:

  WhisperGen a 0800 068 6515
  Microgen a 01733 393 100

                                                                                     on The road

on the road
                                                               A Avoid idling Except when it’s required (such as in
                                                               stop-and-go traffic), idling is wasteful – and it doesn’t
                                                               benefit your car, except perhaps in extremely cold
                                                               conditions. Even five minutes of idling can throw half a
                                                               kilo of greenhouse gas into the air, and anything more
greener driving &                                              than about ten seconds of idling generates more global-
greener cars                                                   warming pollution than stopping and restarting.
                                                               A Starting and stopping Jack-rabbit starts and stops
                                                               not only put wear on your car, but they also drain fuel
According to the Department for Transport, the                 economy. Accelerate gradually, and anticipate stops by
average British person travels 7000 miles within               starting to brake well in advance. If you have a manual
the country, and the vast majority of that distance            transmission, the best time to change gears is at about
is travelled by car. The result is a huge amount               2000rpm for diesel cars and 2500 for petrol models.
of carbon dioxide. Indeed, our cars account for
around 15% of the UK’s CO₂ emissions, with a                   A Cut back on air-con Running air conditioning
typical vehicle producing its own weight in CO₂ for            typically cuts down a vehicle’s efficiency by a few
every 6000 miles driven. However, as this chapter              percent. That said, if it’s a choice between driving
explains, we can significantly reduce the impact of            with the windows down and running the A/C, there
our cars on the climate by making changes to how               may be little difference in fuel usage, according to
we drive, what we drive and what fuel we use.                  some studies. That’s because wide-open windows can
                                                               increase the car’s aerodynamic drag, especially at high
                                                               speeds. If outside temperatures are comfortable, try
Lower-carbon driving                                           using the vents and fan but leaving the A/C off.
Even if your vehicle’s a gas-guzzler, you could cut its fuel
usage by a significant proportion just by tweaking your
driving practices. Here’s how.
                                                               How to buy a greener car
                                                               On the whole, cars are gradually getting greener. This
A Drive at the right speed Most cars achieve                   applies both to their fuel efficiency (and therefore their
maximum fuel efficiency when travelling at speeds              contribution to climate change) and to their emissions
of around 30–50mph. As speeds edge above 55mph,
fuel consumption goes up as much as 15% for every
additional 10mph. So simply driving on the motorway               in barclays: choosing a greener car
at 60mph rather than 80mph can cut emissions and fuel            Barclays company car scheme allows colleagues to check both
costs by almost a third.                                         the miles per gallon (mpg) and the CO₂ emissions of a chosen
                                                                 vehicle. Colleagues who are joining the scheme can consider
A Lighten the load Keep heavy items out of the car               the type of driving they do and choose the right fuel type to
unless you need them – you’ll typically lose a percent           achieve the best mpg. If most of your driving is on motorways,
                                                                 a vehicle with an mpg of more than 45 makes sense. These
or two in efficiency for every 50kg you haul. Also keep
                                                                 vehicles are discounted in the car scheme so they will also
an eye on tyre pressure: rolling resistance goes up and          save you money. If you drive mostly in urban areas, a hybrid
efficiency goes down by as much as 1% for every PSI              is a good option – both the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic
(pound per square inch) below the recommended                    IMA are available. If you don’t have a company car but rent
                                                                 a car for business travel, choose the smallest car that meets
pressure range. However, there’s no benefit, and some
                                                                 your needs.
risk, to driving with over-inflated tyres.

                            on The road                                                   on The road

of poisonous gases and particulates. However, some cars              online Car Buyer’s Guide provides emissions and effi-
are far greener than others, so if you’re in the market              ciency data – plus an overall environmental star rating
for a new vehicle, it makes sense to seek out the lowest-            – for most of the cars on the UK market. The Vehicle
emissions model that fits your needs and budget. Even                Certification Agency’s CarFuelData site is equally com-
if it means spending a bit more up front, you may save               prehensive.
money in the long run thanks to lower fuel costs.                    Environmental Transport Association
                                                                     Vehicle Certification Agency
“Standard” petrol and diesel cars
Unless you opt for an electric or electric-hybrid vehicle            electric hybrid cars
(discussed later on), the first question is diesel versus            Electric “hybrid” cars, such as the Toyota Prius and
petrol. Both have their pros and cons. Standard diesel               Honda Civic Hybrid, look and drive just like nor-
fuel is worse than petrol in terms of emissions harmful              mal cars, yet their semi-electric engines are signifi-
to our lungs, but diesel engines are significantly more              cantly more efficient that their straight petrol equiva-
efficient and hence better in terms of global warming.               lents. Unlike “proper” electric cars (discussed overleaf),
In terms of alternative fuels, diesel engines leave you the          hybrids never need to be plugged in and charged up.
option of using biodiesel (see p.44), while petrol engines           Instead, the car charges its own battery when the brakes
are cheaper and easier to convert to LPG (see p.46).                 are applied (converting the car’s kinetic energy into elec-
Overall, a diesel car is generally the greenest choice               trical energy) and also when the petrol-powered part of
for people who live in the countryside, but city dwell-              the engine is powering the car along at high speeds. The
ers concerned about urban air quality might prefer to                battery’s energy is then automatically used when lower
plump for petrol.                                                    speeds are required. The result is that hybrid cars can
   Whether you go for petrol or diesel, it’s not hard to             achieve over 60 miles per gallon – and with exception-
find information about the relative greenness of the vari-           ally low levels of harmful emissions.
ous models. The Environmental Transport Association’s                   The main problem with hybrids is that they’re cur-
                                                                     rently quite expensive. If buying new, you can expect to
                                                                     pay around 10–20% more than you would for an equiva-
  ten green throttles…                                               lent non-hybrid model. And the fuel consumption won’t
  Following are the greenest cars (excluding electric models)        necessarily be lower than that of a small, super-efficient,
  available in the UK at the time of writing, as determined by the   non-hybrid diesel. That said, hybrids only cost £40 per
  ETA. As the lists show, the most eco-friendly cars are light and   year in road tax and (for the next year or two at least) are
  have comparatively small engines. The most climate-unfriendly
                                                                     exempt from London congestion charging.
  and air-polluting cars tend be heavy, un-aerodynamic and/or
  super-powerful – either boy-racer vehicles or hulking 4WDs.

  1   Honda Civic 1.4 IMA
      Executive                   6    Suzuki Swift 1.3 GLZ 3
                                       door DDiS

  2   Toyota Prius 1.5 VVT-i
      Hybrid                      7    Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi
                                       16v SXI 5 door

  3   Citroen C1 1.0i
                                  8    Peugeot 107 1.0 (65bhp)

  4   Toyota Yaris 1.0 VVT-i
                                  9    Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i 3
                                       & 5 door

  5   Daihatsu New Sirion
      M300 1.0L EFi               10      Ford Fiesta 1.4
                                          Duratorq TDCi
                                                                         Hybrid petrol–electric vehicles, such as this Honda Insight,
                                                                                       are some of the greenest cars on the market

                                0                                                                 1
                       on The road                                                  on The road

electric cars                                                Smart also have an electric car – the ForTwo EV – but it’s
Recharged via a standard mains socket, electric cars         only available for lease at the time of writing. See:
are the greenest vehicles on four wheels. If charged up      Smart
with electricity from renewable sources, their use cre-
ates practically no carbon dioxide. Even if charged up       All these cars are small vehicles designed primarily for
with electricity generated from fossil fuels, they’re much   city use. Electric cars with more room, a longer range
more eco-friendly than petrol and diesel cars, due to        and a faster top speed do exist – there are even electric
their high levels of efficiency.                             sports cars (see – but they’re yet
   Unfortunately, there are a few catches. Most electric     to catch on in a serious way.
cars don’t go very fast and they need to be recharged
after a certain number of miles (usually between 30 and        Motorbikes and mopeds
120, depending on the model). Moreover, you need a
parking space near a plug socket.                              Small motorbikes are relatively green when it comes to CO₂
   Electric cars aren’t cheap – prices start at around         emissions. Indeed, a modern moped can be even more climate
                                                               friendly than a train (see p.50). Obviously, motorcycles with
£7000 – but you could save a large proportion of that
                                                               bigger engines release more CO₂, but only very powerful per-
amount every year in fuel (some electric cars achieve          formance bikes emit as much as a typical family car. (On the flip
the equivalent of around 600mpg), tax (electric cars           side, motorbikes have comparatively bad emissions of gases
are exempt) and, in central London, parking and the            and particulates harmful to health, so they don’t do any good
                                                               for urban air quality.)
Congestion Charge (both free). You’ll also save money
on maintenance, since electric cars have very few              Even more climate-friendly than a typical moped is an elec-
moving parts, though the battery will eventually need          tric model. Unlike electric cars, these are widely available,
                                                               with decent models starting at around £1500.
replacing and this can cost quite a lot.                       In terms of climate change (and
   Three electric cars are available to buy in the UK at       cost), driving a decent e-scooter
the time of writing:                                           for thirty miles is equivalent to
                                                               leaving a 100W light bulb
NICE Mega City                       on for just a few hours.
Reva G-Wiz                                Moreover, such vehicles pro-
Sakura Maranello4                              duce zero poisonous emis-
                                                               sions. Some models – such
                                                               as the EVT168 (pictured)
                                                               – even look flashy, too. The
                                                               downside is that most
                                                               current e-scooters can
                                                               only manage about
                                                               30mph and need to
                                                               be recharged every
                                                               thirty miles or so.

                                                               Fuel-cell      motor-
                                                               bikes are also being
                                                               developed, such as the
                                                               space-age-looking ENV by Intelligent Energy. Such bikes could
                                                               offer far greater range and power than e-scooters, but the lack
                                                               of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure means they won’t be
                                                               widespread any time soon.

                                                               ENV Bike
                       A carbon-neutral vehicle? G-Wiz!

                        on The road                                                 on The road

alternative fuels                                             savings could be made in the future if chemists succeed
                                                              in developing efficient ways of creating ethanol from
Even if you don’t upgrade to a greener vehicle, you may       cellulose.
want to consider what you put in your existing one.
There are lower-carbon alternatives for both petrol and       A Biodiesel is a substitute for standard diesel. The idea
diesel engines.                                               of running a diesel engine on plant-based fuels isn’t
                                                              new: when Rudolph Diesel invented his super-efficient
                                                              combustion engine at the end of the nineteenth
biofuels: biodiesel and ethanol
                                                              century, he famously ran his prototypes on peanut oil.
Biofuels are fuels made from plants – anything from
                                                                Biodiesel can be almost 50% more climate-friendly
corn to sunflowers. Their primary attraction is simple:
                                                              than standard diesel, but there is a catch. Though the
the carbon they release when burned is no more than
the carbon they soaked up from the atmosphere when
growing. This neat cycle isn’t entirely “climate neutral”,      Vegetable oil as a car fuel
since fossil-fuel energy goes into fertilizing, harvesting,
processing and distributing the crops. But the overall          Biodiesel is one thing, but what about all those stories in the
                                                                press about people filling up with plain old vegetable oil in
carbon footprint of a biofuel can be substantially smaller
                                                                supermarket car parks – such as Welshman Daniel Blackburn,
than the petroleum equivalent.                                  who made the headlines in 2003 by using veg oil to motor all
  The biggest environmental problem for biofuels is             the way from John O’Groats to Land’s End? It’s true that, after
demand for land. It would take huge areas of crop land to       a conversion costing around £500–1000, many diesel engines
                                                                will run perfectly well on standard cooking oil. And the result
turn biofuels into a major part of the global energy pic-
                                                                may be even greener than biodiesel, since veg oil requires
ture. This could squeeze food production or require the         less energy-inten-

                                                                                                                                  Daniel Blackburn
conversion of virgin land into farms, something which           sive processing.
has implications not just for wildlife habitat but for the      As long as you
                                                                declare       what
greenhouse effect itself – especially if it involves defor-     you’re doing and
estation. All told, then, the benefits of biofuels depend       pay the relevant
entirely on how and where the crops they’re made from           tax, it’s perfectly
are grown. There are two main categories of biofuel:            legal, too.

                                                                At the time of
A Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is a substitute for petrol.           writing, you can
However, it’s rarely used in neat form. Rather, it’s mixed      expect to pay
with regular petrol in various ratios, such as E5 (5%           around 70p per
ethanol, 95% petrol) or E85 (85% ethanol). E5 can               litre – includ-
                                                                ing 25p in tax
be safely used in any petrol engine and is usually not          – for vegetable oil,
labelled as ethanol – it’s just sold as standard petrol.        making it cheaper
Concentrations higher than 5% will invalidate the               than normal petrol
                                                                and diesel. Still, be
warranty of most cars, so are suitable primarily for
                                                                aware that many
special “flexible fuel” vehicles. Ethanol is widely used as     car manufacturers
                                                                                         Daniel Blackburn on his way from
a fuel in Brazil and the US, but not yet in the UK.             claim it can be bad
                                                                                         John O’Groats to Land’s End
   Currently, most ethanol produced in non-tropical             for the engine. For
                                                                more information about using cooking oil as a fuel, including
climates is made from corn. Unfortunately, it takes a
                                                                conversion quotes and a list of which cars are suitable, see
great deal of fossil-fuel energy to create the fuel, mean-      Daniel Blackburn’s site:
ing that the overall CO₂ emissions are only about 30%
                                                                Veg Oil Motoring
lower than a vehicle running on petrol. Bigger carbon

                            on The road                                                     on The road

fuel can be made from sustainably grown crops (or                      a fossil fuel but it has lower greenhouse-gas emissions
even used cooking oil), it can also be created from                    than petrol and also results in fewer poisonous fumes.
palm oil, the cultivation of which is linked to wide-                  Most petrol-powered cars can be converted to run either
spread deforestation in South East Asia. Since this                    solely on LPG or on both LPG and petrol, the result
deforestation causes high levels of CO₂ emissions,                     being a car that emits about the same amount of CO₂
palm-based biodiesel has the potential to do much                      per mile as an equivalent diesel car. Conversion to LPG
more harm than good, and consumers often have no                       usually costs a few thousand pounds, but once it’s done
way of knowing whether palm oil was used to create                     you can start to save money on fuel.
the biodiesel they’re buying.
   Biodiesel is available in pure form but blends with
petroleum diesel are more popular. The latter aren’t as                cutting back on cars
good from a carbon perspective, but still reduce cer-                  Efficient vehicles and low-carbon fuels are all well and
tain harmful emissions and increase engine efficiency.                 good, but perhaps the best way to reduce the environ-
Currently, biodiesel mixes with concentrations higher                  mental impact of our driving is simply to drive less. Very
than 5% will invalidate your car’s warranty, but this                  often this is not only environmentally sound, but also
should change soon. For a list of filling stations, see:               makes sense financially. It is said that if you factor in the
EST a 0845 602 1425                               time it takes to earn the money to buy, run, insure, tax
                                                                       and maintain a car, the typical driver achieves an average
                                                                       speed roughly equivalent to walking! You can quickly
                                                                       work out the cost of running your car here:
LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is basically propane, as
used in camping stoves and stand-alone gas heaters. A                  Car Calculator
byproduct of oil refining and natural gas extraction, it’s
                                                                       With all that in mind, the following are three ways to
                                                                       help reduce your car use.
  What about hydrogen?
                                                                       getting the train
  Instead of being charged up, fuel-cell vehicles generate electri-
                                                                       Travelling by train is typically around two to five times
  cal energy on-board by combining oxygen (from the air) with
  hydrogen. The hydrogen can be made on the fly from petrol            more climate-friendly than driving, depending on the
  or methanol, or, more commonly, generated elsewhere using            type of car and the number of passengers. So favour
  electricity and then stored on board in replaceable canisters.       rail over road whenever possible. For more on how cars
  Like other electric cars, fuel-cell vehicles help reduce air-borne
                                                                       compare with trains, see p.50.
  pollution in towns and cities and they’re extremely efficient in
  terms of CO₂ per mile. Trials using taxis and buses have already
  successfully demonstrated that the fuel cell can work well, and      cycling and walking
  commercial models may be available to consumers within the
  decade.                                                              A larger proportion of short trips are made by car today
                                                                       than ever before. Cycling and walking are the most
  It’s questionable, however, whether hydrogen vehicles will be
  the environmental panacea that their advocates describe. The         climate-friendly of all forms of travel, and they keep
  main problem is that it takes a lot of energy (most of which cur-    you fit, too. So, when possible, dust off the bike and/or
  rently comes from fossil fuels) to make the hydrogen in the first    walking shoes and leave the car at home. For maps and
  place. So the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure – produc-
                                                                       advice, see:
  tion plants, distribution channels and re-filling stations – would
  only bring benefits in terms of global warming if there was a        Sustrans
  massive growth in renewable energy.                                  British Cycling Association

                           on The road

car clubs and lift shares
If you want to get shot of your car but don’t want to rely
solely on public transport, consider looking into car
sharing and car clubs.
   Either for a regular commute or a one-off drive, car              the air-travel issue
sharing is based on the simple rationale that one car
carrying, say, three people is three times less polluting,
congesting and expensive than three cars carrying one                A climate-friendly flight is something of a castle in
person each. Although the UK has been much slower                    the air. It’s not just that their greenhouse-gas emis-
to grasp this fact than much of continental Europe, the              sions, per passenger mile, are very high. It’s also
car-sharing movement is taking off. The Internet has                 the simple fact that planes allow us to travel such
also helped, providing the ideal way for people to find              vast distances.
and organize sharing. However, do bear safety in mind:
arranging lift shares with colleagues is the best option.            Despite the relatively tiny number of people who regularly
   Whether you’re looking for passengers or a ride, visit:           fly, aviation accounts for 3–4% of the total human impact
                                                                     on the climate, according to the Intergovernmental Panel
Freewheelers                                 on Climate Change (IPCC). That’s around the same as the
Liftshare                                         whole of Africa. And that figure is on the up thanks to the
National Car Share
                                                                     ever-growing number of flights. The number of air pas-
Car clubs or car pools are                                           sengers flying into and out of the UK is expected to nearly
something else entirely. You                                         treble by 2030 – to around 500 million. This rapid growth
don’t actually own a car but                                         threatens to offset the cuts in greenhouse emissions being
have access to a communal one situated in your area                  made in other sectors.
(there are car clubs in more than twenty UK towns).                     The reason air travel is so bad for the climate is not just
Beside a possible joining fee and/or small monthly                   that aeroplanes release a great deal of greenhouse gases
charge, you only pay for the hours or mileage you use.               into the atmosphere – it’s the fact that they do so in the
To find your nearest car clubs, see:                                 upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, where their
                                                                     effect is compounded. The contrails (vapour trails) that
Car Plus a 0113 234 9299
                                                                     planes create are another factor. The science surrounding
                                                                     this topic is not yet rock solid, but researchers believe that
        in barclays: travel planning                                 contrails add to the greenhouse effect – especially at night,
                                                                     when their tendency to stop heat escaping from Earth isn’t
  Business travel is often essential, but you can take steps
                                                                     offset by their tendency to reflect incoming sunlight.
  to reduce your impact on the environment and save time.
  Barclays policy on travel is that you should consider other           All told, the impact of a flight is thought to be around
  options first – such as audio and video conferencing. Plan your    three times greater than the CO₂ emissions would sug-
  diary to minimise travel and if you are travelling by car, check   gest. So two seats on a return trip from London to San
  for and avoid congestion.
                                                                     Francisco create the equivalent impact of at least five
  Barclays is working to minimise the environmental impact of        tonnes of CO₂ – almost as much as the average UK
  business travel – we now offset all carbon dioxide emissions
                                                                     household’s yearly output, or 20,000 miles in an averagely
  from air, rail and car travel. Some sites have their own green
  travel plans. For example, Barclaycard operates a car sharing      efficient car.
  scheme – follow the Transport and Travel link on Barclaycard’s        Less harmful planes may eventually emerge, but even if
  intranet homepage for more information.                            they do – and there are no climate-friendly designs cur-
                                                                     rently in the pipeline – they won’t replace current fleets

                                                                                 It’s not just how far they fly – it’s how high they fly and the
                                    holidays                                     vapour trails they create. holidays the International Panel
                                                                                                             According to
                                                                                 on Climate Change, a plane’s overall effect on climate change is
                                                                                 around three times worse than its CO₂ output would suggest.
        planes, trains & automobiles…                                            Photo: Corbis

        Comparing the impact on climate change of different forms
        of transport is not simple, as it’s necessary to factor in, among
        other things, occupancy levels (a car with four people in it is
        almost four times less polluting, per passenger, than the same
        car with one person in it), speed (driving at 80mph can burn
        30% more fuel than driving at 50mph) and the specific vehi-
        cle (a diesel train is far more polluting than an electric train).
        There’s also the fact that planes, though not necessarily much	
        worse than cars in terms of emissions per passenger mile, allow
        us to travel incomparably further. Despite all this confusion,
        the following diagram should give you a rough sense of how
        the various forms of transport compare. Climate aside, riding
        from London to Edinburgh with two people on a scooter is not
                                                               Flight            any time soon, since passenger planes stay in use for
                                                              1 ticket
                                                                                 decades. In the meantime, the only way governments
                                                                                 could reduce air travel’s impact is by cutting down on
                                                                                 the number of flights. The obvious way to do this would
                         London to Edinburgh by                                  be to make the price of a ticket reflect the environmental
      Ford Modeo 1.8
                     various forms of transport                                  costs through some kind of tax system on take-off and
        1 passenger
                     Per passenger emissions of
           80kg                                                                  landing. (Due to various international treaties, there is
                         CO₂ (or equivalent)
                                                                                 currently no tax on aviation fuel.)
                                                                                    So far, governments have been loath to take such
                          1000cc motorbike                                       steps. For one thing, they have few incentives, since
                             1 passenger                                         aviation, being by its nature international, isn’t included
                                60kg                                             in the national targets for emissions cuts specified in the
                                                                                 Kyoto Protocol. This is significant: officially, the UK’s
                                                                                 greenhouse emissions fell by 4% between 1990 and 2004.
                                                                                 But factor in shipping and aviation and the net result is
                                                                                 a rise of 1%.
                                                                      1 ticket
                                                                       30kg      What you can do
                                           Modern                                For anyone concerned about global warming, cutting
                                         electric train                          back on air travel is an obvious goal. This might mean
Toyota Prius                                1 ticket                             giving up flying altogether, or it might mean taking fewer
4 passengers       50cc moped                13kg
    10kg           2 passengers
                                                                                 flights and making up for it by staying longer each time.
                       8kg                                                       It might also mean favouring destinations that are closer
                                                                                 to home. Short flights tend to be around 25% worse, per
                                                                                 passenger per mile, than long-haul flights (because they

      éå                               0
                                                                                 have more empty seats and because taking off and land-
                                                                                 ing burns more fuel than cruising) but overall it’s still far
                                                                                 worse to travel longer distances.


   Another approach is to consider alternative ways of
travelling. With more than two people on the same itin-
erary, it can even be more climate-friendly to drive than
to fly – especially for short distances such as trips from
the UK to northern Europe. Better still are trains and
boats, which are typically responsible for many times
                                                             Lower-carbon eating
fewer emissions per person per mile than either cars or
planes. To find out how to travel from London to almost
                                                             Add together the fuels and fertilizers used in
anywhere in the world by rail and sea, visit:
                                                             farming with the transport of our food to and from
The Man in Seat 61 www.                                      the shops and the carbon footprint of our meals                                                   can be substantial.
If you do choose to fly,                                     Europe has been importing food and drink from far and
consider offsetting the                                      wide for millennia – tea from China, spices from India,
emissions (see p.62) and try to favour daytime flights       coffee from Ethiopia. But the globalization of modern
due to the issue of contrails already discussed.             food markets is on a completely different scale. These
   Finally, you might want to consider buying flights via    days we fly in fruit from the global South when it’s out of
North South Travel, who donate their profits to charita-     season in the North, and we ship in goods that we could
ble projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.              grow in the UK, but which can be sourced more cheaply
North South Travel                from elsewhere.
                                                               For food grown in the UK, too, the distance from “farm
                                                             to fork” is bigger than ever, since supermarkets tend to
                                                             deliver items to their stores via distribution centres. These
                                                             are often few and far between, so long truck journeys are
                                                             inevitable. One much-cited study traced vegetables on
                                                             sale in a supermarket in Evesham: they were grown just
                                                             up the road, but had arrived via a huge round trip taking
                                                             in Hereford, Dyfed and Manchester.
                                                               All told, the distance travelled by the food we put on
                                                             our plates is thought to have roughly doubled in the last
                                                             two decades, and all these extra “food miles” have a glo-

                                                               is organic food climate-friendly?
                                                               According to most neutral commentators, organic farms tend
                                                               to use slightly less energy and create less CO₂ per kilo of pro-
                                                               duce than the non-organic equivalent. This is in part because
                                                               man-made fertilizers, which organic rules prohibit, are highly
                                                               energy-intensive to manufacture. That said, much organic food
                                                               is imported from distant countries, and this transport can add
                                                               significantly to its carbon footprint – especially if it’s air-freighted.
                                                               For this reason, probably the best rule of thumb is to favour local
                                                               food over organic food. Of course, you can also look out for pro-
                                                               duce that’s local and	organic.

                               food                                                                     food

bal-warming impact. According to a 2006 government                    All products sold should have been grown, reared, caught,
report, UK food transport now accounts for 18 million                 brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stall-
tonnes of CO₂ – and also costs the country £9 billion in              holder.”
congestion, accidents and other externalities.                           This way, food transport is kept to a minimum, the
   So, look out for UK produce wherever possible, and                 farmers get a better deal than they would get via a
avoid high-value, out-of-season perishables (such as ber-             retailer and consumers get fresher produce. To get official
ries and beans), since these are the products most likely to          FARMA certification, a farmers’ market must ensure that
have been imported by air.                                            produce is grown, reared or caught within a 30 mile radius
                                                                      around the market (50 miles for some larger cities and
                                                                      coastal or remote towns and villages).
Where to buy local food                                                  Farm shops apply the same philosophy on a smaller
It’s increasingly possible to find local food in your local           scale, typically offering the produce of just one farm. To
supermarket, but you may also want to explore specialist              find farmers’ markets and farm shops near you, visit:
outlets such as:                                                      Farmers’ Markets a 01225 787 914
farmers’ markets and farm shops
The idea behind farmers’ markets is simple: “farmers,                 organic delivery
growers or producers from a defined local area are present            Organic delivery services, aka box schemes, bring local,
in person to sell their own produce, direct to the public.            seasonal fruit and veg (perhaps bolstered by foreign goods

  Long-distance dining
  In a study called Eating	 Oil, the campaign group Sustain
  ( measured the miles travelled by our foods                       UK
  and the energy that the transportation consumes. One of their
  case studies looked at a basket of imported foods you might pick
  up in any UK supermarket:
  From abroad to the UK
  A 5kg of chicken from Thailand 10,691 miles by ship
  A 1kg of runner beans from Zambia 4912 miles by plane
  A 2kg of carrots from Spain 1000 miles by lorry
  A 0.5kg of mangetout from Zimbabwe 5130 miles by plane                                       Zambia
  A 5kg of potatoes from Italy 1521 miles by lorry
  From the UK to the distribution centre                                almost 25,000 miles, using up 52 megajoules of energy in doing
  A 1kg of sprouts produced in Britain 125 miles by lorry               so – equivalent to boiling the kettle for around 700 cups of tea. By
                                                                        contrast, an equivalent basket of seasonal produce from a farm-
  A All the imports to the distribution centre 625 miles by lorry       ers’ market went only 376 miles, using up just one megajoule
                                                                        (around 13 cups of tea).
  From the distribution centre to the store
  A British sprouts, plus all the imports (total weight 13.5kg)        As for organics, Sustain worked out that a basket of 26 imported
  360 miles by lorry                                                    organic products could have travelled nearly 150,000 miles,
                                                                        releasing as much CO₂ as “an average four bedroom household
  Add it all up and, collectively, these goods would have travelled     does through cooking meals over eight months”.


                                                                     Waste &
imported by ship) direct
to your door. Most box-
scheme companies also
offer all sorts of other

foods and goods, from
bread to washing-up
liquid, so it’s perfectly
possible to save your-
self from ever going to
the supermarket. Even
                                                                     reduce, reuse, recycle
when you factor in the           A typical mixed box from an
                                 organic box scheme
delivery van, the overall pol-
lution and energy use tends                                          Though less significant in terms of climate change
to be smaller than driving to and buying from the super-             than heating, electricity or travel, the rubbish we
market.                                                              throw out and the water we use do add to our
   You can find local box schemes via the directory at this          carbon footprints. The old green mantra – reduce,
Soil Association website:                                            reuse, recycle – can help us minimise this contribu-
                                                                     tion to climate change.
Why Organic?

If you can’t find any local schemes, or if those you’ve              rubbish & recycling
tried aren’t very good, you could try one of the bigger box          British homes produce around 25 million tonnes of rub-
scheme companies, some of which will deliver to nearly               bish each year – and that figure is increasing by 2% annu-
anywhere in the UK.                                                  ally. Of this, less than a quarter is currently recycled. New
   Another useful website is Big Barn, which allows you              laws and targets will force our recycling figures up over
to search for your nearest local-food suppliers – both               the coming years, but in
organic and non-organic.                                             the meantime there’s much
                                                                     we can do on an individual
Big Barn
                                                                     level to reduce the amount
                                                                     we send to landfill. In doing
  Low-carbon cooking                                                 so, we can help reduce the
                                                                     greenhouse emissions that
  A Picking pans Choosing the right size pan for cooking and         result from the production
  keeping a lid on for most of the cooking process can reduce the
  energy needed to cook food by 90%.                                 of packaging and bin bags,
                                                                     the decomposition of food
  A Only boil what you’ll use Nothing’s more wasteful than
  filling a kettle to the brim to make one or two cups of tea. So
                                                                     waste and the collection and
  get into the habit of using the water gauge.                       processing of our refuse.
  A Gas vs electric Gas cookers are slightly more climate-friendly
  than electric ones. However, try to avoid too much gas leaking     food and paper: biodegradable waste
  from the hobs before you light them. It’s mainly methane, a
                                                                     Over 50% of our domestic refuse is organic in nature, such
  greenhouse gas 24 times more powerful than CO₂.
                                                                     as kitchen and garden matter, paper and cardboard. In a
                                                                     landfill site, each tonne of this waste produces 300–500
                                                                     cubic metres of landfill gas, which includes methane, a

                            wasTe & waTer                                                    wasTe & waTer

                                                                        of the German government and make a point of leaving
           in barclays: war on waste                                    excess packaging in the shop after you’ve been through
  Reducing waste at its source is one of the most effective ways        the checkout.
  of tackling climate change. Alexandra Asselborough-Park works            But however much plastic, glass and metal you end up
  in the UK Business Banking Events team. She is challenging her
  team to print only what they need, and use double-sided and
                                                                        with, recycle whatever you can. Recycling just two glass
  secure printing where available. Alexandra estimates that the         bottles saves enough energy to make five cups of tea; recy-
  team has already made savings of 25 per cent.                         cling a tonne saves 315kg of CO₂ emissions. As for plas-
  Jane Briggs, Branch Manager in Bude, Cornwall, has taken a            tics, recycling can save 66% of the energy consumed in
  similar approach. When Jane found that her branch was receiv-         manufacture, reduce water use by 90% and cut emissions
  ing more than double the amount of training materials for new         of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and CO₂ by more than
  products than needed, she informed Marketing. Her branch
  was in the wrong category on the distribution list, which Jane
  quickly had corrected. She now receives only what she needs.
  Jane says “These small actions really add up when you think             How to make compost
  about the size of Barclays. It’s our responsibility to reduce waste
  in our homes and at work.”                                              The best way to get good results without creating bad smells
                                                                          or attracting vermin is to buy a sealable compost bin. These are
                                                                          mostly made from thick plastic and will take virtually any organic
                                                                          matter. If you build your own compost bin on bare soil and leave
greenhouse gas more than twenty times as potent as CO₂.                   it open at the top, avoid all foodstuffs except fruit, vegetables
Many big landfill sites extract the methane and use it for                and things like tea leaves and coffee grounds (meat, dairy and
power generation but where this is uneconomical, the gas                  grain-based products are a magnet for rodents).
seeps into the atmosphere. All told, decomposing waste                    Whichever option you go for, ensure you have a good mix
accounts for around a fifth of UK methane emissions.                      of carbon-rich browns – such as
                                                                          dried flowers, woody stems and
  The best way to limit the greenhouse emissions of your
                                                                          cardboard – and nitrogen-rich
biodegradable rubbish is to compost it – as long as the                   greens, such as fresh grass cuttings
heap can “breathe” it won’t produce methane, and with a                   and kitchen waste. Best results are
bit of patience you’ll end up with a lovely crumbly com-                  achieved by cutting large items
                                                                          into smaller pieces to accelerate
post that will help your garden thrive. Any excess paper
                                                                          the process. Build the heap in lay-
and card should be recycled, since making new paper                       ers and introduce air on a regular
from old paper, compared to making it from virgin fibres,                 basis by occasional turning or by
uses 64% less energy and 58% less water.                                  adding a layer of cardboard and
                                                                          paper every now and then. You
  Of course, it’s also sensible to generate less degradable               want a moist heap rather than a
waste in the first place. For instance, an astonishing 20%                wet or dry one, so if it’s too wet
of the food we buy is fed to the bin, at a cost of £424 a                 add more dry material and if too
year to the average household. The solutions are simple:                  dry add water (or even urine, which
                                                                          is a great nitrogen-rich accelera-
plan carefully when shopping; use the freezer to preserve                 tor). Your heap will take between
goods that are likely to go off; and make use of leftovers                six months and two years to turn
rather than letting them sit in the fridge decaying.                      into sweet-smelling dark crumbly

plastic, glass and metal                                                  A wormery is another option. These
                                                                          can be good for small spaces, but
When it comes to non-biodegradable waste, the first                       they demand rather more attention
step is to generate less – for example, by bringing your                  than a normal compost heap. Look
own bags to the supermarket and favouring goods with                      online to find more information
                                                                                                                    A “can-o-worms” wormery
                                                                          and retailers.
minimal packaging. You could even follow the advice

                         wasTe & waTer                                                  wasTe & waTer

50% each. Unfortunately, only certain types of plastic are          the-job “hippo”. If you are fitting a new
widely recycled in the UK.                                          toilet choose an eco-flush that allows you
                                                                    to choose a full or half setting.
facilities and products                                             A Taps You can reduce the flow of taps
You can find out more about recycling and locate your               with Tapmagic inserts, which provide a
nearest facilities here:                                            spray when the tap is turned slightly but
Recycle Now                                 full flow when turned more fully. They’re
                                                                    less than £5 each and are easy to fit. See
And remember, you’re not a comprehensive recycler         
unless you also buy recycled products, helping to “close
                                                                    A Baths and showers A five-minute
the recycling loop”. The obvious things to buy are recycled
papers for stationery, kitchen and bathroom, but there are          shower typically uses around 25 litres of
also a whole host of other recycled goods available – from          water, compared to 80 litres for a bath and             Tapmagic
                                                                    120 litres for a power shower.                          inserts can
mouse mats made from old circuit boards to fleece jackets                                                                   cut water
created from plastic bottles. To find out more and locate           A Watering the garden A hose can                        use for a
suppliers, visit:                                                   get through more than 1000 litres per                   particular
                                                                                                                            sink by as
Recycled Products                     hour, so get a water butt fitted to the                 much as
                                                                    down pipe from your roof and use                        50%
                                                                    that instead. Rainwater is better for
Water                                                               plants, too. Add a solar-powered irrigation system
                                                                    ( and the garden will even
Every drop of water                          Car &                  water itself. You can also minimize evaporation by
we use has been                              garden
                                   Washing 3%                       watering in the evening and aiming at the base of plants
treated; and every                   up 9%                 Toilet
                                                            33%     rather than the leaves.
drop we put down             Laundry
the plughole or toi-         12%                                    A Getting serious If you really want to cut your water
let is later treated                                                use, consider a rainwater harvesting system. You’ll still
again. All of this                          domestic                need a mains supply for drinking water but will save
                                            water use               around 50% on consumption. Such systems cost around
treatment requires
energy, resulting                                                   £2000–3000 for a typical home and pay for themselves
in greenhouse-gas          Drinking &                               in around 10–15 years (this will fall if water bills rise
                           cooking 18%
emissions. A family                                      Personal   as expected by 10% a year for the next five years). See
                                                     hygiene 25%
of four uses approxi-                                      and
mately 200,000 litres
of water per year, which takes 94kWh to supply and
83kWh to treat, resulting in 78kg of CO₂ – equivalent to a
                                                                              in barclays: a natural high
car travelling 1100 miles. So, it’s worth limiting your water         Our worldwide headquarters in Canary Wharf has Europe’s high-
use where possible; if your water is metered, you’ll save             est living roof, designed to be a habitat for birds and insects.
                                                                      Grasshoppers, money spiders and ladybirds have already moved
money, too. Here’s how:                                               in. Living roofs also play an important role in combating climate
                                                                      change. In summer, our cities are hotter than the surrounding
A Toilet flushing The easiest way to make savings here
                                                                      countryside because buildings reflect heat back into the air.
is to put a displacement device in the cistern. A water-              Green areas absorb sunlight, helping to reduce this ‘heat island
filled plastic bottle will do the trick, as will a built-for-         effect’ and also help to absorb heavy rainfall.

                               0                                                                    1
                                                                                    Carbon offseTTing

carbon                                                                 in barclays: carbon offsetting
                                                                  You can offset the CO₂ emissions from home energy use and
                                                                  personal travel through Climate Care at:

offsetting                                                        Climate Care/Barclays

employing a climate cleaner

Anyone who wants to neutralize their effect on
climate change will be interested in the various
schemes that allow you to “offset” your carbon
footprint. Whether you want to cancel the CO₂ of
a single long-haul flight, a year of car journeys or
your entire existence, the process is the same.
First, you visit the website of an offsetting organization        Customers are also invited to join in when buying foreign cur-
and use the carbon calculators to work out the emissions          rency from Barclays.
related to whatever activity you want to offset. This will
be translated into a fee which the offsetting organization
will use to soak up a matching amount of CO₂ from the           doing nothing, and there’s no reason why we can’t buy
air. To do this, they fund projects such as the replanting      offsets and make efforts to reduce our emissions directly.
of damaged rainforest or the distribution of long-life, low-       Another criticism sometimes made is that offset projects
energy light bulbs in developing countries. As a guide, it      may not make the swift, long-term carbon savings that are
usually costs around £7/$12 to offset a tonne of CO₂. At        claimed of them. It’s true that some of the projects – most
this price, a seat on a round trip from London to New           notably tree planting – may take decades to soak up the
York costs around £12/$20 to neutralize, while a typical        carbon you’ve paid to offset, which is one reason why
year of driving in an averagely efficient car clocks in at      many offsetting groups are moving towards sustainable
around £20/$35.                                                 energy projects instead of trees. As for whether the carbon
                                                                savings are real, the major offsetting services are exter-
arguments for and against                                       nally audited to address just this question. They include:
Offset schemes have proved popular not just with individ-       CarbonNeutral Company
uals, but everyone from corporations (Barclays, for exam-       Climate Care
ple, has gone carbon neutral) to celebrities (Coldplay,
Pulp and the Pet Shop Boys all offset their tours).
  However, some people argue that offsetting is simply a
plaster on the wound, hiding the inherent unsustainability
of carbon-intensive Western lifestyles. There’s some truth
in this point – offsetting isn’t as good as not emitting
the carbon in the first place. But it’s certainly better than

                                                                                              find out more
      and finally…                                                                            for more information about climate change,
                                                                                              explore this rough guide, available from all
                                                                                              good bookstores.
      barclays environmental
      champions         As ice sheets and
                       glaciers melt and
                       oceans warm, sea
                       levels are rising,
                      threatening to
      Environmental Champions are volunteers who act
                      devastate low-
                      lying islands, cities
      as ambassadors for environmental issues. They
                      and regions.
                      See p.100.
      share best practice, raise awareness and eliminate
      waste within their own teams. Being a champion
      doesn’t take up much time – usually around two or
      three hours a month.
 ts                                                                                                                                                        As the wo

      There are already 300 Environmental Champions in
nd                                                                                                                                                           warms, t
 a.                                                                                                                                                         intensity
                                                                                                                                                     hurricanes – su
      Barclays, but some business areas do not yet have one. If                                                                                      as Katrina, whi
                                                                                                                                                          ravaged Ne
      you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a                                                                                       Orleans in 2005 –
                                                                                                                                                        steadily risin
      champion, The European your Cluster environmental manager                                                                                              See p.12

                  heat wave in 2003
                  killed more than
                    40,000 people.
                    Such extreme
                   summer spells
                   are set to become

               employee focus: Vicky riley
                   within the century.
                   See p.43.
        “Being more environmentally conscious is a journey of lots of
        small steps,” says Vicky Riley, Associate Director in Marketing,
        Barclays Wealth. “I haven’t made any big changes, but I’ve
        stopped getting plastic carrier bags when I do the weekly
                                                                                                                                                        Snow and ice
        shopping and we watered the garden with my son’s bathwater                                                                                cover across parts
                                                                      ISBN 1-84353-711
        in the summer – it lived! I was given a home-composting pot                      -7                                                        of the Himalayas
                                                                                                                                                    has dropped by
        at Christmas and now we compost all our vegetable peelings.                                                                                   30% since the
                                                                                                                                                 1970s, lling these
        This and general recycling has more than halved the number                                                                             Bhutanese lakes but
        of rubbish bags we put out each week. I really do feel we 9are1 8 4 3 5 3 7 1 1 3
                                                                      78                                                                           raising concerns
                                                                                                                                                about future water
        making a difference.”                                                                                                                   supply for millions.
                                                                                                                                                           See p.71.

                                                                                              the rough guide to climate change
                                                                                              Global warming: the symptoms, the science
                                                                                              and the solutions.

                                                                                                         “Simply put, this is the best book i’ve
                                                                                                            ever read about climate change.”


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