Carbon Footprint 'Project Zero'

Latest update from CEO Nick Leighton: “We have just changed 3 sets of floodlights from the old halogen bulbs to LED. The resulting saving on energy use is enormous – a 70% reduction from 36kw to 10.8kw. It has also helped reduce our overall carbon footprint by some 5%.”

Beginning in 2014 we decided to fully investigate our carbon situation and see what, if anything, we could do to achieve carbon neutral status at Halton. We measured our carbon footprint and energy consumption, and sought ways to reduce them. That journey continues and our success so far, and the projections we can confidently make for the future bear out our commitment.

Our carbon usage

2014 100%
2019 43%
Projected by 2030 3%

In 2014 we were producing 282 tonnes of CO₂ (representing 100%, or a typical annual output, above). By 2019, 5 years later this had drastically reduced to just 121 tonnes. At the end of 2022 we estimate a further significant reduction reflecting our change to LED lights on a further 6 courts. Our estimate is that eventually it is realistic for us to reduce our output to just 10 tonnes of CO₂.

To achieve this we first had to understand and measure all the energy sources at the Centre – we are a busy site with multiple buildings utilising 2 different incoming electricity mains and 3 different sets of LPG gas tanks around the site, not to mention 4 boilers!

With our 2 airhalls (comprising 7 courts), 10 outdoor floodlit courts and 7 floodlit mini courts it was obvious that we were in a “heavy” user category with an annual bill of over £60k. We started the journey with a push to reduce waste and attack any low hanging fruit. Investing in LED lights across the site was identified as an obvious target with the added benefit of much lower ongoing running costs. The 2 airhalls with 7 courts in total were converted at a cost of £120k.

We employed external experts to educate us and help plot the journey ahead with energy efficiency initiatives and better understand of the technology available. Between 2014 and 2019 we managed to reduce our footprint by an amazing 28%, rising to 33% by April 2022. Whilst Covid has slowed our progress over the past 2 years, in 2021 we embarked on a further investment in our floodlights to use more LED bulbs – switching our 2000w halogens for 900w LEDs across all 6 outdoor courts. The energy reduction will be 70%. This £90k investment was completed in April 2022. Overall we think a saving of 27% has been achieved on our electricity bill since 2014 (sadly of course this has been more than swallowed up by price increases!)

How we measure our Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions

Halton has measured scope 1 & 2 emission in accordance with the WRI & WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Scope 3 emissions include a calculation based on the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses from electricity only, which accounts for the discrepancy in the power produced by the power plants and the power sold to the customer. The remaining Scope 3 emissions are excluded from the current stage of the assessment. However, for the purposes of providing a full picture of Halton’s activities and influences on its members, the transportation emissions from staff and members are being considered separately to support the clubs aim of being carbon positive. The club aims to meet its target without the use of any offsetting.

Future plans

  • EV Car charging points
  • Our 2 air domes account for 66% of our current electricity consumption – as such they are our next target
  • Our Clubhouse / flat / offices building is next in line accounting for 20% – there has only been a marginal change since 2014
  • Our Gym building accounts for 10% – there has only been a marginal change since 2014

In addition to our efforts at the Club, we seek to extend these principles into our partnerships, such as with Pokita, an exciting local supplier of sustainable ladies tennis and activewear.

A message from our Chairman, John Walker

Halton Chairman, John Walker

“I was so pleased to introduce the vision of embarking on a journey to becoming carbon neutral at HTC some years ago. It’s great to see the progress being made by the team under Nick Leighton’s leadership with a reduction in our carbon footprint of over 30%.

I have been fortunate to lead a number of organisations over the last 30 years on this journey to a better and sustainable business model. Creating and working on the objective of environmental sustainability has been surprisingly good for economic performance due to the way it has made these companies more attractive to new customers as well as improving human and economic capital.

I believe we can build HTC to be the first truly carbon neutral sports facility as well as delivering superior value to our members, customers, creating a brilliant environment for personal growth.”

Our Carbon Consultant, Karl Walker

Karl Walker

Karl is our carbon guru, the Director of Carbon Free Group and COO of Power Transition. He is a sustainability/energy entrepreneur providing organisational and project planning, strategy and implementation with over 20 years of expertise in major infrastructure, planning, building design and construction. He led the green agenda for the UK’s most sustainable public building. Brent Civic Centre achieved six Sustainability Awards including; Edie Sustainability Leaders Award, 2013, the RIBA Regional Sustainability Award, 2014 and the BREEAM Mixed Use Award, 2015. Karl advised on Bank Station Upgrade, Crossrail and HS2 and also developed the Phase 1, sustainability strategy for the £4 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel, whilst at AECOM.

Karl is a director of the Carbon Free Group (CIC) and a shareholder of Brakkn Ltd, an energy campaign consultancy and social enterprise (B Corp) specialising in transitioning homes and business to low carbon and renewable energy.

Read Karl’s full biography here

If anyone is interested in knowing more about what we are doing or have some interest or expertise in participating please contact Nick Leighton.