The Welsh Parliament aims to be exemplar in sustainability and environmental performance. As one of the leading public institutions in Wales, we recognise our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment and operate in an environmentally responsible manner in all our activities.
The Big Picture
We strive to operate a low carbon Senedd fit for the challenges of the future and a working environment that provides a comfortable, productive and efficient space for our Members and staff. In 2009 we made a bold statement to tackle and reduce the key carbon impacts arising from our operations. We did this through a Carbon Reduction Strategy which achieved a 40% reduction in energy emissions by 2015.
Continuing this work, we set further ambitious targets which we are currently working towards:
Reduce energy emissions by 30 per cent by 2021, based on 2012/13;
Improve the efficiency of business-related car travel by 10% by 2021, based on 2013/14;
Achieve zero waste to landfill by 2021;
Reduce water consumption by 5% by 2021, based on 2014/15.
The Senedd and the Senedd Commission operate out of four buildings – Tŷ Hywel, the Senedd and Pierhead buildings in Cardiff Bay and a small office in Colwyn Bay. These buildings are a mixture of wholly owned and leased assets. Tŷ Hywel, constructed in the early 1990s is a largely open plan building providing office accommodation for around 700 staff across five floors. The iconic Senedd building houses the Assembly's debating chamber and is constructed to BREAAM Excellent standards using a mixture of renewable energy technologies for heating, rain water harvesting and mixed mode natural ventilation systems for cooling. The Pierhead is a Grade 1 listed building constructed in 1897 which represents one of Cardiff's most familiar, historic landmarks.
Biomass (with natural gas back up)
Display Energy Certificates
Our buildings are the heartbeat of our carbon reduction strategy and they form a small, but challenging portfolio. The way in which we use, maintain and improve the buildings are a key driver for ensuring continued success and creating more sustainable working environments. In fact, a resource efficient future depends on getting more from our spaces whilst using less. Our current Display Energy Certificates for each building can be viewed below.
Tŷ Hywel DEC Certificate (PDF, 200KB)
Senedd DEC Certificate (PDF, 200KB)
Pierhead DEC Certificate (PDF, 200KB)
When we published our first carbon reduction strategy back in 2009, we didn't know as much as we do now. What we did know was that it would very challenging. Using the data we had, we focussed on reducing the direct impacts associated with the operations of our estate such as energy consumption and business travel together with waste and water.
Since 2009, we've come a long way and we are proud of our achievements but we realise that as we approach the end of the current strategy, our journey continues with a clear aim; to continue to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, but even more importantly, to ensure we do this whilst ensuring our buildings provide comfortable working environments for all of our occupants.
As we approach the conclusion of the current Carbon Reduction Strategy, we have already taken steps to ensure the continuity and momentum of our work is not lost by preparing a dedicated Carbon Reduction Routemap for the next six years up until 2021. The strategy challenges us to achieve a further 30 per cent reduction in energy emissions on top of our existing achievements. This routemap will form an integral part of wider sustainability strategy going forwards. A summary of the strategy can be found below.
Carbon Reduction Routemap – Executive Summary (Word, 53.1KB)
Energy use is by far our biggest direct environmental impact. In fact, it amounts to approximately 80% of our total carbon footprint. This has provided us a with clear focus and over the years we have taken great strides to drive down our consumption and associated carbon, whilst saving money at the same time. That's not to say we've forgotten about the other impacts, far from it. We have worked hard to achieve zero waste to landfill as well as introduce efficiencies in sustainable travel, in particular replacing our pool car with an electric vehicle (EV). We are very aware that we can do more to understand the impacts of the products and services we procure through engagement with our supply chain. However, first and foremost, our focus is on ensuring we can provide an exemplary, sustainable Senedd estate that will inspire others to learn, engage and promote our work.
Making it happen
We know that we can't deliver our vision in isolation. We need to listen and learn from all our stakeholders as an environmentally sustainable Senedd of the future will be created and shaped by our occupants and visitors alike. We want people to be proud to work at and visit a responsible Senedd that cares about the environment together with ensuring our collective values and attitudes towards identifying and managing our biggest impacts are accounted for.
Keeping you informed
We're committed to being an open and transparent organisation. Given our position and influence as a key democratic body, we are expected to lead by example in reporting publically and transparently on our activities to promote engagement and we have an obligation to be accountable for our sustainability performance.
Our most recent Sustainability Annual Report together with all previous reports are available for download, and provide a comprehensive overview of our approach to managing each of our key environmental impacts, details of our performance and a summary of our future commitments.
Our sustainability policies provide a high level commitment to ensure we use resources wisely, drive improvement and achieve our strategic goals.
Over recent years, we have been proud of the recognition we have received for tackling and reducing our direct carbon footprint. This has been evidenced in a number of accolades listed below:
Sustainable FM Awards 2010
Winner – Most sustainable Public sector Organisation – Government
Public Sector Sustainability Awards 2011
Runner Up - Most sustainable Public sector Organisation – Government
Public Sector Sustainability Awards 2014
Winner- Most sustainable Public sector Organisation – Government
Interested in finding out more?
If you would like more information about the sustainability work of the Senedd, please contact us using the details below:
The Sustainability Manager
Telephone: 0300 200 7396
Reports and Policies
Sustainability Annual Report 2018-19
Environmental Policy 2019
Environmental Report 2017-18 (PDF, 1.9MB)
Environmental Policy 2017 (PDF, 120KB)
Environmental Report 2016-17 (PDF, 2.2MB)
Environmental Report 2015-16 (PDF, 2.6MB)
Environmental Report 2014-15 (PDF, 5.42MB)
Environmental Report 2013-14 (PDF, 3.63MB)
Environmental Report 2012-13 (PDF, 1.83MB)
Environmental Report 2011-12 (PDF, 6.18MB)
Environmental Report 2010-11 (PDF, 997KB)
Environmental Report 2009-10 (PDF, 4.21MB)
Environmental Report 2008-09 (PDF, 450KB)
Environmental Policy 2015-16 (Word, 278KB)
Sustainable Paper Policy 2015-16 (Word, 278KB)
January 2015 - Carbon Management Plan - Conclusion and Future Plans (Word, 88.2KB)