EAST Renfrewshire’s carbon footprint is falling faster than planned, a new report has revealed.

Figures submitted to Scottish Ministers for 2017/18 show that work being done in the area to combat climate change is hitting emissions reduction levels higher than targeted.

Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions reduced by 6.7 per cent in the period covered by the report, beating East Renfrewshire Council’s target of 2.5 per cent.

Andrew Cahill, the council’s director of environment, said: “The report demonstrates that good progress is being made in terms of climate change mitigation.

“Overall, the council has shown a further reduction in CO2e emissions of 6.7 per cent against last year’s emissions total. This is in excess of the council’s year-on-year target of 2.5 per cent.

“In total, the council has reduced emissions by 3,055 tonnes of CO2e since reporting began in 2015/16.”

Mr Cahill’s report to councillors states the reduction in emissions has been boosted by a number of factors, including upgrades to schools.

Improved heating and lighting systems installed at a number of schools to boost energy efficiency generated around £46,000 worth of savings.

Further lighting upgrades in offices, replacement boilers and improvements to energy management system controls at several council sites are anticipated to yield annual energy savings of £137,000.

And an ongoing street lighting replacement project is estimated to save £26,000 in electricity costs, as well as boosting the effort to reduce emissions.

Mr Cahill also said the council has benefited from the carbon intensity of Grid electricity reducing as more renewable generators are established.

In addition, business travel emissions were reduced over the year as a reduction in staff car mileage of 32,515 miles was recorded.

The report also found emissions related to water use had decreased. It said this was due to better collaboration with Scottish Water to detect leaks, as well as more efficient flush systems for school urinals.

Public bodies such as the council have a duty to report on their annual climate change impact under the Climate Change (Duties of Public Bodies: Reporting Requirements) (Scotland) Order 2015, which came into force on November 23, 2015.