The National Assembly for Wales 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 are striving to create a low carbon Assembly 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 with three main goals to be achieved by 2015:
Reduce energy emissions by 40 per cent compared to the 2008-09 baseline;
Reduce travel emissions by 15 per cent compared to the 2008-09 baseline;
Achieve zero waste to landfill compared to the 2010-11 baseline
We never expected this to be easy and we've learnt a lot along the way.
The National Assembly for Wales and the Assembly 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)
254 (pro rata)
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, 208KB)
Pierhead DEC Certificate (PDF, 207KB)
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 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 are working hard to achieve zero waste to landfill (and we're not far away) and drive efficiencies in sustainable travel and we are very aware that we can do more to understand the impacts of our products and services through engagement with our supply chain. However, first and foremost, our focus is on ensuring we can provide an exemplary, sustainable Assembly 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 Assembly 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 Assembly 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 Environmental 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 Assembly, please contact us using the details below.
The Sustainability Manager
National Assembly for Wales Commission
Telephone: 0300 200 7396
Reports and Policies
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)