Carbon footprint from the mayor's international travel

Martin Thomas made this Freedom of Information request to Bristol City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Bristol City Council,
The Mayor has made an enormous number of trips abroad since he came to power, yet has also demanded Bristol reduce it's dependence on fossil fuels and car use.

I want to know the full extent of the Mayor's travel by air since he came to the role in 2012.

Please provide me with:
All details for dates and destinations for the mayor's travel by plane since his instillation in 2012 up to the date of this FOI request.

On each occasion how many people have traveled with the mayor at public expense. I do not require names or roles, or cost, only the number of people to identify carbon footprint of the mayor's air travel.

What information is held by the Council on the carbon footprint of the air travel outlined above, for example is it regularly calculated, recorded, assessed etc.

Does the mayor or council have any policy for Carbon Offsetting air travel by staff generally, and specifically for the mayor?

What consideration is given to alternatives to air travel within Council Policy and, if any criteria exist, what measures the mayor's office make to conform to Council Policy. Please identify where the Mayor's travel has been counter to Council Policy, and where it has failed to comply with policy or other written criteria.

What exploration of alternative means of international communication, eg Skype, email, telephone, video conferencing, post, have been considered by the Mayor and his office to limit and reduce the impact of the carbon footprint of the mayor's use of air transport?

What air travel is presently planned to be undertaken by the Mayor in Green Capital year, 2015. For security reasons please do not disclose the proposed dates of travel , but instead provide the planned distance to be traveled by air, from airport to airport.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Thomas

Freedom of Information, Bristol City Council

Thank you for your request for information.

 

If your email is a Freedom Of Information request you should expect to
receive a response within the 20 working day limit.

 

If your email is a request for an internal review you should receive a
response within the 20 - 40 working day limit.

 

On Behalf of

The Freedom Of Information team

[1]Bristol 2015 - European Green Capital – an initiative of the European
Commission

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bristol2015.co.uk/

Dear Bristol City Council,

By law you should have responded to my request under the Freedom of
Information Act by 25th Feb 2015. This has not happened. My request
"Carbon footprint from the Mayor's international travel" remains unanswered.

You are legally obliged to provide the information within the 20 working day period prescribed under the Act, and in failing to comply with the law I require you to take immediate action to commence an Internal Review over this faliure. Any further delay on this request and the issue will be addressed as a complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Please also provide me with details of when you intend to provide the information originally requested and the named officer allocated this case. Please also provide a copy of your FOI internal reviews procedure so I can be reassured my request is being handled with due diligence.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Thomas

Freedom of Information, Bristol City Council

Dear requester

We write in response to your requests for information received here on
29/01/2015. For your reference your requests for information are in bold
below and our responses follow.

All details for dates and destinations for the mayor's travel by plane
since his instillation in 2012 up to the date of this FOI request.

 

On each occasion how many people have travelled with the mayor at public
expense. I do not require names or roles, or cost, only the number of
people to identify carbon footprint of the mayor's air travel.

 

Travel Person Location Method  Who paid?  Estimated
Date Travelling CO2
calculations
(KG)
Feb-13 Mayor Dublin Flight BCC-funded 118.63
Mar-13 Mayor Cannes Flight BCC-funded 132.62
/Eurostar
Mar-13 Officer Cannes Flight BCC–funded 132.62
/Eurostar
Apr-13 Mayor Geneva Flight BCC-funded 301.58
Apr-13 Officer Geneva Flight BCC-funded 176.55
Oct-13 Mayor Pittsburgh Flight Externally-funded 1063.9
 
Oct-13 Officer Pittsburgh Flight BCC & External 1063.9
Funding
Nov-13 Mayor Beijing Flight BCC & External 4058.14
Funding
Nov-13 Officer Beijing Flight BCC-funded 2248.92
Nov-13 Officer Beijing Flight BCC-funded 2248.92
Jan-14 Mayor Copenhagen Flight BCC-funded 194.18
Jan-14 Officer Copenhagen Flight BCC-funded 171.17
Jan-14 Officer Copenhagen Flight BCC- funded 205.69
Apr-14 Mayor Hamburg/Hannover Flight BCC-funded 173.37
Apr-14 Officer Hamburg Flight BBC-funded 86.69
(Single)
Jun-14 Mayor Copenhagen Flight BCC-funded 217.2
Jun-14 Officer Copenhagen Flight BCC-funded 217.2
Sep-14 Mayor New York via Flight BCC-funded 1110.5
Amsterdam
Sep-14 Officer New York via Flight BCC-funded 1110.5
Amsterdam
Oct-14 Mayor Bordeaux Flight Externally-funded 146.9
Oct-14 Mayor Bordeaux Flight BCC-funded   146.9
Nov-14 Mayor  Munich Flight BCC-funded 117.26
Nov-14 Officer Munich (from Flight BCC-funded 118.26
Brussels)
Nov-14 Mayor Guangzhou Flight Externally-funded 1674.94
Dec-14 Mayor Copenhagen Flight Externally-funded 205.69
Dec-14 Officer Copenhagen Flight BCC funded 197.02

 

Please note, this data is for Bristol City Council staff only and does not
include other Bristol representatives. Bristol City Council Officer
details are only included when the travel was covered by Bristol City
Council, not externally

What exploration of alternative means of international communication, eg
Skype, email, telephone, video conferencing, post, have been considered by
the Mayor and his office to limit and reduce the impact of the carbon
footprint of the mayor's use of air transport?  

 

Most of the Mayor’s international travel is to speak at international
conferences in front of a large audiences to share Bristol’s experience
and help raise the profile of Bristol abroad. In most instances
video-conferencing would not be acceptable by the organisers. We will only
advise the Mayor to attend should there be a value for Bristol in the
Mayor’s attendance. However, now that we have video conferencing
facilities this is always considered as part of the process.  

What air travel is presently planned to be undertaken by the Mayor in
Green Capital year, 2015. For security reasons please do not disclose the
proposed dates of travel, but instead provide the planned distance to be
travelled by air, from airport to airport.

We are currently completing the Mayor’s international travel plan for the
year. These trips will mainly focus on

 

1) Bristol’s contribution to the development of global cities messaging
for the international climate change negotiations in Paris at the end of
the year (COP21), culminating in Bristol’s presence in Paris

 

2) Sharing Bristol experience and bringing back learning and value for
Bristol

 

3) Raising the profile of Bristol abroad with the aim of bringing
investment and prosperity in to Bristol.

 

This could include trips to Seoul, Germany, France and Belgium. All travel
will be arranged in accordance with Bristol City Council Foreign Travel
Policy and Procedures.

 

Does the mayor or council have any policy for Carbon Offsetting air travel
by staff generally, and specifically for the mayor?

 

Bristol City Council does not have a formal Carbon Offsetting policy but
is a major investor in renewables and looks to reduce its own footprint.
The council has a target of reducing emissions by 40% by 2020, relative to
2005 baseline year. We have already reduced CO2 emissions by 30% since
2005. The Mayor personally offsets all his mayoral travel at his own
expense, including trips by car, locally, nationally and internationally
by investing in renewables.

 

What information is held by the Council on the carbon footprint of the air
travel outlined above, for example is it regularly calculated, recorded,
assessed etc.

 

Bristol City Council records the CO2 emission of all Eurostar and air
travel.

 

What consideration is given to alternatives to air travel within Council
Policy and, if any criteria exist, what measures the mayor's office make
to conform to Council Policy. Please identify where the Mayor's travel has
been counter to Council Policy, and where it has failed to comply with
policy or other written criteria.

 

The Bristol City Council Foreign Travel Policy and Procedures states that
a Foreign Travel Approval Form must be completed and approved prior to
travelling. This sets out the reason for the visit, which should clearly
promote Council priorities and be in line with the relevant divisional
priorities, as well as the costs of travel and accommodation. This policy
also recommends that no air travel should be undertaken unless the rail
door-to-door journey time is more than six hours and would require an
extra overnight stay. This means that journeys to Paris and Brussels would
normally be made by train.

 

 

On behalf of
Freedom of Information Team

This response should answer your request in full, however if you are not
satisfied with this response or wish to lodge an appeal against any
exemptions that may have been applied, you can do so by writing to the
Data Protection Officer at Bristol City Council Legal Services, City Hall,
College Green, Bristol, or [Bristol City Council request email]. Details of the complaints
procedure can be found at http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/complaints

If, after you have exhausted the council's complaints procedure, you are
still not satisfied with the response you have received you have the right
to complain to the Information Commissioner, details of your right to
complain can be found at http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx

Copyright notice
The provision of information by Bristol City Council under this scheme
does not imply a right to reproduce or commercially exploit such
information without the Council's express prior written permission.
Reproduction or commercial exploitation of materials supplied under this
scheme without the express permission of Bristol City Council may be an
infringement of copyright. The Council is unable to grant permission to
reproduce or re-use any material accessed through this scheme that is the
property of third parties. Permission to reproduce or re-use such material
must be obtained from the copyright holders.

[1]Bristol 2015 - European Green Capital – an initiative of the European
Commission

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Council services online: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/service

Keep up to date with the latest council news and sign up to our monthly
email newsletter: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ournews

Have your say on consultations and view our webcasts:
http://www.bristol.gov.uk/consult

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bristol2015.co.uk/

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org