Falkirk Council

Strategic financial and climate change process design for carbon budgeting

Altair and Carbon Change worked closely with Falkirk Council to ensure carbon budgets receive as much strategic emphasis as financial planning.

About the project

Carbon Change and Altair worked with Falkirk Council to measure their 2020/21 carbon footprint in line with the public bodies reporting duty requirements.  We then used this data to set the year 1 carbon budget, forecast annual reductions to net zero and create a framework for carbon budgeting.  Carbon Change and Altair helped re-design how budgets are set across the organisation to ensure equal emphasis is placed on a carbon budget as it is on a financial budget.

We designed from scratch a bespoke framework which enables Falkirk Council to set, monitor and report carbon budgets across all departments while aligning this process with internal financial budget setting protocols and governance structures.

The framework allows for year-on-year carbon budget setting for emissions attached to both revenue and capital financial expenditure, whilst encouraging employee ownership and organisational buy-in of their carbon budget.


Falkirk will be the 3rd Local Authority in Scotland to introduce carbon budgeting. By introducing the carbon budgeting framework, they hope this will help to support them achieve net zero status by 2030.

The following results have been delivered by Carbon Change and Altair

  • Employee ownership of their carbon budget, with organisational wide buy-in.
  • Carbon budgets in place per department and service level across Falkirk Council.
  • Theoretical guidance on how Falkirk can set their budgets, including the appropriate governance structure for sign off and budget approvals.
  • Recommendations to support successful implementation including amendments to key policies.
  • Recommendations on what carbon reduction projects should be considered to help reduce emissions, whilst being mindful of financial budget restraints.
Altair and Carbon Change have worked hard to understand the Council’s existing processes and carbon emissions, to ensure the carbon budgeting process is as streamlined as possible to business as usual. Their professional and collaborative approach meant our internal teams were actively engaged through running a series of interactive workshops and regular meetings, to ensure momentum throughout the project and encourage council-wide ownership. This project will be a vital part of Falkirk reaching their organisational Net Zero target by 2030, and we are delighted that the project is now live and being trialled across the Council.
Claire Gibson, Lead Officer - Climate Change, Falkirk Council

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