To reach our 2025 target of becoming carbon neutral within our own operations, we are taking the following action:
Creating a culture of sustainability – we are providing information and training for staff and councillors on the climate and ecological emergencies. We have updated our decision-making templates to include climate and ecological implications to ensure they are considered in all our areas of work.
Developing Policy – climate action is integrated throughout policy work, including in the Corporate Plan and Local Plan. We monitor our carbon emissions and will soon be publishing our updated Carbon Management Plan which will outline how we will manage and reduce our carbon emissions. A Climate Action Plan is being developed for 2021-2024.
Cutting our carbon emissions – we adopted our first Carbon Management Plan in 2009 and have cut our carbon emissions by 42.4% between 2009/10 – 2019/20. We are identifying further energy saving opportunities in council owned buildings, including opportunities to use heat pumps and renewable energy. We are developing a Green Travel Plan for our staff and gradually increasing the number of electric vehicles in our fleet. For details on progress see our latest Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions report.
Protecting biodiversity and nature – this a priority for the council. We have appointed two Tree Champions and are developing a Tree Planting Policy. We are working with partners to develop a Nature Recovery Network and Strategy, and we are establishing a Biodiversity Working Group to develop the Council’s approach to nature protection and recovery.