A “Green Good Practice” example from Lib Dem led Colchester.
Council exceeds carbon reduction targets
In less than 10 years of carbon reduction work, Liberal Democrat led Colchester Borough Council revealed today that since 2008 it has cut carbon emissions by 55%, making it one of the leading carbon cutting local authorities in the UK.
A target reduction of 40% by 2020 was set out in the Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy in 2015, and this has been exceeded by 15% – three years ahead of schedule.
Lib Dem Councillor Jessica Scott-Boutell, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability, said: “This is a significant achievement for Colchester, it shows residents how committed the council is to reducing its own environmental impact by cutting the amount of energy and fuel it uses over time, even though demand for services is growing.
“We achieved this by developing and implementing a carbon management plan, and while there is no statutory duty to deliver these projects, the council takes its ongoing commitment seriously.”
In 2015, the council signed a public commitment through the Local Government Association’s Climate Local, which has helped the council to stay focused. The council has won both regional and county level awards for its Environmental Sustainability Strategy, including being the most environmentally aware business in Essex last year.
Key achievements include:
- Having the highest % in the country of council houses with solar panels, providing free electricity for tenants.
- Cutting waste going to landfill by 150 tons a week, with a 10% rise in recycling rates following the introduction of a new waste system which gave ward councillors the final say on if their residents did or did not want wheelie bins.
- Achieving a big rise in cycling following the achievement of cycle town status and upgrading many cycle routes. Includes the council leader cycling into the Town Hall.
- Funding from charges on staff (and councillor) car parking travel to provide discounts on public transport.
- Building new office accommodation, now let to a firm of solicitors, where running costs are nearly half that of a standard new build by including energy efficient elements in design.
- Using European grants to upgrade energy efficiency in our sheltered accommodation.
- Even small things like timing switches on drinks machines so they don’t heat water when offices are not in use help.
- We have even installed heat pumps at the crematorium to improve energy efficiency.
For more information about the council’s work around environmental sustainability go to: www.colchester.gov.uk/sustainability