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Reducing the Council's carbon emissions

We're committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions on our estates by 2030.

We will do this by:

  • Making buildings and street lights more energy efficient
  • Working with our suppliers to reduce emissions from what we buy
  • Supporting employees to adopt greener ways of working

What we're doing

Heating and lighting our buildings

We're retrofitting our buildings to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat them. Whenever practical, we replace fossil fuel-based heating systems with low-carbon alternatives and replace old light fittings with energy-efficient LED fittings as far as possible.

On 5 June 2023, Cabinet agreed to commence the first £22.5m tranche of an £80m programme to retrofit the remainder of the county council estate. We will seek further government funding to offset these costs wherever possible. 

Fleet vehicles

We're replacing petrol and diesel vehicles in our fleet with electric vehicles. This is a key part of our electric vehicle strategy.

We've installed 42 electric vehicle charging points at County Hall to support this switch to electric vehicles, and plan to install more charging points across our estate.

Street lighting

We're reducing the amount of energy our street lights use by:

  • Upgrading our street lights to more energy-efficient LED units
  • Using part-night street lighting in low crime areas where they are low levels of through traffic

Read more about energy efficient street lighting.

Staff travel

A large number of our employees work remotely, reducing the need to travel for work. When they do need to travel, we encourage employees to choose sustainable travel options like walking, cycling, or public transport.

We provide Council employees with:

  • A cycle to work salary sacrifice scheme to help save money on the cost of a new bike and accessories
  • Free use or shared pedal bikes through a membership programme with Beryl Bikes
  • Good-quality cycle parking, showers and changing facilities
  • Access to ultra-low emission cars through a 'greener car' salary sacrifice scheme
  • Discounted bus and train tickets for commuting to work

County farms

We will improve the energy efficiency of farmhouses on our county farms. We will avoid installing new gas or oil boilers in our farms, replacing old boilers with heat pumps or biomass boilers whenever possible.

We support and encourage our farm tenants to farm sustainably - this is a key part of our county farms management policy.

Council-owned companies

We will use our influence as a shareholder to make sure companies we own reduce their carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. We have issued a shareholder letter to our companies setting them formal targets for reducing carbon emissions.

Norse Group is our largest wholly-owned company. It is also the largest local authority trading company in the UK. You can read about the company's carbon reduction and sustainability goals in Norse Group's corporate social responsibility strategy.

Our progress

Our emissions dashboard provides information on our estate emissions and business travel for each year from 2016/17 to 2022/23. 

The years run from April through to March, so 2016/17 is the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. 

We follow international standards by reporting our emissions as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (written in short as tCO2e). This is used to report all greenhouse gases together in one single measure.

We will continue to update the dashboard as the relevant data for each year becomes available to us.

Net Zero 300

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