Cheshire East Council reported progress on its bid to be carbon neutral by 2025 at a meeting of its environment and communities committee today.
The council also reported back on the progress that has been made over the past year since it joined the UK100 network – in doing so pledging to influence the borough to be carbon neutral by 2045.
At today’s meeting the committee also approved a plan to develop proposals with regional and local partners for priority action areas to begin to influence a reduction in boroughwide carbon emissions towards the 2045 target.
Cheshire East has continued to make progress in reducing carbon across its operations and is on track to be carbon neutral by 2025. The council’s achievements so far have included:
- Decarbonising council buildings – which include libraries, depots, leisure centres, day centres and car parks – through the installation of measures including 17 building mounted solar arrays, improved building insulation and LED lighting upgrades;
- The installation of low carbon heat pumps at Macclesfield Town Hall and indoor market and at Wilmslow library with a further twelve pumps expected to be installed over the next four months, taking the main heating load of the buildings and dropping their carbon footprint;
- Starting to switch the council’s fleet vehicles to electric and continuing the implementation of our agile working policy which allows greater flexibility in staff work movements and encourages the use of digital technology, reducing the need to travel;
- Introducing more electric charging points to encourage staff where they are required to travel for council business to consider doing so with an electric vehicle;
- Replacing 39,000 streetlights and road sign lamps with LED lighting, which is powered by green electricity – making the borough’s street lighting effectively zero carbon;
- Continuing towards our target of planting 100 hectares of trees in the borough – this is the equivalent of 140 football pitches by 2025;
- Progressing plans for the construction of a large solar farm; and
- Adopting a low carbon build standard to mitigate the carbon impact of Cheshire East construction projects on the environment.
UK100 is bringing together a network of councils with a common aim around a climate change pledge. Membership requires annual reporting of carbon emissions and a commitment to achieving net zero targets with a minimum of offsetting.
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said: “Despite the pressures that the council is feeling financially, as indeed all local authorities are at this moment, it is very pleasing to note that we continue to make excellent progress towards our corporate plan objective of being carbon neutral in council operations by 2025.
“We are under no illusions that there remain many great challenges ahead, however there is a full commitment from the council along with its partners to achieve this goal.”
For more information on the council’s carbon neutral ambitions, please watch this film which introduces viewers to many of the key personnel involved in driving us towards carbon neutrality by 2025
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