Environmental Policy at East Sussex County Council
Statement of Aims
East Sussex County Council provides services used by all residents in East Sussex, including providing care and support to children, families and the elderly; maintaining the roads and providing library services; and working to boost the local economy. Our four overarching priority outcomes, set out in the Council Plan, are to: drive sustainable economic growth, keep vulnerable people safe, help people help themselves, and make best use of resources now and for the future. We use our Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources process to identify our key priorities.
We recognise that, in order to deliver this wide range of services, and achieve our priority outcomes, we have an impact on the environment through the goods, works and services that we procure and the energy, water and materials that we use. We also recognise our important role in raising awareness about the environment and setting an example within the wider community.
This environmental policy covers the full range of our corporate environmental footprint and sets out what we do, and will do, to continuously improve our corporate environmental performance. The policy provides a framework for bringing together existing policies and plans that cover our corporate environmental footprint. This includes the Sustainable Buildings Policy, the Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy and the corporate Climate Emergency Plan, which have been approved by elected members. This policy has been developed following consideration of similar policies developed by other organisations, including neighbouring County Councils.
The Council will do the following:
- Comply with all environmental legislation applicable to the Council.
- Influence other organisations to improve their environmental performance by managing our supply chain via the Council’s Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy, applying relevant contract conditions and by displaying good practice.
- Review this policy regularly to ensure it remains up-to-date.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Council’s own activities, following a science-based target, as set out in the Council’s corporate Climate Emergency Plan and the Council’s Carbon Offset Framework [247.2 KB] [pdf].
- Ensure adaptation to a changing climate is integrated into the Council’s long-term planning, by developing and implementing a climate-adaptation plan, as also set out in the Council’s corporate Climate Emergency Plan.
- Minimise energy use in County Council buildings and operations, by encouraging energy saving behaviours and optimising the use of assets such as buildings and vehicles, as set out in the Council’s corporate Climate Emergency Plan.
- Increase renewable energy generation from Council assets and purchase electricity that is produced by accredited renewable sources, as set out in the Council’s corporate Climate Emergency Plan (link).
- Improve energy efficiency in the lifecycle of County Council buildings by implementing the Council’s Sustainable Building Policy [2.1 MB] [pdf].
- Minimise water consumption in Council buildings and operations.
- Reduce water consumption in the design, construction and refurbishment of Council buildings by implementing the Council’s Sustainable Building Policy [2.1 MB] [pdf].
- Reduce carbon and local air pollutant emissions from staff commuting and business travel by implementing a staff travel plan, as set out in the Council’s corporate Climate Emergency Plan.
- Minimise the environmental impact from the Council’s own fleet, as also set out in the Council’s corporate Climate Emergency Plan.
- Capitalise on the full value of resources by keeping them in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recycling or disposing of them in a useful way.
- Protect and enhance the biodiversity of land owned by the County Council.
- Minimise the environmental impact of Council procurement of works, goods and services by implementing the Council’s Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy.
- Continue to increase the Council’s relative spend with local suppliers.
Staff and Councillor Involvement
- Encourage staff and Councillor involvement in improving the County Council’s environmental performance through communication, engagement and behavioural change activities, for example as set out in the Council’s corporate Climate Emergency Plan.
Date of policy adoption: 12 December 2023