Climate change - what we are doing
We have set the following targets:
- Long term: net zero emissions from our own operations by 2050, at the latest.
- Interim: cut emissions from our own operations by half every 5 years.
Our climate emergency plan for 2023 to 2025 gives more details about our targets.
Action we are taking
- Aligning council decision-making with our net zero target.
- Rolling out a programme of carbon literacy training, workshops and e-learning for staff and Members
- Reducing the carbon impact of our buildings: replacing gas boilers with heat pumps, installing low energy lighting and installing solar PV.
- Installing electric vehicle charge points at key sites.
- Working with suppliers and contractors to cut their emissions (96% of our emissions are from supply chain partners delivering goods and services, e.g. waste services).
- Delivering energy saving workshops for school site managers.
- Helping residents and businesses to identify areas where they can take action, through support programmes such as our warm home service, Solar Together Sussex and LoCASE (green business).
Our climate emergency plan for 2023 to 2025 gives more details about these actions.
Council emissions have reduced by nearly 70% since 2008. This has been achieved by:
- Decarbonisation of the national electricity grid (coal has largely been replaced by gas and renewables).
- Council investment in over 300 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including energy efficient street lighting, improved building energy efficiency and deploying 1.5MW of renewable energy generation on council buildings.
Our footprint, and progress on cutting emissions, is detailed in our corporate carbon highlight report for 2021 to 2022.
We have also completed a number of programmes and projects that have reduced carbon emissions across the county, often in partnership with others. These include:
- Reducing fuel poverty: The fuel poverty programme has coordinated over £10m since 2016 to provide energy advice and improvements to insulation and heating for thousands of fuel poor residents.
- Walking and cycling infrastructure improvements: over £20m has been invested since 2014.
- Improving bus services: We have secured over £40m for improvements in the county which will fund a range of measures, including increasing bus service provision on main corridors, and supporting operators in increasing the amount of Zero Emission Buses.
- Electric vehicles: We have worked with public sector partners to develop a co-ordinated plan for the roll-out of electric vehicle infrastructure in the county.
- Helping businesses reduce emissions and save costs: We have distributed approximately £500,000 of grants to local businesses since 2018 to implement energy efficiency measures, which cut their energy costs and carbon emissions.
- Supporting residents to install solar PV: We have supported over 550 households to install solar PV panels on their properties through the Sussex Solar Together programme.