Climate change

We declared a climate emergency on 15 January 2020 and as a council, we pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030. This is for our scope 1,2, and 3 emissions.

Carbon neutral means reducing carbon emissions to a small amount that can be easily absorbed and stored by nature along with other carbon dioxide removal measures, leaving zero in the atmosphere (net-zero). A climate change and sustainability manager has been appointed to lead on this work and recently a climate change support officer has also been appointed to help drive sustainability forward and increase emission reduction.

Our carbon neutral strategy

We have now produced a carbon neutral strategy. This strategy makes fighting climate change key in our decision making as an organisation. It details our carbon reduction targets, sets our emission baselines and also provides a direction of travel.

Our climate action and biodiversity work plan

This document shows all the climate-related projects we are either currently doing, planning to do, or could do in the future. These projects will help reduce our emissions and promote biodiversity. 

The work plan will be updated each year to show how emissions and projects have changed. This is an ever-evolving document that reflects how our understanding of sustainability changes.

Climate action and biodiversity work plan 2024 [pdf] 4MB 

Our work so far

We have a strong track record of delivering environmental projects and energy efficiencies across all our services.

Please see below some of the projects we’ve already undertaken and some that are in development:

  • carrying out annual carbon audits on our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (updated emissions are showcased in our climate change and biodiversity work plan), by undertaking this work, we are able to closely monitor how our projects are going and ensure we are on track to our 2030 carbon neutral target
  • increasing the amount of solar PV that is installed on our buildings – currently the Civic Centre in Littlehampton generates energy from solar panels on its roof, reducing the reliance on grid electricity
  • Our Arun Leisure Centre has also had solar panels installed on its roof to support the move away from grid dependency and supports our leisure provider with reducing electricity costs and associated emissions
  • we are reviewing the possibility for solar carports on our owned car parks allowing us or nearby businesses to have access to renewable energy, we are hopeful that several of  our carparks will be suitable for this technology
  • providing more grassland and wildflower meadows across the district which is vital for biodiversity to help local wildlife and provide food for our insects and pollinators, there is currently a push to increase these areas by 10% each year
  • completed work on a ten-year tree-planting strategy 2021-2031, to help improve our woodland habitats and tree coverage within the district
  • using 'Better Care' funding to help some of our residents who live in park homes to install insulation, resulting in less energy being wasted in lost heat, reducing carbon emissions and lowering energy bills to help combat fuel poverty 
  •  aiming to ‘decarbonise’ all our council properties entirely by improving their energy efficiency and reducing carbon output, we have made use of several funding openings to support this work and will keep our eye on future opportunities
  • transitioning the vehicles we lease with the aim to change to 100% electric vehicles and where this is not appropriate provide low emissions alternatives
  • trialling and introducing low-emission vehicles and machinery to our contractors
  • increase our understanding of our procurement and its processes as this is the largest single emitter for us, being responsible for roughly 91% of our total emissions 
  • collaborating with other organisations and local authorities to tackle climate change through the following:
    • organised a climate action workshop for Town and Parish Councils which was delivered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy in June 2024, this event provided information for the councils on the actions that they can take to help tackle climate change. 
    • in regular contact with other district and boroughs within West Sussex and across the UK to share best practices and lessons learned
  • hired a new project support officer to increase the capacity for us to take action against climate change, and also engage with external organisations within the district
    • if you are an organisation in Arun and are looking for some general climate change guidance, please email us
  • working with our leisure provider - Freedom Leisure, to ensure that the centres within Arun are as green as possible by undertaking building audits and a decarbonisation plan on the Arun Leisure Centre and the Littlehampton Wave
    • in 2023 funding was awarded via the Swimming Pool Support Fund
  • implementing behavioural change, reducing emissions is a council-wide responsibility, so we have been providing training to all of our staff to ensure sustainability is embedded into everything we do, our training has included:
    • carbon literacy training, with additional opportunities being carried on through to 2024, we have been awarded the bronze certificate in carbon literacy and are working towards gaining Silver
    • internal e-learning modules that cover both climate change and sustainability, providing a quick and easy introduction into climate change that is available to both officers and our elected members, this Information is updated annually

We will continue to update you as we take steps to achieve our goals. For more information please have a read of our climate action and biodiversity action work plan.

Climate change consultation and engagement hub

The climate change hub is an interactive space for residents and communities to share ideas, information and map local climate-related activity. It is run by West Sussex County Council.

You can visit the climate change consultation and engagement hub at