We declared a climate emergency on 15 January 2020. As a council, we pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Carbon neutral refers to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. This is achieved by balancing our emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal from the atmosphere via carbon offsetting, sequestration and eliminating emissions from society completely. A Climate Change and Sustainability Manager has recently been appointed to lead this work.
Our carbon neutral strategy
We have now produced a carbon neutral strategy. This strategy makes fighting climate change a guiding principle in our decision making as an organisation. It details our carbon reduction targets, and sets our emission baselines.
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 have decreased and detail any changes to the projects.
Our work so far
We have a strong track record of delivering environmental projects and energy efficiencies across all our services.
Here are some of the projects we’ve already undertaken and some that are in development:
- We’ve embraced solar power. The Civic Centre in Littlehampton generates energy from solar panels on its roof, reducing the reliance on grid electricity. Even our car parks are going greener as our ticket machines are also solar-powered.
- Our parks team are hard at work increasing grassland and wildflower meadows across the district. This is important for increasing biodiversity which helps local wildlife and provides food for our insects and pollinators.
- We are currently working on a ten-year tree planting strategy to help improve our woodland habitats and tree coverage within the district.
- To encourage active travel such as walking and cycling in the district, our planning policies have been updated regarding road infrastructure. We want to make sure that improved walking and cycling routes are accessible across Arun.
- We’ve been using 'Better Care' funding to help some residents of park homes install insulation, meaning less energy is wasted in lost heat. This not only reduces carbon emissions but helps fight fuel poverty by reducing energy bills.
- Our housing team are working hard to improve energy efficiency in our council housing, reducing their carbon output. We aim to ‘decarbonise’ our council properties entirely by 2030.
- We are currently reviewing the vehicles we lease as an organisation and aim to change to 100% electric-fuelled vehicles. Where this is not appropriate low emissions alternatives will be used instead. We are also working with our contractors to trial and introduce low-emission vehicles and machinery.
We’ll update our website as we take steps to achieve our goals.
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.