Climate change

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, 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.

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
  • embracing solar power, the Civic Centre in Littlehampton generates energy from solar panels on its roof, reducing the reliance on grid electricity
  • making our car parks greener by using ticket machines that are solar-powered
  • increasing the amount of solar PV that is installed on our buildings
  • 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
  • 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 2050 by improving their energy efficiency and reducing carbon output
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    •  internal e-learning modules that cover both climate change and sustainability
  • 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 

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