Corporate Environmental Sustainability
- Environmental Sustainability
In 2000 Councillor John Sweeney signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change on behalf of the Council, which signals that the Council acknowledges that climate change is occurring and commits us to taking action to mitigate the causes of climate change.
Our LDF Core Strategy contains a new Sustainable Construction and Energy Efficiency Policy EN6 to ensure that all new development in the District minimises its impact on the environment. This is supported by the North Norfolk Design Guide which provides further information on potential ways of achieving the policy.
In February 2009 the Council adopted an Environmental Policy and an Environmental Sustainability Strategy. The strategy outlined the activities we would undertake in order to move towards becoming an environmentally sustainable council. This led to us carrying out a number of activities including:
- A staff energy saving campaign underway in the Cromer office, which has delivered significant results in cutting our energy use.
- Installing a number of energy and carbon saving measures in our offices and leisure centres. These include variable speed drives, heat recovery, IT server virtualisation, 'free cooling', and boiler room insulation.
- Voltage optimisation has also been installed in the Cromer office and leisure centres. A case study by PowerPerfector can be downloaded which shows the savings from this project.
- 200 'Intelli-panels' installed in the Cromer office to help reduce our energy use.
- Sustainable construction training was delivered to key members and officers.
- Implementing a Green Travel Plan. This was approved in September 2009 and aimed to reduce our dependence on single-occupancy car travel and increase the use of more sustainable forms of travel such as walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport. A recent follow-up survey showed that the Green Travel Plan was relatively successful in achieving these aims.
Following on from the success of the strategy, a new Environmental Sustainability Strategy for 2013-2015 will now be implemented.
Our Work On Climate ChangeNorth Norfolk District Council is working to address climate change in a number of ways:
Reducing CO2 emissions from local authority operations
We are continuously monitoring the carbon emissions from our operations including transport, buildings and contractors. In April 2010 we approved a five year Carbon Management Plan, which had been developed with the Carbon Trust on their Local Authority Carbon Management Programme. This plan identifies a number of projects and initiatives to reduce our emissions by 33% by 2014, from a 2008/9 baseline. This equates to a total reduction of 1,267 tonnes of CO2.
We have already seen a decrease in our carbon emissions from the financial year 2008-2009 to the financial year 2011-12, and plan to continue monitoring emissions. Following recent guidance from DECC on 'sharing information on greenhouse gas emissions from local authority own estate and operations (the successor to National Indicator 185)', we will also be publically reporting GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions every year. A link to download the reports for the last three financial years can be found at the bottom of this page.
Reducing CO2 emissions in the local authority area
We plan to undertake a number of community initiatives, including:
- The Council’s annual GreenBuild event, which will provide information to residents to encourage them to reduce their own carbon footprints.
- Attending several 'Energy Events' a year, hosted by Town and Parish Councils, to give advice to local residents on reducing energy use, installing domestic renewable energy, and cutting carbon emissions.
- Production and distribution of 122 'Energy Boxes', one to each Town and Parish Council in the district, to inform local residents about how to measure and reduce their energy costs.
- Support of businesses in the district to improve their resource efficiency and reduce energy costs. To date we have carried out two projects to support local businesses in this way; one run by Global Action Plan and one by RevActive.
- Running the annual John Sweeney Award for the Environment, offering prizes to local organisations who have carried out 'Green' projects in the district.
Adapting to climate change
The council is working to assess and address the risks and opportunities of a changing climate to our own service delivery and to our residents and businesses.
The Council recognises that future climate is likely to change as predicted by the UK Climate Impacts Programme in 2002 and the CRANIUM project at the UEA, as shown in the table below.
|Increased annual average temperature||virtually certain|
|Rise in annual average temperature of between 1-50c||extremely likely|
|Increase in heatwaves||extremely likely|
|Increased winter rainfall and intense rainfall events||likely|
|Sea level rise of up to +0.88m||likely|
|Drier summers, with average daily rainfall decreasing by as much as 100%||likely|
|Increase in duration of summer dry periods by up to 10 days||more likely than not|
NNDC GHG Report 2009-10
NNDC GHG Report 2010-11
NNDC GHG Report 2011-12