West Suffolk's climate change journey
West Suffolk Council is committed to promoting sustainability with our residents, communities and businesses. We are also taking action to improve our own performance where we consider that our actions have a direct impact on the local environment and community. We monitor and regularly report on our performance and you can see the latest report in our West Suffolk Council Environmental Statement 2021-22.
One of the first acts of the new Cabinet in July 2020, was to set up a taskforce to strengthen and move further forward the ground-breaking work the authority is already doing. The work of that taskforce has produced a road map of around 50 initiatives, agreed by the Cabinet, to build on the already successful work we have been leading on to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gases. Read more about our longer term initiatives and the taskforce’s findings: CAB/WS/20/045 - West Suffolk Environment and Climate Change Taskforce - Final Report
The task force looked at a range of actions and opportunities across the themes to meet the target for greenhouse gas reduction, improving air quality, environment and biodiversity. The themes and measures include:
- travel and transport – for example moving to alternative fuels, route optimisation for waste vehicles and installing more EV charging points
- use of renewables – increasing council’s investment in renewables and continuing to support businesses to install solar on their premises
- housing (including planning) - for example identify rented properties that fail Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and ensuring properties are brought up to standard as well as using the local plan process to improve the environmental performance of new homes
- green spaces and biodiversity - for example develop a West Suffolk Wide Green Infrastructure Strategy (GIS) which will include identification of opportunities for restoration, biodiversity net gain and ecosystem services. Review the maintenance regimes of grass areas owned by the council in order to increase biodiversity
- waste and recycling – continue to work to reduce waste, increase recycling and address litter.
The council also continues to work with other key organisations as part of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership to deliver a comprehensive action plan to mitigate and adapt to climate change. More information about the partnership's work is available on the Green Suffolk website.