Progress updates on becoming a carbon neutral council
Horsham District Council is now hard at work to enable us to achieve our two key targets to reduce the Council's direct carbon emissions by 2030 and indirect emissions by 2050.
Your help with this will be essential as we all take a share of the responsibility for reducing our energy consumption and keeping our carbon output down.
Progress Updates 2021-2022
Click on the links below to read an update on our progress so far since this work was approved by Council in September 2020. These pages will be updated annually as our Action Plan progresses.
You can also find out how we are working towards becoming a carbon neutral district
We estimate that our emissions from transport and our fleet amounted to 1,500 tCO2e in 2019/20.
- Fleet cars/vans end of life replacement with low emission vehicles
This is being investigated together with a proposed three year replacement programme.
As an interim step we changed the fuel in our waste and recycling fleet to HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) in 2021 which will reduce carbon emissions by up to 90%.
- Trial electric refuse vehicle
Several trials are currently taking place.
- Charge points at Hop Oast required for electric vehicles
A consultant report has been received reviewing the electrification of the fleet & the infrastructure required at the Depot. More work is required once the decision on replacement refuse vehicles has been agreed.
- Driver training
All refuse fleet drivers receive eco driver training.
- Route optimisation for refuse vehicles
A review was completed in 2021 but it was found that it did not generate significant changes in emissions.
In 2019/20 our carbon emissions for electricity and gas from our operational buildings & lighting was 1,235 tCO2e
Audits of our non-residential Council buildings for retrofitting
- Audits have been completed on our non-residential to identify costed measures that will make them more energy efficient and identify where we could install renewable technology. Buildings audited include Horsham Museum, Warnham Nature Reserve (EPC rating C), Chesworth Farm depot, Park Barn (EPC D), Southwater Country Park (EPC E) and Chesworth Visitor Centre (EPC F).Measures include insulation, air source heat pumps (ASHPs), photovoltaics, and LED stage lighting. The potential carbon saving for this work are 90 tCO2e (emissions in 2019/20 were 180 tCO2e)
- Horsham Museum has already been upgraded to a more efficient energy supply and a digitally controlled heating system.
- An audit of The Capitol has also been completed looking at potential measures that include roof insulation, draught lobbies, 2 air source heat pumps, photovoltaics, ventilation with heat recovery, and LED stage lighting.
- These measures would be implemented as part of other improvements to the Capitol, with potential carbon savings of 110 tCO2e (the emissions were 200 tCO2e in 19/20).
Audits of our residential Council buildings for retrofitting
Audits have been completed for our residential houses (excluding flats)
- Measures to be installed include insulation (not external insulation), air source heat pumps & photovoltaics.
- We aim to Improve the property energy ratings from EPC C/D to EPC B (one to EPC A); with additional refurbishments
- 10 houses will be retrofitted based on their audits with potential carbon savings of 18 tCO2e (current total emissions 21tCO2e)
Audits are being commissioned for our residential flats
- So far six of the ten properties have been audited (as at January 2022)
- Measures are likely to be a mixture of insulation, lighting, Air Ssource Heat Pumps (possibly communal) and photovoltaics. Carbon savings & costs/savings to be confirmed
We estimate that we will need to offset approximately 400 tCO2e through our Parks & Countryside sites to help meet our 2030 target of net zero emissions.
- Tree management
A draft consultant report was received in 2021 on developing a tree management plan to determine opportunities for new planting and dealing with issues such as Ash Dieback. The plan will link to offsetting with an agreed approach to new tree planting.
We will be working with a consultant in 2022 to produce an offsetting strategy and develop a methodolgy for the Council to offset to offset emissions to help achieve the carbon neutral target. This links to the work on creating a Nature Recovery Network.
- Land Use Map
We are reviewing and mapping the Council’s land use to pull together a strategy to increase the take up of, and storage of, carbon emissions using nature sources. A map showing the offsetting opportunities has been produced which will be used to identify opportunities for restored/new habitats that will also sequest carbon.
Planting trees, restoring heathlands and wetland, as well as improving soils, all lock in carbon. This is one form of ‘carbon sequestration’ and a way to offset the carbon emitted by Council activities.
We have increased the biodiversity of our parks and green space areas and now manage several designated Local Wildlife Sites. Chesworth Farm was classified as a Local Wildlife Site in 2021.
We are looking at all our contracts with external companies, such those for our leisure centres and grounds maintenance, to consider environmental standards that all providers should adhere to.
Procurement (scope 3): We estimate that 4,175 tCO2e was emitted in 2019/20
- A new Sustainable Procurement Charter to drive down carbon emissions in the supply chain was approved by Cabinet in July 2021. This will reinforce that any contracts we agree will incorporate actions to reduce carbon emissions - for example our Grounds Maintenance contract. Large contracts will be required to provide an annual report on their carbon reduction work.
- We will produce a template and guidance for suppliers on collating energy data for the council. We currently use a proxy indicator to measure carbon emissions from the supply chain but more accurate data is needed. NB: many large companies have to report their carbon data to Government. This will be used as the basis for obtaining this information from suppliers.
- The Council's climate pages are constantly updated and under regular review.
- A new Climate Action Blog was set up in 2021 to share the latest Council and community news.
- A regular e-newsletter was established in 2021 for staff, members / parishes and public subscribers. Sign up here.
- Local activities and news updates were promoted as part of the national Great Big Green Week 2021 during COP26. A Climate Change Action Week also took place for Horsham District Council staff.
- Staff Training
Online carbon literacy /energy reduction training is now available which all Council staff are encouraged to complete.
- Green Commuting staff incentives
We are developing green commuting offers for staff to travel in a more environmentally friendly way. Mileage is already reduced due to hybrid working, with an estimated saving of 150 tCO2e with 50:50 working.
- Sustainable Business Travel
An analysis of business travel by Council staff is currently being undertaken (early 2022). We have already seen a 50% reduction during 20/21.
Stay up to date
1. Sign up for our Climate Action Newsletter
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2. Look out for our Climate Action Blog
Check out our Climate Action blog posts on our website for regular updates, information and advice.