Action on climate change

Action on climate change

Worcestershire County Council declared a climate emergency in July 2021.

The council has set a target to be carbon neutral by 2050 and is working in partnership to achieve the Worcestershire LEP Energy Strategy aim of halving the county’s carbon emissions by 2030.

The County Council has a long history of action on climate change and is not acting alone – many organisations across the county, the UK and beyond are taking action too. 

The council has cut its own absolute carbon emissions by 4% and reduced its net carbon emissions by 45% since 2009/10. Countywide carbon emissions have fallen by 36% since 2005.

The Council’s Net Zero Carbon plan is the latest and most ambitious in a series of carbon management plans implemented by the Council over the last 20 years.

Climate action timeline

Download the climate action timeline

2022

The Council recorded a net GHG emissions reduction of 47% since 2009/10 from its operations and activities.

Zero Carbon Ready Worcestershire pilot programme funded by the Community Renewal Fund (CRF) aimed at supporting organisations across the county to decarbonise and save money. Included a web-based decarbonisation portal for businesses to allow collation and analysis of their emissions. Total CRF investment of over £342,000 which also included decarbonisation surveys, telephone advice, smart meter grants and grants for energy efficiency, and training for individuals working on domestic retrofit.

Completed Salix-funded projects on Council estate 34 discreet energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across 25 WCC sites. Expected annual savings of c.£55,000 and 167 tonnes/CO2e

Continued delivery of European-funded advice programmes including renewable energy advice, low carbon innovation and grant programmes for businesses through the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) and Low Carbon Opportunities Programme (LoCOP). The second phase of BEEP has supported 538 businesses and awarded £1.87million in grants with expected carbon savings of 3087 tonnes. The second phase of LoCOP has supported 116 businesses and awarded just over £1million in grants up to the end of 2022 which is expected to save 995 tonnes of carbon.

Ongoing delivery of the Natural Networks Programme offering grants and advice to projects which aim to create or restore wildlife-rich habitats in Worcestershire. Just over £649,000 has been awarded in grants up to the end of 2022.

Ongoing delivery of Public Sector Energy Efficiency Programme (PEEP) which provides capital grant funding to support public-sector organisations in Worcestershire to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and invest in renewable energy technologies. Just over £300,000 has been awarded in grants up to the end of 2022 with estimated carbon savings of 235 tonnes.

2021

Secured c. £885,000 of grant funding through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to fund a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the Council’s estate.

Highly Commended at the Regional Energy Efficiency Awards.

WCC declared a Climate Emergency.

County carbon emissions reduced 34% from 2005 levels.

The Council recorded a 42% reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions since 2009 to 2010.

2020

Continued investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy across the Council’s portfolio.

Launched the Public Sector Energy Efficiency Programme (PEEP) which offers energy efficiency and renewable energy assessments and associated grant funding to Worcestershire Public Sector organisations.

Publication of the Council’s first Net Zero Carbon Plan. 

Began purchasing 100% renewable electricity for council run property and street lighting.

The Council recorded a 40% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions since 2009/10.

2019

As part of Worcestershire LEP, launched Worcestershire LEP Energy Strategy setting a target to halve the county’s carbon emissions by 2030 (from 2005 levels).

Running the Warm Homes Fund project for first time gas central heating for fuel poor households.

Won Council of the Year at the Regional Energy Efficiency Awards.

Electric pool bikes introduced for staff to use at County Hall.

Set a target for WCC to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The Council recorded a 36% reduction in its own Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions since 2009/10.

2018

Single-use plastic packaging removed from all food and drink made on County Hall campus, replacing the packaging with compostable plant based products.

Natural Networks Programme4 launched – biodiversity advice and grant programme for Worcestershire organisations.

Let’s Waste Less5 volunteer programme launched to support residents to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Won Council of the Year at the Regional Energy Efficiency Awards and Third place in the National Energy Efficiency Awards.

Natural Networks Programme

2017

Completed ‘Boilers on Prescription’ project which upgraded heating systems in 70 Worcestershire households where a resident has a long-term health condition that could be made worse by living in a cold home.

Won Vulnerable Customer Support Campaign for this project in the Regional Energy Efficiency Awards.

2016

Two electric pool cars and one electric courier van introduced to WCC fleet.

New phase of business energy advice programmes launched, including renewable energy advice, low carbon innovation, and grant programmes (Business Energy Efficiency Programme – BEEP2; and Low Carbon Opportunities Programme – LoCOP3).

Business support and grants

2015

Habberley Learning Campus - a sustainable development (both new build and refurbishment) to create a shared learning environment for three Kidderminster Schools. Built to low energy principles using high insulation and airtightness values, and utilised PassivHaus approaches.

Worked alongside the Energy Saving Trust to support renewable installers with accreditations and training.

The Council received £3million funding to offer grants to private households towards the cost of solid wall insulation for around 750 homes under the Green Deal Communities fund.

2014

Programme to convert street lights to LED, and part-night switch off programme commenced.

Installed 12 rapid electric vehicle charge points around County following successful Government funding bid.

2013

Resource Efficient Worcestershire Business energy efficiency advice and grant support programme launched.

2012

The Hive, Worcester1 – multi award winning public and University library opened by HM The Queen.

The building hosts a number of sustainable design features, including river water cooling; biomass heating; and natural ventilation.

Utilised UK Climate Projections in the design of the building to increase preparedness for future climate and more extreme weather events.

The Hive - Sustainability

2011

First solar PV installation through the Council’s Energy Efficiency Spend to Save Fund.

To date we have installed 750 kW of renewable solar energy on our buildings, including schools, most of which has been funded through the Spend to Save programme. This has resulted in a financial benefit of just under £0.5 million over the last 6 years.

2010

WCC Energy Efficiency Spend to Save programme commenced to invest in energy efficiency measures across the Council’s property portfolio.

2009

Beacon Council Award for Tackling Climate Change for action on both mitigation (reducing emissions) and adaptation to climate change.

LSP Green Flag Award for partnership working on climate change.

2007

Red Hill Primary School, Worcester – First school in the UK designed to take account of climate change projections.

2006

Won National Green Apple Award for “Mission Impossible” Waste Action Pack.

2004

‘Choose How You Move’ 5-year programme launched with the aim of reducing congestion and car dependency, alongside the added benefits of improved. health and fitness.

2002

County Council’s First Carbon Management Plan launched.

Countywide Climate Change Strategy launched - one of first in the UK.

2001

Installed largest Public Sector wood fuel biomass boiler in Europe at County Hall.

2000

WCC develops the Council’s first Sustainability Strategy.

1997

Established Learning for Sustainability Programme to support schools around education for sustainable development, and support for Worcestershire Schools working towards the international Eco Schools Awards.

1996

WCC biomass heating programme commenced.

1995

Local Agenda 21 Action Plans produced – one of the first in the Country.

1993

Opened Bishops Wood Environmental Education Centre - Cutting edge sustainable design that paved the way for future sustainable design of WCC buildings.

Early 1980s

Building Energy Management System (BEMS) installation commenced across Council buildings.

WCC schools with BEMS used 25% less energy than those without.

Net Zero Carbon Plan

In 2019 the Council agreed to work towards the national target set by Central Government aiming to reduce the Council’s GHG emissions to as near to zero (net zero) as possible by 2050.  The Council’s first Net Zero Carbon Plan was approved in 2020 and sets out how the Council aims to reach this target.

The Council's Net Zero Carbon Plan is currently under review.

Under our Sustainability Policy and climate emergency declaration, we will reduce Greenhouse Gas (CO2e) emissions from Council operations and activities and put actions in place to ensure our buildings and services are resilient to a changing climate, and support businesses and residents in Worcestershire to do the same.

We understand that the County Council has a large part to play in reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) and since 2009/10 we have reduced GHG emissions by 47%.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions reports

We understand that the County Council has a large part to play in reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) and since 2009/10 we have reduced GHG emissions by 45%.

You can find the latest GHG emissions report below.

Worcestershire County Council Greenhouse gas Emissions Report 2022 to 2023 (PDF)

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