Epsom and Ewell Borough Council's approach to tackling Climate Change?
On the 23 July 2019 the Council committed to tackling Climate Change and addressing carbon emissions. A Climate Change Action Plan was developed in 2020, setting an ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2035 and includes implementing a range of measures to help reduce the Council's own emissions as well as promoting good practice throughout the Borough. The plan is intended as a living document which will be reviewed and updated over time. A cross party Members Climate Change Working Group and an Officer Action Group have been set up to support and oversee delivery of the action plan.
Annual progress updates on delivery of the Climate Change Action Plan:
Our Carbon Footprint
The carbon footprint for the Council's operations (Scope 1 & 2) were baselined for the period 2019/20 and have since been calculated on an annual basis.
Emissions are predominantly from gas and electricity consumption in Council owned and operated buildings, and the Council fleet.
Annual Council operational carbon footprint figures:
2021/22: 1,249tCO2e (tonnes of CO2 equivalent)
Indirect emissions from Council activity are categorised as Scope 3 emissions. This can include emissions from purchased goods and services, business travel, employee commuting, waste disposal, water consumption and leased assets. Whilst Scope 3 emissions are generally more difficult to account for the Council is working to address its Scope 3 emissions through our Climate Change Action Plan.
Working together for a greener future
Whilst the Council is committed to making its own operations carbon neutral, we recognise that only a small proportion (less than one percent) of the Borough's emissions are within our direct control. Achieving a carbon neutral Epsom & Ewell will only be possible by working with our neighbouring authorities, local residents and businesses.
Surrey County Council Climate Change Strategy
Surrey's Climate Change Strategy supports the shared ambition of Surrey's 12 local authorities for Surrey's residents to live in a clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities and sets out the collective approach to do our part to tackle climate change.
Visit Surrey County Council's Greener Futures website for more information on action being taken across the County and ways you can get involved.
Collaborative Working Groups
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council are an active member of County wide collaborative groups specifically working to address climate change including the Borough & District Climate Change Officers Group, Greener Futures Partnership Board, Surrey Electric Vehicle Forum and Surrey Energy Partnership.
What can you do at home?
As individuals there are a number of practical steps you can take to implement a positive impact on your own emissions including:
- Power down your energy use - switch off appliances and lights when not in use; insulate your home; buy the most efficient products; turn your heating down a degree or two; install solar panels on your roof; switch to a zero-carbon or renewable energy provider.
- Transform your transport - leave your car at home and walk or cycle whenever possible; choose public transport, preferably electric options; offer to carpool; buy an electric car; reduce the number of long-haul flights you take.
- Tweak your diet - aim to eat less meat and diary (which are known to have a higher environmental impact).
- Shop local and buy sustainable - buy local and seasonal foods; try growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs.
- Don't waste food - only buy what you need; measure portion sizes before cooking them; store correctly (use your freezer); be creative with leftovers; contribute to a local food-sharing scheme; make compost.
- Dress (climate) smart - buy fewer new clothes and wear them longer; seek out sustainable labels and use rental services for special occasions; recycle pre-loved clothes and repair when necessary.
- Focus on planet friendly investments.
- Respect and protect green spaces; plant a tree in your garden.
- Talk about the changes you make - conversations are a great way to spread big ideas; share your experiences with your family, friends, customers and clients; talk positively, and be honest about the ups and downs.