As a major employer and provider of services the Council uses a lot of the Earths natural resources.
We understand our role within the community to ensure that future generations are not adversely affected by our actions. That being the case the Council is making every effort to put its own house in order and, in leading by example, encourage businesses and individuals to do the same. As a community we need to protect what we have today for the children of tomorrow.
Over many years the Council has reduced its impact on the environment and tackled environmental threats that face those that live, work and play within the district. The Council is constantly working to improve its understanding of what resources it uses and where reductions can be made or more sustainable options adopted.
This section sets out some of ways in which the Council is working to reduce its environmental impact.
The Council was one of the first Districts in the Country to sign up to the Carbon Management Programme run by the Carbon Trust. This resulted in a Carbon Management Action Plan for 2007 /2012 being adopted by the Council in 2007. We now have a new Energy and Carbon Reduction Plan, approved by the Carbon Trust, to take us from 2012 / 2017.
The new plan gives a target of 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2017 from the 2010 - 2011 level. The plan has been approved by the Council, and many of the projects are underway. The plan can be viewed in the downloads on the right of the page.
We also publish our annual Carbon Footprint figures, available to view in the downloads on the right.
What we dispose of as an organisation......
During the Spring of 2008, the individual office waste bins were removed and replaced with centralised recycling points at key areas around the Forde House Offices and Old Forde House.
Approximately 70% of the waste from the Forde House campus is now either recycled or composted against only 7.5%* of office waste generally.
The Council also recycles large items of surplus or broken office equipment such as desks, cabinets etc. These items are now collected by a specialist firm that dismantles them.
All this means that not only have we reduced our carbon emissions from the offices by 10 tonnes per year, we are also saving over £1,500 on disposal and transport costs whilst generating income from the sale of recyclable materials.
* Source: Envirowise article for the Guardian Feb 2008 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/feb/21/waste.recycling
What water we use.....
In July 2007 the Council engaged an external water management specialist in a 3 year project to assist it in reducing its water consumption. For the period of this arrangement up until the end of March 2009 the Council's water consumption fell by 27% or 21,000 litres of water. That's enough to provide 2100* people with their daily needs (drinking, washing and cooking).
* Source: Wateraid International
What we buy and who we buy from .....
In December 2007 the Council published its 3 year Procurement Strategy in which it recognised its responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of the products and services that it purchased and made a commitment to work with suppliers and partners to do just that.
The Strategy is shortly to be updated to include improved guidance on sustainable purchasing to those responsible for buying goods and services.