Sustainable Elmbridge - our green ambitions
A sustainable Elmbridge is at the very heart of our decision-making
Climate change impacts us all. Whether that is a heat wave in August forcing us indoors and causing drought warnings or more wet and stormy winters leading to energy blackouts and land destruction. Elmbridge is not immune from climate change, which is why in 2019 we declared a climate emergency and pledged to become a carbon neutral council by 2030. Since then, we have been actively working to reduce our own carbon emissions and to encourage our community to do so too.
A sustainable Elmbridge is at the very heart of our decision-making. We recognise we have a long way to go but we are committed to building and executing a work programme that allows us to meet our 2030 carbon neutral pledge.
Effecting change in Elmbridge
- Our ten-year action plan to reduce carbon emissions sets out how we will become carbon neutral by 2030 and includes some key projects including solar panel installations and a shift to a fully electric council fleet. These will be supported by our Councillor led Climate Change Advisory Panel.
- Working with our partners is important and we have backed Surrey’s climate change strategy which commits Surrey to becoming net zero carbon by 2050.
- We are working to reduce emissions from transport.
- We are making a shift to an electric council fleet by 2030.
- We are installing electric vehicle (EV) charging points in our main town centre car parks. Weybridge, Cobham, and Esher’s EV chargers have been installed, with Walton-on-Thames to follow in early 2023.
- We continue to work with Surrey County Council on developing a framework to install more EV charging points across the borough.
- Our recent car park survey highlighted that 27% of respondents either owned or planned to buy a ‘plug-in’ electric vehicle in the next year, with 24% expressing that they would use EV charge points in car parks.
- We are lowering our own carbon emissions with the installation of solar panels at the Xcel Leisure Complex in Walton-on-Thames and at our Centres for the Community in Walton, Cobham, Claygate and Molesey, as well as at the Village Hall in Hersham. The Xcel solar panels were made operational in December 2022 and are projected to reduce electrical consumption at the Xcel Leisure Complex by 40%.
- A sustainable Elmbridge is fundamental to our draft Local Plan which sets out how we can connect communities through active travel methods such as walking and cycling, as well as how we can build more energy efficient homes in Elmbridge. Energy efficient home design is an active element in the creation of the Elmbridge Design Code which is currently underway in conjunction with our residents.
One community against climate change
Climate change is not a challenge we can face alone though - our residents and businesses are vital in helping us to become a more environmentally friendly borough. Working together as one community against climate change, we can take small but important steps to put the planet first and as a community leader we are here to support our community with ideas, suggestions, and collaboration.
Our residents have already been taking steps to live more sustainably and reduce their waste by signing up to Rethink Waste. Through this scheme, we are encouraging residents to take part in different waste reduction activities each week such as reducing left over food and reusing jars and containers – focusing on the small changes that make a big difference.
For our businesses we are promoting the Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) programme which provides a free business support programme in the South and East. The aim is to help businesses to become more competitive and profitable while protecting the environment and encouraging low carbon solutions.
To do this, LoCASE provides grants for businesses of up to £10,000 as well as training workshops and fully funded events. Targeted business support is on offer for companies who offer “green” or low carbon goods and services.
Fundamentally, we believe that sustainability should be at the forefront of our work, and by working together we can become a more sustainable borough and protect our community for future generations.
Read more about Sustainable Elmbridge.
Many thanks for your support.
Councillor David Young
Portfolio Holder for Climate Change