Surrey getting greener?


Following its declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, Surrey County Council has been on a mission to combat climate change and significantly slash carbon emissions. The council aims to achieve net-zero status for its own operations by 2030 and is rallying for county-wide support to hit the same target by 2050.

Organizational Emission Reductions:
In a comprehensive effort to curtail its carbon footprint, Surrey County Council has assessed key areas within its operations. Notable accomplishments include:

  • 7% of the council’s vehicle fleet is now comprised of low-carbon alternatives.
  • The council has scrutinized 83 buildings across the county to gauge their potential for low-carbon integration.
  • Over 3,300 staff members have undergone climate change awareness training, reinforcing the commitment to sustainability.
  • 83,000 low-energy streetlights have been installed throughout the county, contributing to substantial energy savings.
  • £2.8 million has been saved in the council’s annual energy bill through dedicated efforts in energy efficiency.

Empowering Residents and Businesses:
Surrey County Council has not limited its endeavors to internal initiatives but has actively engaged residents and businesses in the fight against climate change. Highlights of these collaborative efforts include:

  • Facilitating the planting of an impressive 470,000 trees, contributing to enhanced biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
  • The introduction of 31 electric buses now operational in the county, marking a significant stride in public transportation electrification.
  • Hosting 13,000 electric vehicle charging sessions across the county, promoting the transition to cleaner transportation options.
  • 88 Eco-Schools have been awarded green flag status, recognizing their commitment to sustainable practices.
  • A collective effort has resulted in saving an estimated 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
  • Addressing fuel poverty, the council has treated 1,350 homes, ensuring they are energy-efficient and economically sustainable.
  • Over £1.9 million in grants have been awarded to support small to medium-sized businesses, yielding an annual saving of £821,000 through improved energy efficiency measures.

For those eager to delve deeper into Surrey’s climate change initiatives, a wealth of information is available on the council’s dedicated climate change webpage.

Related reports:

Draft advice may lead to energy savings

Surrey schools fly their green flags

Local action to tackle global climate crisis

Image courtesy SCC

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