District Council delivering its targets to become carbon neutral

Posted on: Thursday, September 16, 2021

From planting trees to improving the infrastructure to support electric vehicles and carbon neutral forms of transport, Newark and Sherwood District Council is implementing a number of exciting new initiatives to meet its target of being carbon neutral by 2035.

This will mean reducing carbon emissions by 2,165 tCO2e, or, the equivalent of an average family diesel car driving 12.99 million miles!*

As part of its action plan the District Council has begun deploying electric vehicles within its fleet of vehicles. To support residents, eight new Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points are being installed in public car parks across Newark and Southwell. This number will nearly double by the end of autumn 2021, with a target of 15 for the district.

The new Residential Cycle and Car Parking Standards and Design Guide was approved earlier this year to implement new strategies to encourage people to cycle more for short distance trips to improve the health and wellbeing of residents, improve air quality, and reduce fuel emissions and release road capacity for those using cars for longer journeys.

Looking beyond transport, the District Council is looking at ways to improve the efficiency of its own buildings. For example, leisure centres, while absolutely vital for our health and wellbeing, are the main contributors to the Council’s carbon footprint, given their higher energy needs. Adding photovoltaic cells to council buildings is one option being explored. This would add to the current solar PV installation at Castle House.

As part of its Community Plan and Climate Emergency Strategy the District Council has committed to planting 10,000 trees by 2023. During the 2020/2021 planting season 5,997 trees were planted in total, with more than 2,500 of these trees were given away to residents or parish/community groups. Of these, 3,355 trees have been planted in five locations across Newark, including eight trees at Chuter Ede School as part of the Christmas tree recycling scheme.

Using the Woodland Trust’s checklist, Newark and Sherwood District Council is able to commit to ensuring that the right tree is planted in the right place. This along with the England Tree Strategy, which is due for release soon, is helping to develop, plan and inform the Council’s Emergency Tree Plan.

The District Council has already been allocated £724,850 of grant funding to deliver fuel poverty schemes. This includes a project to enable cost savings for householders, allow carbon reduction, create green jobs and ultimately improve the quality of homes by increasing the EPC ratings of properties.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We are committed and determined to put in place meaningful projects and targets that prove our commitment and deliver visible steps towards carbon neutrality.

“Importantly, while we can make the Council’s buildings and services carbon neutral and efficient, we also need to work with residents and businesses so we can do the same for the whole district.”

To achieve the targets, and to ensure ongoing transparency, the Council will be recording its carbon footprint on an annual basis so that progress can be measured and monitored.

*This figure is derived from the NSDC Climate Emergency strategy published September 2020, ‘One tonne of CO2e (tCO2e) is the equivalent to the average emissions of one passenger on a return-flight from Paris to New York or driving 6000 km in a diesel car.’

Find out more about the progress from Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council: