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Ipswich council maps out measures in 10-year plan to be carbon neutral

PUBLISHED: 07:30 07 November 2020 | UPDATED: 09:26 07 November 2020

Ipswich Borough Council has mapped out a 10-year carbon strategy to build on work such as new electric fleet vehicles to replace diesel cars. Picture: IBC

Ipswich Borough Council has mapped out a 10-year carbon strategy to build on work such as new electric fleet vehicles to replace diesel cars. Picture: IBC

IBC

A 10-year plan has been mapped out for Ipswich Borough Council to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Phil Smart, portfolio holder for the environment at Ipswich Borough Council, said the carbon strategy would be a starting point for measures.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDPhil Smart, portfolio holder for the environment at Ipswich Borough Council, said the carbon strategy would be a starting point for measures. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The authority declared a climate emergency in July last year in which it pledged to have a net-zero carbon impact by the start of the next decade.

A plan for achieving that goal was published for the authority’s executive on Tuesday night, with a host of measures including:

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• Improved insulation at all council buildings

• Installing lighting sensors in all council buildings

Ipswich Borough Council has committed to planting two trees for everyone one that must be removed. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTOIpswich Borough Council has committed to planting two trees for everyone one that must be removed. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

• Replacing the vehicle fleet with electric or low emission alternatives – including refuse trucks from 2023

• Forming a staff environmental group to develop continuing improvements

• Mapping out areas for additional tree planting across the borough

• Investigate establishing a solar farm on an under-used piece of council land

Imrpovements to council buildings such as Grafton House are being made. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNImrpovements to council buildings such as Grafton House are being made. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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• Using suppliers and contractors with carbon neutrality aims

Portfolio holder for the environment Phil Smart said: “The council has been making progress in this area since 2008, so it is not something that is new.

“Most of that is low hanging fruit because of the de-carbonisation and the gradual cleaning of the grid, the source of electricity, so there is a lot more we have got to do ourselves besides some of the things we have already done.

“The council’s 2020-2030 climate change strategy and action plan acts as a starting point for the development of an ongoing climate change strategy for Ipswich Borough Council.

“The focus is on the council’s proposed approach to tackling climate change – this is a vital strategic task which will ensure the council has a robust plan for reducing emissions on the council’s own land, buildings, fleet and assets while also taking the role of enabling the wider borough to achieve net-zero emissions through demonstrating leadership in this area.”

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Measures to date have included £12million investment in council home improvements such as loft insulation and condensing boilers, solar panels on its buildings, a £6m investment in electric vehicles for its fleet, and planting two trees for every one taken down to increase tree numbers year on year.

The council’s report said it had reduced carbon emissions by 25% since 2014/15, and 46% since 2008.

It added that it also needs a culture change to become “carbon neutral by design” so that it is a key consideration from the outset for any future policies or new builds.

It is understood the plan will be adapted regularly to help the council meet its pledge.


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