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Sustainability strategies and policies

In March 2019, Bedford Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency and has pledged to become Carbon Neutral by 2030. The first Climate Change Committee met on the 30 September 2019 to outline the target, appoint a chair and vice chair and develop a work programme. More details can be found here.

Carbon reduction strategy

As part of the Council’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030, the Carbon reduction strategy (PDF) has been developed with the departments within the Council and focuses on the Council’s carbon emissions.

The wider goal of the borough’s carbon emissions is an extensive task and the Council has released the Climate Change Fund as the first step in addressing this challenge.

Sustainable development and environmental efficiency strategy (SDEES)

The Sustainable Development and Environmental Efficiency Strategy (SDEES) (PDF) incorporates the Carbon Management Plan, Affordable Warmth Strategy, Climate Change Strategy and the Water Strategy to provide an holistic approach to environmental issues faced by the Borough. The action plan that supports this document will be reviewed on a regular basis.

Climate change strategy

The Climate Change Strategy 2012/13-2015/16 (PDF) sets out the Council’s aim of influencing and empowering residents, community groups, schools and businesses in the Borough to help them to mitigate climate change by reducing their carbon emissions and also aims to implement carbon reduction projects to reduce the carbon emissions of its own buildings.

The Council will also work to increase the resilience and capacity of the Council’s services to a changing climate and will support the residents and businesses of the Borough to adapt to climate change by helping them to prepare and increase their resilience to the possible impacts of climate change.

Climate local commitment

The Climate Local Commitments and Actions (PDF) document sets out the commitments and actions that the Council intends to carry out over the next few years to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It was designed to replace the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change (PDF), which the Council signed in 2007, and aimed to drive, inspire and support council action to a changing climate.

Bedford Borough Council's carbon management plan

The Council’s Carbon Management Plan (PDF), takes a systematic approach to reducing the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years and beyond. It examines the Council’s current emissions, projects our future emissions and importantly outlines the carbon management projects we have identified to reduce our carbon emissions.

Bedford Borough Council is committed to carbon reduction across all areas of activity. This programme set the aspirational target of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2015/16 from its baseline of 2009/10. The Council exceeded this target and achieved 43% carbon reduction in 2016/17.

Environmental policy

The Bedford Borough Council Environmental Policy (PDF) sets out the organisation’s vision for delivering sustainable services and integrating the principles of sustainable development within all of its policies and strategies.

By promoting the efficient use of resources across the organisation, this Environmental Policy will also help the Authority minimise the impact of increasing utility and commodity costs, at a time when the Council must respond to increasing financial pressures.

Affordable warmth strategy

Bedford Borough Council is committed to reducing fuel poverty and has developed an Affordable Warmth Strategy 2013-16 (PDF) and Action Plan 2015-16 (PDF) to address fuel poverty across in the Borough, improve health and well-being and increase energy conservation, reducing carbon emissions. 

It comprises initiatives, working in partnership with local community organisations, to reduce households’ energy costs and increase households’ income and raise awareness of other help which is available.

Water promise and strategy

In 2012 the Mayor Dave Hodgson signed a Water Promise in partnership with Anglian Water Business to save water and cut waste water by 20% by 2016. Following the Promise being signed, the Council worked in partnership with Anglian Water Business to produce a baseline report to identify how much water was being used at each of the Council sites, to identify where the Council was using most water and to highlight where the greatest potential for water saving was by benchmarking sites.

The report which was completed has informed the creation of the Bedford Borough Council Water Strategy 2014 - 2017 (PDF)

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