Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Carbon emissions to be cut by 50 per cent thanks to West Sussex ‘sustainability’ strategy

A PLEDGE to halve West Sussex County Council’s carbon emissions by 2025 has been announced by the authority.

The Council has drawn up a list of new goals to improve ‘sustainability’ throughout the organisation, with an eye on reducing the carbon and waste it produces and driving down costs.

The new strategy, entitled ‘Building a Sustainable Future’, aims to accelerate the progress already made towards protecting the county’s environment, which saw over 10 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions reduced from the Council’s properties last year. This equated to £145,000 in savings.

Emissions produced by the County Council will be cut by 50 per cent and this will be achieved by introducing new carbon budgets. All services will have a responsibility for managing their carbon from travel, purchasing of goods and services and the way buildings are used, similar to the way they manage their finances.

West Sussex is one of the first councils in the UK to take this innovative approach and it is expected to reap financial benefits in years to come.

Also included in the strategy are:

•          Targets for re-using or recycling 70 per cent of all the Council’s highway construction waste, increasing this to 80 per cent by 2015.

•          Assessments of every council service for threats posed by severe weather, and by 2014 a new flood risk strategy is to be drawn up for the county.

•          A ‘Trees for Shade’ Scheme, offered to local schools, council parks, gardens and communities so they can plant new trees, is already underway, with funding from Southern Water.

•          Across all its buildings the Council is examining ways of managing water consumption and reducing its use of paper.

Lionel Barnard, Deputy Leader of West Sussex County Council, said:  “By getting our own house in order today we can benefit our residents, our economy and our environment tomorrow.

“We need to move beyond ‘sustainability’ being considered as a separate issue by a few key people, to ‘sustainability’ being central to the way everybody works.”