News release from 27/06/2022

South Cambridgeshire District Council is a finalist in prestigious climate award

South Cambridgeshire District Council is a finalist in prestigious climate award

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s work to tackle climate change locally has been highlighted at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The Council, who submitted details of work on their Green to our Core programme, was shortlisted for a Municipal Journal (MJ) Achievement Award in the Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency category.

The Council was represented at the MJ Awards ceremony on Friday 24 June, running alongside Cheshire West and Chester Council, Essex County Council, Manchester City Council, London Borough of Enfield and London Borough of Waltham Forest and Wokingham Borough Council. London Borough of Enfield and London Borough Waltham Forest, supported by London Councils won the award with Wokingham Borough Council receiving highly commended.

The MJ Achievement awards ceremony is a significant annual event within the public sector. It is an opportunity for local councils across the country and their staff to be recognised for their achievements and delivery of their services over the last year.

The Council’s climate emergency response not only shapes how the Council manages their estate and operations, but also influences wider changes across the district. The Council’s entry showed their clear plan for reducing emissions and reaching net-zero through their Green to Our Core programme. Included in this were:

  • Adopting the Zero Carbon Strategy in May 2020, which sets out the approach to cutting the Council’s CO2 emissions and supporting the district to reach net zero by, or before, 2050.
  • Changing their approach to developing a new Greater Cambridge Local Plan, putting climate and biodiversity at the forefront whilst ensuring that future residents will experience place and wellbeing benefits from this. The preferred development strategy set out in the Plan’s First Proposals will require all new homes and non-residential buildings to be Net Zero for the energy used and located and designed to promote sustainable travel.
  • Changing the contract regulations section of their Constitution so that Council contracts exceeding a value of £5,000 must monitor their carbon emissions and submit their plans to achieve net zero emissions for their own organisation and in their supply chain.
  • Becoming one of the first councils in the UK to adopt a fully electric bin lorry, with the intention of replacing the entire waste collection fleet with electric vehicles or alternative fuels.
  • Awarding £314,415 to 51 projects through the Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme over three rounds of funding.
  • Reducing carbon emissions from business mileage, by upgrading IT systems to enable colleagues to work flexibly and remotely from the location which suited them.

Cllr Pippa Heylings, Chair of Climate Change and Environment Advisory Committee said: “We are thrilled to have been finalists for this award, especially as we are a relatively small council compared to the other councils shortlisted. This recognises how dedicated we are to responding to the climate emergency through our Green to our Core programme and working towards a greener future for our residents. This recognition shows that we are on the right track to help make a difference to climate change locally.”

Find out more about what the Council is doing to tackle climate change locally.