City of Lincoln Council’s Policy Scrutiny Committee will review the authority’s Environmental Policy later this month.
At Policy Scrutiny Committee on 24 August, members will review its goals set to protect and improve the environment, outlining commitments made by the council as part of its Vision 2025 priorities.
In January 2020, the council’s Executive approved a Lincoln Zero Carbon report, recommending that the council adopted an Environment Policy.
This follows a Full Council decision made in July 2019, which saw the council declare a climate and environmental emergency, which highlighted a commitment from the council to take action to deliver carbon reductions to reduce its own carbon emissions and work with the Lincoln Climate Commission to reduce Lincoln’s citywide carbon emissions.
An initial Environmental Policy was published in March 2020, which has now been amended to further demonstrate the council’s commitment to deliver the actions outlined in the Climate and
Environmental Emergency Declaration as well as its commitment to be a single use plastic free council.
These actions include:
- Work with partners on a city-wide programme to make Lincoln a zero-carbon city and reduce our own emissions of greenhouse gas
- We have developed a Lincoln Roadmap to Zero Carbon Lincoln
- We have carried out a community survey on Climate Action
- We are organising workshops and events in September – November to consult on Climate Action in the city
- We will produce ‘Lincoln 2030 A Climate Action Plan by the end of 2021
- Anticipate the effects of climate change and adapt our services to protect the city
- We are preparing a Local Climate Impacts Profile due to be published in October 2021
- Protect and, where possible, enhance the quality, extent and accessibility of Lincoln’s open space, trees and natural environment for people and wildlife.
- We are delivering a range of rewilding schemes across the city and have 48 Local Wildlife Sites and 2 green flag awards
- Contribute to the creation of a sustainable, built environment through Central Lincolnshire Local Plan Policies and its implementation of adopted Local Plan Policy through the Council as the local Planning Authority
- We have worked with our neighbouring Local Authorities in Central Lincolnshire to develop ambitious Local Plan policies, currently out for consultation
- Wherever possible take steps to improve the environmental performance of residential and commercial, Council owned properties
- We have refreshed our Environmental Management System and since our new 18/19 baseline year have achieved a 24% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and aim to be carbon neutral by 2030
- Encourage and adopt the appropriate generation and use of renewables and low carbon energy
- We have a range of solar PV arrays on various council buildings delivering 470 Megawatts hours of electricity
Last year, the council established an environmental management system (EMS), which was independently accredited in September 2020 by Investors in the Environment and achieved a silver award.
The EMS is a systematic approach that enables organisations to work towards achieving environmental improvements over the short, medium and long term. An Environmental Policy is a minimum requirement to achieve accreditation for any EMS and should be reviewed on an annual or biennial basis.
This year’s review highlighted:
- We have made considerable progress to reduce our Environmental impact since the policy was adopted in March 2020
- We need to ensure that our contracts to supply goods and deliver council services will contribute to Lincoln’s net zero carbon target
Cllr Bob Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Addressing the Challenge of Climate Change, said: “As a local authority, it is our job to lead by example, supporting, enabling and empowering the local community to implement ways to reduce their own impact on the environment.
“In updating our Environmental Policy internally and demonstrating our commitment to delivering actions outlined in the Climate and Environmental Emergency Declaration, we can contribute to the climate change agenda.”