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Wandsworth Council has updated its climate change plan

Wandsworth’s new Environment and Sustainability Strategy (WESS) sets out how the council will continue to reduce its emissions to become carbon neutral by 2030. 

With a budget of more than £5m, the council will update its plan each year and will report on the progress made.

This means local people can see the progress made on each action and what steps will be taken next. Members of the council’s Finance, resources, and climate sustainability overview and scrutiny committee will discuss the progress of the plan later this week (February 23).

There are three main areas of work: making the council itself a carbon-neutral organisation, putting structures in place to ensure the borough as a whole can reduce emissions, and working in partnership with local people and groups to take action and raise awareness.

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In addition:

  • Work is being carried out on the council’s housing stock, including the development of a long-term retrofit plan.
  • A Sustainable Schools Framework will embed sustainability, energy efficiency, and carbon reduction throughout borough schools, with a dedicated council officer providing support. Schools’ energy use will be audited and a procurement framework developed to support measures such as buying solar panels.
  • In 2021 a greater proportion of the council’s fleet switched to electric vehicles and a dedicated group has been set up to push this work forward. For example, recently the council’s CCTV vehicles switched to electric.
  • Social value environmental principles are now embedded into council procurement processes. In addition, new contracts focused on reducing emissions include the purchasing of zero-carbon electricity and more efficient printers. Wandsworth has also been a leader including helping to develop sustainable procurement toolkits for other local authorities.
  • Climate risk and decarbonisation are now embedded in the council’s pension fund with a significant switch from fossil fuels to sustainable investments.
  • Council staff will start to receive Carbon Literacy Training during 2022/3 and guidance and advice for teams to assess climate impacts of projects will be further developed.

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