The challenge of climate change for councils and what they can do about it
RUAIRE GLACKIN, HEAD OF NET ZERO AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT AT UTILITY AID
Perhaps the greatest challenge of our generation is addressing the pace of climate change before it is too late. We all have a significant part to play in this and Councils are no different. The need to show leadership set examples and be a driving force in creating real and meaningful change is clear.
You’ve probably heard about net-zero. Put simply, it means that the energy we use will have no negative effect on our environment. It’s safe to say that the journey towards it will impact every aspect of our lives; the spaces we occupy, how we travel, what we eat and the products we consume.
While some of it just seems like “talk”, it is a little more. The UK must be net-zero by 2050, or sooner because that deadline is written in law.
So, where do you start? If you haven’t already, I think the first step for most organisations is to make a public pledge. Get it out there. Set something in stone. Give yourself a target that you must hit. A pledge may centre around the percentage you are going to reduce your carbon emissions by or a date by which you are going to be carbon neutral.
Of course, that’s all well and good, but it’s merely a statement. The devil, like so many things, is firmly in the detail. How exactly are you going to do it? Well, forgive the shameless self-promotion, but we can help you get there.
The first step is to calculate the current impact your Council is having on the environment. We’ve designed a unique Carbon and Energy Report that will help you understand the level of harmful emissions you are producing and where they are coming from. So, you’ll know how far you need to go to hit that pledge.
To provide just a small flavour of what you might find, I’ll use our own organisation. When we applied this approach at Utility Aid, one of the first things we noticed was that our travel accounted for 27 tonnes of carbon in 2019. That’s quite simply far too much. So, we’ve taken the decision to move our fleet to electric cars. We’ve ordered our first vehicle and will shortly be ordering 10 more. It’s one step in the right direction. As a leading supermarket likes to remind us very regularly, every little helps (other supermarkets are available).
Following the completion of your report, we work with you to review the findings and build an action plan to reduce your emissions. Most importantly, any recommendations are tailored to your organisation, so we look at your existing skillset, your annual budget and your pledge for reduction or neutrality. We want your journey to be as cost-effective as possible and avoid any unnecessary pitfalls along the way. As well as this, we will help you look for potential funding opportunities to help meet the costs.
This may feel like a lot to understand, but we’ll be with you every step of the way.
If you’d like to talk about what you need to do and how we can help, please just get in touch at or call on 0808 1788 170 or request a callback.