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East Cambridgeshire District Council has achieved silver accreditation of the Investors in the Environment scheme.
The council signed up to the scheme two years ago as part of its commitment to reduce the environment impact at its main head office in Ely, known as The Grange. Within a year it achieved bronze and now its hard work has paid off with a silver accreditation.
All the steps help towards the Council achieving its goal to become Carbon Net Zero council by 2036.
Measures the council has adopted to achieve the accreditation include setting up an in-house Green Team to help council staff reduce their carbon footprint and introducing a transport to work policy to encourage staff to think about sustainable travel such as cycling to work more. The council has insulated its loft, changed its light bulbs to very low energy LED, and makes sure any new appliances are low-energy rated.
The council is also undertaking an environment training programme for all councillors and staff, known as carbon literacy training, so the whole organisation understands the scale of the climate crisis, what the options are to tackle the crisis and what each individual can do in their role to help address the emergency.
To date The Grange has reduced its overall carbon footprint by a 9%, with electricity use down 24% and gas down 17%.
Business Travel has dropped 49% and paper usage is down 18%.
All of these reductions are not only good for the environment, but saves the council a significant amount of money.
Cllr Julia Huffer, chair of the Operational Services Committee and Environmental Champion at the council, said: “I am extremely proud the council has achieved Silver Accreditation of the Investors in the Environment Scheme in such a short space of time. This really marks the council’s commitment to creating a cleaner, greener East Cambridgeshire, and helps put it on the right path to becoming Carbon Net Zero by 2036.”
East Cambridgeshire District Council is now one of just four councils in the country working towards the top Green level accreditation under the scheme.