What the Council is doing
Our approach to tackling the climate and environmental crisis
The Borough Council has a long history of tackling climate change and was awarded Beacon Status for its efforts back in 2008.
Over the last decade the Council has installed thousands of kWh of renewable energy (generating over 300kWh per year), supported residents and community groups to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, lobbied Government and worked with partners to improve the resilience of the Borough.
In July 2019, the Council reaffirmed its commitment on this issue by unanimously declaring a Climate Change and Environmental Emergency. Here’s how it is tackling the climate crisis and what its plans are for the near future.
The Council’s operational emissions have reduced by over 35% since 2008. This has been achieved through a mixture of making our buildings more energy efficient, waste management, expansion of renewable energy and improving the efficiency of our fleet of vehicles.
We have committed make the Council’s operation carbon neutral by 2025. To achieve this we are looking at everything we do through the lens of the climate crisis, from procurement to staff training. That includes further improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, transitioning our vehicles over to electric or Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) and switching our energy supply to ‘green’ suppliers.
Sustainability (and therefore climate change) underpins all planning decisions taken by the Council. Below are a few of the key examples of considerations through the development management process that ensure the impact of a development on the environment is minimal:
- Location of development in sustainable locations to reduce car usage
- Developments are connected to and accessible by cycling and pedestrian links
- Energy efficient layouts and design
- Retention of natural features wherever possible
- Delivery of green infrastructure, such as sustainable drainage, hedgerows and footpaths
- Policies supporting renewable energy and low carbon developments
Over the next year the Council will develop a new suite of supplementary planning documents relating to biodiversity and environment net gain, efficiency of development sites, climate adaptation and strengthening the Council’s position on tree replacement planting - including numbers, species and size of trees.
The existing Biodiversity Action plan identified nearly 600 priority species in the Borough, with over 1400 acres of priority habitats, covering 143 sites. Alongside its Country Park sites, the Council also looks after a wide range of habitats including woodlands, wildflower area and waterways.
We’re introducing more wildflower planting across the Borough and more areas will be left with ‘minimal maintenance’ to support insect populations. New strategies will be developed to protect and replace trees, and protect and monitor biodiversity. We are also planning to develop proposals for a large scale habitat creation project.
Find out how you can help protect wildlife.
We do lots to support our public transport network in the Borough. As well as providing funding for bus services, community transport and medical transport, we work in partnership with local highway authorities, Southampton City Council and Hampshire Country Council to deliver new infrastructure, such as cycle lanes.
We also work with partners to deliver projects that promote cycling, walking and public transport use, including My Journey, the Bike It project (working local schools to promote cycling) and helping businesses with travel planning.
We are developing a new Sustainable Transport Strategy and looking to install more public electric vehicle charging points.
Find out how you can travel more sustainably.
Eastleigh is the collection authority for waste, much of what can and can’t be recycled is decided by the disposal authority - Hampshire County Council.
However, Eastleigh Borough Council is the only local authority in Hampshire to collect and recycle food waste, batteries and glass. It also collects garden waste, which is recycled into a soil conditioner.
Building on the success of our food waste recycling scheme, we will be investigating building an anaerobic digestion facility within the Borough – reducing the mileage on transporting food waste and providing a hub within Hampshire to facilitating further uptake of the service across the county. We are also looking at providing the service to businesses in the Borough.
Find out how you can avoid waste.
Working with residents and the community
Over the last few years the Council has supported hundreds of residents with energy efficiency schemes at home, provided grants for community buildings to become more efficient.
We aim to support communities and businesses across the Borough to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. We have plans to pilot a green reward scheme (in partnership with Southern Water), engage residents and businesses in the Climate Emergency, and launch a local carbon offsetting programme.
Find out how you can make a difference.