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.  

In July 2019, we reaffirmed our commitment on this issue by unanimously declaring a Climate Change and Environmental Emergency. Here’s how we are tackling the climate crisis and what its plans are for the near future. 

Our operations

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. 

Our plans 

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.  

Since our declaration 

We’ve moved all council sites over to 100% renewable electricity. We’ve upgraded several vehicles in our fleet to electric equivalents and have three new electric bin lorries on order.  

We are now running nearly all our remaining diesel engines on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), reducing their carbon emissions by up to 90% as we complete our transition to electric and other zero carbon powered vehicles. We’ve also replaced the petrol driven hand tools used by our Streetscene team over to battery powered versions. 

Sustainable development

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: 

  • Create developments with sustainable infrastructure 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 

Our plans 

Over the coming years 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. 

Since our declaration 

We’ve recently carried out a consultation of a new Trees and Development Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which sets out a robust policy on the protection of existing trees and planting of new trees for new developments. We’ve secured the future of a 25,600 panel solar farm at Horton Heath and the development itself will be at the forefront of sustainable development, with no reliance on fossil fuels, solar panels on every home, enhanced wildlife habitats and more. 

Protecting wildlife

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. 

Our plans 

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. 

Since our declaration 

We’ve pledged to plant 160,000 more trees in the Borough by 2030. To achieve this, we’ve set up a new tree nursery in the Borough. We’ve also increased the number of wildflower planting areas. 

Find out how you can help protect wildlife.

Sustainable transport

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.  

Our plans 

We are developing a new Sustainable Transport Strategy and looking to install more public electric vehicle charging points. 

Since our declaration 

We’re installing electric vehicle charging points which will soon be ready to use across four public carparks. We’ve also partnered with Southampton City Council on an electric cargo bike hire scheme for local organisations and businesses. 

Find out how you can travel more sustainably.

Waste management

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 one of the only local authorities in Hampshire to collect and recycle food waste, batteries and glass. It also collects garden waste, which is recycled into a soil conditioner.  

Our plans 

Building on the success of our food waste recycling scheme, we will be investigating building an anaerobic digestion facility - 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. 

Since our declaration 

We’ve increased the frequency of battery and glass recycling to fortnightly collections and started rolling out our food waste recycling service to flats. 

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.  

Our plans 

We aim to support communities and businesses across the Borough to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. We have plans to engage residents and businesses in the Climate Emergency, and launch a local carbon offsetting programme.  

Since our declaration 

We’ve held Eastleigh Climate Champions events to involve residents in our plans. We’ve also supported the roll out of green energy installation projects such as Green Homes Grants and Solar Together and run several communications campaigns, including encouraging cycling, avoiding wood burning and reducing waste. 

If you’d like to know more, you can read our climate change and environment strategy and action plan

Find out how you can make a difference