Preston City Council has achieved the Carbon Neutral International Standard, granted by One Carbon World, for its work on measuring and reducing its carbon emissions.
The authority has also officially become a participant in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCC) Climate Neutral Now Initiative, formalising its commitment to climate action and a net zero world by mid-century.
The recognition comes following the work the council has undertaken over the past ten years to reduce its emissions and its aspirations moving forward to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Commenting, Preston City Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Councillor Carol Henshaw said:
"We are proud to have achieved this recognition from One Carbon World for our work to reduce carbon emissions and make the services we provide greener.
“In 2019, we declared a climate emergency, and since then, we have been working hard to look at the services we provide and the energy we use.
“As an organisation, we have always been mindful of the changes happening to the climate and the role we can all play, so we have been striving to make our operations more ecologically friendly for a long time.
“I am very proud of the work everyone has done and the progress we've made, despite the pandemic and the delays this has inevitably caused.
“By making changes internally, we hope to inspire other businesses and organisations in the city to look at how they do things and see where they can cut their emissions to improve our carbon footprint as a city.
“We are working hard to make Preston City Council a carbon neutral organisation by 2030, and while there's a long way to go, this recognition is a positive step along that journey."
Over the past ten years, the council has taken steps to reduce its carbon emissions, including the installation of solar panels on the roof of Preston Town Hall, switching to LED lighting in council buildings, as well as installing more energy-efficient windows.
They are also undertaking projects to upgrade ICT equipment to greener alternatives and looking at how to make street cleaning and maintenance vehicles that the council operates more energy efficient.
Climate change also forms a key part of the renewed strategy for Community Wealth Building, which was launched by the authority earlier this year.
Part of the strategy is a commitment to drawing up a climate action plan, which will outline the steps the organisation will take as it works toward its target of being carbon neutral by 2030.
Along with Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council and other authorities in the district are now case studies in the AgriCaptureCO2 project, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.
This aims to make it easier and more profitable for farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture practices.
Preston City Council will work also be working closely with other local authorities and organisations in the city, such as the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), to share ideas and approaches on reducing carbon emissions.
PSE will be hosting a Public Sector Decarbonisation event on 9 September. Join us for the full day event by registering here.