Our Green Achievements

Recently the Council, along with 181 other District Councils, have been reviewed by an organisation called Climate Emergency UK with regard to their Climate Change Strategies. 

We are very pleased to advise that Blaby District ranked 36 out of 181 with a score of 56%. This is above the average score of 43%. 

Some of the steps we have taken to achieve this score are listed below. 

Climate Change Strategy and Carbon Neutral Action Plan

In 2020 we published our ambitions to be carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030 and support the district in becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Calculated our Carbon Footprint

The Council calculates its organisational carbon footprint annually using the Local Partnerships Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool and includes Scope 1, Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. The tool linked to the UK Government Conversion Factors for greenhouse gas reporting has been reviewed by the Carbon Disclosure Project for compliance. Since 2018/19 our emissions have decreased by approximately 18%. In 2021 we commissioned CO2 Analysis to conduct a more detailed review of our Scope 3 emissions. i.e. those that relate to our supply chain (purchased goods and services). This found a reduction of almost 30% from year 2019/20 to 2020/21.

Switched to Green Electricity

In 2020 the Council switched to a 100% green energy tariff across its property and assets where the Council pays the energy tariff. This means 100% of the electricity we use is generated by renewable energy such as wind and solar. 

Putting the climate emergency at the heart of the Council's decisions

In 2020 the Council adopted an Environmental Considerations and Options Checklist which ensures that the environmental impacts or benefits of key decisions are adequately identified and included in all cabinet reports. 

Partnerships with young people

Blaby District Youth Council. A specific green workshop was held at the 2019 conference and the Council identified the Green Agenda as one of the top three priorities. Members have completed carbon literacy training and intend to train other young people at the next Youth Conference in February 2023. The group have been into a number of schools to find out what has been happening locally and to start to join up the district's youth voice. 

Partnerships with Business

In 2022 we hosted a green focused Business Breakfast at the Marriot Hotel to provide advice and guidance to local businesses on energy saving, calculating emissions, green grants and resources for developing sustainability pathways. We also include a green section in the monthly newsletter that goes out to over 3000 businesses in the district and provide energy toolkits and advice for businesses on our climate change webpage. We also have a dedicated Green section in the bi-monthly newsletter that goes out to the VCS groups across the district.  

Engagement with residents, community groups and businesses

We are committed to support the District in becoming net zero as we recognise that this cannot be achieved without a huge collective effort. We have established a Community Engagement Strategy which sets out how we intend to support and engage with residents, schools, community groups, parish councils and businesses across the district in their own net zero ambitions.

Fuel poverty and improving the energy efficiency of homes

We work collaboratively with Councils across Leicestershire as part of the Green Living Leicestershire Partnership to secure funding through the Sustainable Warmth Competition to retrofit the least energy efficient homes in the district and help tackle fuel poverty. We have successfully secured government funding under the Local Authority Delivery Schemes and Sustainable Warmth Competition to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions for the least efficient hard to heat homes by installing measures such as insulation, heat pumps and solar panels. We are working hard to deliver this through partnership working with our Housing Associations and neighbouring authorities. 

Solar Together

Blaby is leading on Solar Together Leicestershire. We have developed a partnership with Leicestershire District Councils, the County Council and iChoosr to assist residents in the purchase of solar panels and battery storage through a trusted scheme and by accredited installers. By supporting the installation of solar panels and producing renewable electricity we are supporting our region's shared ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Community Green Grants

We launched Green Grants in April 2021 as part of our wider community grants scheme. During 2021-22 we awarded six Green Grants totalling £13,340 to a variety of voluntary sector organisations. We are set to achieve an even greater environmental impact this financial year as we've already awarded six grants £14,750 with still one grant round to go in March.  Activities funded have ranged from: community litter picking equipment, wildflower of growing projects and larger scale energy efficiency improvements such as installations of solar panels, LED lighting and new heating systems in community halls and sports clubhouses. 

Green Living Partnership

Blaby District Council is proud to be working collaboratively with Leicester County and District Councils as part of the Green Living Leicestershire Partnership. All parties have agreed to work together on projects which are considered to support the delivery of objectives in relation to environmental protection and improvement, including those in relation to energy efficiency, carbon reduction, climate adaptation and resilience, nature recovery and resource efficiency, sustainable transport, circular economy and community engagement. The first project to be delivered through the District Environment Group collaboration under the Green Living Leicestershire programme is a domestic retrofit project funded by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy through the Sustainable Warmth Competition (SWC), encompassing Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Phase 3 (LAD3) and the Home Upgrade Grant Phase 1 (HUG1), administered via the Midlands Net Zero Hub. 

Biodiversity

Blaby District Council has stopped using peat in soils in all landscaping and horticultor such as park sand on our properties. We are also working on new management plans with a view to increasing biodiversity and tree cover within our parks and open spaces. 

Carbon Literacy

Engagement with residents, communities and businesses on climate change will play a key role if we are to cut our carbon emissions as demanded of us by science. As a council, if we are to engage effectively we need to lead by example and as such we have committed to becoming a Carbon Literate organisation.

Blaby Switch and Save

In its first year of direct marketing (2020) this scheme saved residents, who switched to a 100% green tariff, on average £162/year. Over 500 residents switched saving 436 tCO2/year (equivalent to 238 cars off the road). The annual carbon saving since starting the scheme in 2018 is 512tCO2e/year.

Switching to energy efficient lighting

We are gradually switching to LED lighting across all council buildings which will reduce energy use and save around 10tCO2e/year once all former lighting is replaced.

Low carbon vehicle fleet

Working in partnership with The Energy Saving Trust and Midlands Energy Hub we are developing pathways to move to a zero carbon vehicle fleet by 2030 through a combination of low carbon fuels (HVO) and ultimately electrification.

Scope 3 Emissions (purchased goods and services)

We have commissioned a review of our Scope 3 carbon emissions which relate to all purchased goods and services. These have reduced from 7870 tonnes of CO2e per year in 2019/20 to 5528 tonnes of CO2e in 2020/21 which is a reduction of 30%. Everything we buy as an organisation or an individual has a carbon footprint and it’s essential that we gain an accurate picture of this in order to tackle and reduce that impact. There is much more work to do as a Council and by the Community to address these indirect emissions but gaining an understanding of that impact is the first stage in this process.

EV Charging infrastructure

We have successfully commissioned 24 EV charge-points in four of our car parks in Blaby and Narborough to facilitate residents who cannot install home chargers. This was funded by the Government’s on-street residential charge point scheme. Estimated first quarter (Oct – Dec) carbon savings of 2577kg of CO2e.

On-site renewable energy generation

We have carried site surveys with a view to installing solar panels on some of our buildings to generate our own renewable electricity and reduce our dependence on grid supplied energy. This will reduce carbon emissions, save money and support the national ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Fewer Commuter miles

New ways of working post-Covid means staff are able to work from home whilst still delivering services. The reduction in commuting during the height of the pandemic in 2020/21 saved around 162 tonnes of CO2e. If occupancy levels return to around 2/5 pre-Covid levels then this could save around 80 tonnes of CO2e per year going forward.

ECO 3 Blaby Help to Heat Homes

Approximately 30 properties have benefited from cavity wall and loft insulation between September and October 2021. This amounts to around = 26 tonnes of CO2e per year. This project will continue to see energy efficient measures installed on homes most at risk of fuel poverty and will move to ECO4 in June /July which will see an expansion of measures to include solid wall insulation, low carbon heating (Heat pumps) & smart meters.

Blaby scores highest amongst Leicestershire Districts for its Climate Strategy and Action Plan

The organisation “Climate Emergency UK” formed to collate council climate emergency declarations. Between June and December 2021 the organisation sought to review council responses to these declarations, scoring councils on their published plans and offering a “right to reply”. 409 councils were scored. Of the 181 District Councils in the UK, Blaby District Council came 36th, with a total score of 56%. The average District score is 43% and Blaby was the top District Council in Leicestershire.

Last updated 26 January 2023
Do you need to get in touch with us? Use our contact form.