A Bold Stand Against Climate Crisis
In 2019, the lovely towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP) decided to take the climate bull by the horns. They pledged to make their operations carbon-neutral by 2030, aiming to set an example by moving the entire region towards carbon neutrality well ahead of the UK’s 2050 target. Four years on, it’s heartwarming to see that the BCP Council is not just staying true to their promises, but they’re going above and beyond!
Earning a Spot on the ‘Cities A-List’
Did you know that BCP is now considered one of the top five UK towns and cities leading the charge against global climate change? That’s according to the carbon disclosure charity, CDP. The council has made impressive strides in shrinking their carbon footprint, from using green electricity from renewable sources for all their buildings and streetlights to saving over 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
Integrating Sustainability into the Heart of Operations
It’s not just about reducing emissions, though. The council has admirably incorporated the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into their Corporate Strategy, making sustainability the heart of everything they do. This commitment extends to their financial rules too, with sustainable procurement now part of BCP Council’s new regulations.
Promoting Sustainable Transport with a Bang
BCP Council has been pretty forward-thinking when it comes to promoting sustainable transport. Remember the Beryl Bikes scheme during the pandemic? It provided key workers with free, eco-friendly transport, supporting over 1,000 crucial journeys. Safety for cyclists and walkers at important transport spots has also been boosted, thanks to the £312k Government Emergency Active Travel grant.
Community Involvement: Power to the People
An important part of the council’s strategy is to get everyone involved in climate action. The Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) is a shining example of this, with 691 households referred to the program by July 2020. This initiative has led to impressive carbon savings and over £770,000 in energy bill reductions and financial benefits for participating households.
Fostering a Culture of Sustainability and Environmental Consciousness
BCP Council is putting in the work to cultivate a love for sustainability and environmental awareness. School pupils even contributed artwork for the council’s ‘Leave Only Footprints’ campaign, aimed at nurturing respect for the environment among visitors. Plus, staff surveys on pandemic home working experiences have helped inform the council’s efforts to cut down on commuting and work travel.
Future-Proofing the Community
In terms of preparing for the future, the council isn’t resting on its laurels. Trials are underway for electric refuse collection vehicles and road sweepers, and electric vehicle charging points are popping up at council depots. There’s even a Centre of Excellence formed to safeguard residents and communities across BCP and neighbouring areas from coastal flooding and erosion.
Leading the Charge in the Fight Against Climate Change
There’s still a significant journey ahead in the fight against climate change, but the progress made by the BCP Council is a testament to the power of community action. The achievements of Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole offer a glimmer of hope and serve as an inspiring example for other communities around the world. Together, we can turn the tide against climate change!
Championing Eco-Awareness with Bournemouth Observer Environment.