Ashfords Carbon Footprint The council passed the following motions on the 18 July 2019. Ashford Borough and Ashford Borough Council will aim to become carbon neutral by 2030, and 80% by 2025. By actively seeking to address climate change, we will be improving the well-being and prosperity of all residents. Ashford Borough Council will eliminate single-use plastic by 2021. We have been developing a Carbon Neutral Strategy to guide us in achieving this ambition. Shortly before we were planning to consult on our draft strategy, the country entered lockdown and our efforts and resources turned to responding to the coronavirus pandemic and supporting those most affected. We must now use our experiences of life in lockdown to help galvanise our actions to tackle the biggest threat to our planet, climate change. To ensure our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic helps us all lead more sustainable lifestyles. In May 2021 the Cabinet approved the draft Carbon Neutral Action Plan for consultation. At this time the motion above was refreshed following a review of work that was already underway to achieve carbon neutrality and the challenges ahead. The cabinet remains committed to: Support the aim to achieve carbon neutrality within the council’s own estate and operations by 2030. Recognise the challenges to achieve carbon neutrality across the borough by 2030, whilst acknowledging national and regional targets, to remain committed to work in partnership to achieve carbon neutrality across the borough as soon as possible, supporting the UK government’s target to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. What we’re doing to reduce our carbon footprint We will be reviewing our draft Carbon Neutral Strategy over the coming months to reset our long term ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. In the meantime as we work to recover from the coronavirus pandemic achieving carbon neutrality is a key component the councils Recovery Plan. A number of the actions in the recovery plan have direct environmental benefits: Remote working for staff – reduces commuting by car, to offices and for meetings. Reviewing councils own assets – will include buildings, energy efficiency, water consumption etc. Increasing options for walking and cycling for work and leisure, reduced car dependency. Progressing with digital transformation to increase use of virtual meetings and information sharing, both internally and with the wider public. Increasing local energy generation through renewable energy sources, Increasing biodiversity and provision of open space through improvements in our parks. Run promotional campaigns for staff and public to increase knowledge and share ideas for more sustainable lifestyles. Encourage businesses to develop and use green processes and actively encourage green industries to establish in the borough. How to reduce your carbon footprint One of the easiest things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to look at the behaviours youve adopted during Lockdown and see what habits you’d like to keep as we enter the recovery phase. For example, meal planning to help cut down food waste or exploring your local area for hidden gems instead of driving further afield.
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