Council climate action

Climate action which the council is taking

The council and its partners have started work to drive down emissions that contribute to climate change - including starting to decarbonise the council’s fleet, working with the business community to help them transition to a green economy and exploration of a district heating network in Kingston. While carbon reductions are at the core of the Climate Action Plan, the work will bring a number of other positive outcomes for the borough.

Reduced NHS costs, better housing, better transport and a reduction in poverty and inequality can all be achieved by adopting sustainable green energy. 

You can find out more about the council's work to tackle climate change, below.

Efficient Buildings

  • The council continues to work with Thames Water to explore the possibilities of harnessing heat to warm local houses, public buildings and businesses
  • Reviewed the delivery of our property services, with new positions focussed on energy management and sustainable construction, working to a new head of service responsible for the sustainability of our estate
  • Redesigned facilities management to focus on social and environmental outcomes, including removal of single use plastics, reducing use of harmful chemicals and more sustainable maintenance approaches
  • Baselined and benchmarked the emissions for each of our assets, and are using this data as a core consideration for estates based decision making
  • Approved a business case to install automatic utility meters in all of our assets, so we can get more accurate, real time data to underpin effective decision making
  • Started upgrading our mechanical and electrical installations, including installing Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting, better insulation and more efficient heating systems.

Efficient Homes

  • The council is a member of the South London Partnership and is actively involved through meeting attendance, preparation of funding bids and other activities that aim to increase the take up of retrofit measures
  • The council commissions the Warm Homes Better Health service which provides eligile residents with practical help to keep their homes warm and reduce their energy use. This has been paid for through the use of carbon offset funds
  • The council is supporting the Mayor of London's Warmer Homes programme, connecting eligible residents with funding to make energy efficiency improvements. As of December 2022, Kingston had the most completed works of any London borough
  • The council is part of the Solar Together’ programme, a group buying scheme which links residents with providers of solar panels and battery storage
  • The council is supporting and signposting information from organisations such as the Energy Saving Trust
  • The council is undertaking a stock condition survey of council homes so that we can develop budget proposals for retrofit. We aim for all housing stock to be EPC C or better by 2038

How we travel

Waste Reduction

  • We work with ReLondon which brings together Waste Officers across london to share policy, best practice and collaborate on Waste Reduction and Recyling Plans
  • We have created a Zero Waste map with the South London Partnership, highlighting resuse, refill and repair shops in the local area
  • We attend and contribute to London Councils One World Living Programme
  • The council has started recycling the material collected from our road sweeping machines
  • Introduced a booking system and fair use policy at the Household Recycling Centre to encourage waste reduction and the separation of items for recycling or reuse
  • Increased the number of households using the garden waste recycling service
  • Established a Fly Tipping Task Force to tackle local waste issues
  • The council has provided a space for a community group to run a Repair Cafe, contributing to a circular economy
  • Introduced a recycling service for flats above shops.

Green Economy

  • We worked with partners and businesses to create the Kingston Green Business Community to help businesses decarbonise
  • We have established a Transition to a Green Economy Working Group, bringing together businesses and council staff
  • We run regular workshops and webinars on topics such as; decarbonising business transport, decarbonising business websites, how to go green, getting to Net Zero and more
  • We have developed a Green Skills Action Plan in conjunction with local partners, neighbouring south London boroughs and the GLA, which will result in new funding for green skills development across local businesses 
  • We are working to create ‘deep green’ high streets and town centres - creating a unique, vibrant destination with green planting at scale, which helps local businesses to thrive
  • We have facilitated Green Mark accreditation for a variety of local businesses.

Sustainable Council

  • The council has funded a programme to move all of Kingston’s street lights to 100% LED. This will reduce the amount of energy used for street lighting by around 50%
  • Established a Director and Assistant Director led Climate Emergency Steering Group
  • Implemented a responsible investment strategy for our pension fund 
  • Developed a new commissioning framework that requires suppliers to deliver carbon reductions alongside other social benefits
  • Senior staff have begun Carbon Literacy training and mandatory climate change training will be undetaken by all council staff in 2023
  • Climate change, net zero and carbon neutrality feature heavily in the council's draft Local Plan.

Natural Environment

  • The council has employed a biodiversity officer for Kingston, and set up a Biodiversity Partnership
  • Re-commissioned our green spaces contracts with a focus on tackling the climate emergency
  • All hand held equipment used by contractors in parks or green spaces is now battery powered
  • Planted around 500 trees each year since 2019
  • Introduced eight WildWays on highways verges across the borough to secure biodiversity and climate outcomes
  • Introduced a number of Biobeds in planters to increase and encourage biodiversity
  • Reviewed the borough’s Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation and identified six more for adoption
  • No peat is used in any compost for horticultural purposes on the grounds maintenance contract
  • Stopped using chemicals to control weeds in our parks and green spaces and are trialling a reduction in the use of chemicals to control weeds on our streets.

Everyone together

  • We have worked with community groups to re-establish the Kingston Environmental Forum which enables community groups to work with the council
  • We have worked with businesses and partner organisations to create the Kingston Green Business Community
  • We work with the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council to support young people in tacking climate action - we also support their Climate Youth Fund
  • We work with the Schools Environment Forum
  • We work with Kingston University and Kingston College
  • We have created links with wide variety of local environmental groups and support and signpost to many of their activities, including Transition Town Kingston, Angels of the Hood, Sunray Reycle and Kingston Hive
  • We have provided a space for Kingston Hive, a local community group to create a Climate Emergency Centre
  • When consulting or engaging on particular climate related topics, engagement opportunies are made accessible on Kingston Let's Talk
  • Working with community groups, the first ever Sustainable September month of activity engagement was created
  • The council regularly promotes information to help communities tackle climate change, and opportunities to get involved.

Last Modified: 27/03/2023 09:30:10