WAKEFIELD COUNCIL CLIMATE ACTION
Wakefield Council has pledged to be a carbon neutral organisation by 2030 and a carbon neutral district by 2038.
This is ambitious & forward thinking - legally the Council is obliged to reach net zero carbon by 2050.
To achieve its aim, the council has created Climate Change Action Plan. This pan-organisation programme is composed of six different workstreams and is subject to scrutiny - reporting its progress to the board every month.
Why We Should Act Now
To support the District in reaching its net zero goals, the Council commissioned a pathway report by Element Energy
To achieve the target of district net zero by 2038, all of Wakefield must unite in combatting the environmental threats associated with climate change. As well as improving our environment and securing a healthy and happy future for our children, by adopting a net zero approach organisations can also improve their performance in a variety of ways, for example
-Reducing energy and water consumption, and waste disposal
-Reducing operating costs and increasing resilience to input cost increases
-Enhancing environmental performance
-Improving business image and creating new local supply chain opportunities
-Enhanced compliance with legal requirements
For businesses at the beginning of the decarbonisation journey, the best place to start is your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
-An EPC rating ranges from A to G
-Businesses are likely to have a non-domestic EPC rating. (If you’re unsure of your rating, click here.
-The Government has a framework to implement and enforce non-domestic buildings to have an EPC B by 2030
-Landlords’ properties currently need to have an EPC E or above. New regulations for 2025 require rented properties to have an EPC C or above. (For existing tenancies, the deadline to comply with the new changes is 2028).
Switching to renewable, clean energy combined with electrifying heating and transport can deliver 75% carbon reductions.
Follow these top tips to start your net zero journey
Heating and cooling
-Insulate where possible, this includes walls, roofs & floors. Ensure radiators are free from obstructions and draught proof where possible.
-Invest in timers and thermostats, ensuring these are maintained and updated when the clocks change.
-Air conditioning is more expensive than heating. Heating in offices is recommended at below 19 degrees, cooling set at 24 degrees.
-Use windows and doors correctly - don’t leave doors propped open for convenience, and open windows to cool down first, rather than turning on the air conditioning.
-Make sure your employees understand and follow your heating policies.
Transport - electrification of fleet
1). Start by reviewing your fleet and analysing your operational requirements. Be sure to factor in full lifecycle costs such as refuelling, maintenance costs and any tax benefits.
2). Review your infrastructure, consider how many charging points you will need and how their location works for your fleet requirements. Do you require rapid charging, or can this be done overnight? Can you make use of vehicle-to-grid technology at all? Also make sure there is enough grid capacity.
3). When making your car selection, review the specification for engine range and charging capability, as well as requirements such as load weight capacity and size as required. Some companies offer trial periods so you can select the right model for your organisation.
4). Decide if you’ll need a specialist to install your charge points and consider when and how to train employees how to use them. You may also want to consider whether to install permanent charge points, or chargers that could be moved more easily later, should your depot locations need to change.
5). Consider a provider’s maintenance and telematics packages. Careful selection will ensure any defects are quickly rectified and you’ll be able to review driver efficiency effectively.
Don’t forget to offer active travel where possible. Switching to walking or cycling helps the planet as well as improving health.
LED lighting is an efficient and quick solution that can save you 7 tonnes of CO2 every year. Also don’t underestimate the power of switching off - ensure lights are only on when necessary.
It may seem obvious but make sure that your building makes the most of natural light. Avoid blocking windows and ensure blinds are up during the day.
Plant and machinery
Review all equipment and machinery used. If nearing the end of its lifespan, consider replacing with more energy efficient versions.
The Government has produced an SME Guide to Energy Efficiency which has more in-depth resources.
Bringing your employees along with you on this journey is critical. The Energy Saving Trust has published an Employees guide for ways to effectively communicate and engage with your workforce.
The LEP’s REBiz Programme helps your organisation minimise its impact on the environment, offering
Free resource efficiency audits worth to £1,200
40% funding towards capital investment projects to a maximum £40,000 grant
Free circular economy consultancy of up to 30 days intensive support
Several grants are available. Before you begin applying for any funding opportunities ensure that your business is clear on what it needs and what is achievable. By following our top tips above, you should have an accurate idea of how to proceed.
These websites will help you find funding support.
- Finance and support for your business - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Find funding to help your business become greener - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Leeds City Region - LEP | Business support and finance (the-lep.com)
- Innovate UK – UKRI
- Energy, Environment and Transport - News - Grants Online
Loans for net zero initatives are also available
- Green Investment Group
UK sustainability grants for business – funding the green shoots of success | Start Up Loans
If your business would like to engage with the Council or other local businesses regarding joint ventures, please contact email@example.com.
Wakefield Council has ambitious tree planting targets for the District. More information can be found here. If you have any land that you would be willing to donate to be planted on please contact Whiteroseforest@wakefield.gov.uk