Ellina Webb investigates what her local council of St Albans City & District is doing to combat climate change, be sustainable and green the community.
I first became aware of the city’s influence on climate change when I saw a poster for Sustainable St Albans Week – a week in November which consists of community events and seminars to raise awareness on issues affecting St Albans life. These issues include the local countryside, food, nature, clean air, community, cutting waste and carbon and supporting clean energy – with the overall objective of protecting the district for future communities.
Although the week isn’t organised by the council, they are a supporter of the event and off the back of it, I have been inspired to search and uncover just how much sustainability and combating climate change in the community has become a part of the council agenda.
Greening the district
One of the main things the council have been attempting to do over the past 10 years is reduce emissions. In 2006 it signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, setting the target of reducing emissions in the district by 3% a year until 2025. The reduction on emissions included targets for buildings, operations and services.
To achieve these commitments they have looked into improving processes for managing energy consumption of council owned buildings. Over coming years they are also looking at implementing an automatic reporting functionality to better allow building managers to monitor energy consumption and identify potential opportunities for energy demand reduction.
In the meantime, in their March 2017 Progress Report renewable heating systems are already being considered in council houses in St Albans due to the additional benefits of the Government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.