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Renewed environment and sustainability goals set out by council in revised policy

Published on Wednesday, September 22, 2021

2 minute read

Bee on a flower

A KEY policy guiding Leicester City Council’s approach to protecting and improving the environment has been updated to reflect the city’s response to the climate emergency.

The city council’s Environmental Policy sets out the principles staff are expected to follow when carrying out their roles and informs the authority’s approach to service delivery, commissioning and procurement.

Since the policy was last updated in 2016, the city council has declared a climate emergency and launched its ambitious Climate Emergency Strategy and action plan in response. In addition, the formal adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals took place at the meeting of full council in February 2021.

The city council’s revised environmental policy reflects these important developments and will help support Leicester in its goal of becoming a carbon-neutral and climate adapted city by 2030, or sooner.

It commits the council to continuing to develop its understanding of the risks presented by climate change and ensuring that local services and infrastructure are adapted to protect the city and its residents.

It also sets goals to prevent or minimise pollution to water, air and land and to protect and enhance the quality and extent of Leicester’s green spaces, waterways and trees. The council will aim to contribute to a sustainable built environment through the planning process and its own developments too.

The revised policy restates the council’s commitment to reducing waste and minimising water and energy demand across its buildings and services, while encouraging the use of renewable and low carbon energy. This should also apply to the goods, work and services that the council buys in.

Alongside this, the environment policy now reflects the council’s adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which represent an urgent call to action by all United Nations member states in global partnership. The SDGs recognize that ending poverty and deprivation must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our natural environment.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “The forthcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow this year means the UK has a real opportunity to raise its ambitions in terms of the action it is taking on climate change.

“In Leicester, we already have ambitious plans in place in response to the climate emergency and we’re proud to have adopted the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as guiding principles.

“Our new Environmental Policy will help ensure that our commitment to protecting and improving the environment and supporting Leicester to become a sustainable, carbon-neutral and climate-adapted city is reflected in everything we do as a council.”

Leicester City Council’s revised Environmental Policy is available to view online here.