26 things the council is doing to help climate change
1. Pool cars
Last year the council fleet of pool cars were replaced with electric Renault Zoes, thanks to a grant from Transport Scotland. Another 37 electric vehicles have been deployed among council services and 28% of the fleet is now electric.
Council staff get a 10p reduction on their coffee if they use their own reusable mug. Our cafés have also phased out plastic cutlery and replaced it with compostable wooden cutlery although the preference is the use of reusable cutlery that staff are encouraged to bring with them.
3. School catering/school meals
We use local suppliers and Scottish seasonal produce, to reduce food miles where possible, and we use farm assured Red Tractor chicken, QMS red butcher meat and MSC fish. We have changed menus to provide a meat-free option every day on the menu, along with the introduction of water fountains in schools. Pupils can now pre-order food which reduces waste, which we manage and monitor in schools.
Recycling has been getting better year on year in South Lanarkshire. We recycled 10,561.31 tonnes of paper/card, 4,822.57 tonnes of plastic and cans, 22,653.37 tonnes of compostable waste all diverted from landfill in 2020.
5. Environmental volunteering
Our Countryside and Greenspace Service works closely with local environmental groups to help with funding, become constituted, run events and carry out practical site improvements. For more information see the Environmental Volunteering page.
6. Allotments/food growing
We have four allotment sites, one raised bed site and one under construction. We work toward promoting and identifying more options to develop sustainable food growing opportunities in areas of demand and also provide support and a learning network to those interested in growing their own food. For more information see Allotments and food growing.
7. Local Nature Reserves
These go to committee in October and will give South Lanarkshire 16 new ones – up until now we’ve only had Langlands Moss. The areas will be protected and their biodiversity maintained making them the lungs of our local communities and able to help purify the air. See Local Nature Reserves in South Lanarkshire for more information.
8. Good food
We have a Good Food Strategy which covers food from field to fork. One of its objectives is to work with the community, partners and the private sector to reduce the impacts of the food system on the environment and its contribution to climate change. For more information see the Good Food Strategy page.
9. Park and Ride
17/19 rail stations have park and ride. Recently 155 spaces were added at Newton, there are 331 spaces at Carluke, 99 at Hamilton West, 25 spaces at Carstairs and 100 at Chatelherault. This makes active travel and using public transport more attractive therefore reducing carbon emissions. Read our Park and Ride Strategy 2018-2027.
10. Clyde Climate Forest
This is a new urban ‘forest’ designed to tackle climate change. Around 18m trees will be planted across the Glasgow City Region which includes South Lanarkshire. It will increase woodland cover from 17% to 20%.
11. Carbon management strategy
Carbon Management is an integral part of the council’s Sustainable development and Climate Change strategy. The strategy has three themes sustainable council, sustainable environment, and sustainable communities. Overall emissions reductions of 65% from 2005 to 2020 demonstrate the commitment to national and international targets.
12. Sustainability and climate change strategy
The strategy sets out our overall approach to sustainable development and addresses the challenges and opportunities of climate change. It outlines the changes in sustainable development and climate change policy and our strategic outcomes for sustainable development and climate change over the next five years. The strategy is relevant to everyone who lives and works in South Lanarkshire
Protecting biodiversity is everyone’s responsibility. The council has a key role to play by delivering actions that enhance and conserve biodiversity, and by providing an example to others. Although South Lanarkshire is mostly farmland there are pockets on natural and semi-natural habitats including ancient woodland, peatland and upland moorland. This strategy aims to protect these and enhance the area’s biodiversity which will have a positive impact on climate change.
14. Active travel
We have improved the cycle route from East Kilbride train station to create safe lanes for walking and cycling to make an active commute easier – this will be rolled out to other areas. For more information see our Active Travel studies.
15. Energy efficient council housing
Carbon reductions from investing over £5m in council properties from the self-generating Central Energy Efficiency Fund. We have continued to invest in making our housing energy efficient, with 94% of our housing stock meeting the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Scotland (EESSH) 2020. The measures installed include insulation, doors, windows, high-efficiency gas boilers, air-source heat pumps and Photovoltaic (PV) panels. Read our Local Housing Strategy.
Housing - Our HomeHappening programme upgraded mainly kitchens and bathrooms in our council housing stock but it also allowed us to upgrade heating and insulation to make homes more energy efficient.
Developers need to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to identify the environmental effects of any construction proposals. This mainly applies to larger scale developments but smaller scale proposals in or close to sensitive areas can also result in significant environmental effects. The Planning Committee takes these into consideration during the decision-making process. For more information see our Local Development Plan and EIA page.
18. Period products
We work with HeyGirls to provide free access to environmentally friendly period products for anyone in South Lanarkshire who needs them. See our information on products and how to order.
19. Spaces for People
This a Scottish Government initiative and the council received funding to improve the cycle route between Uddingston and Cambuslang, as well as a reduction of speed limits in town centres. Funding was also used to improve the environment around our schools to encourage more active travel. For more info see the Spaces for People page.
20. Working from home and in the office
We continue to reduce emissions from travel by car when our employees work from home. We reduce print volume in the office by digital management which results in saving over 100 trees a year.
21. Electrical vehicle charging points
Working with Transport Scotland we have a growing number of charging points across South Lanarkshire. You can find them on the Zap Map.
22. Car free school zones
Pupils across South Lanarkshire are encouraged to walk, cycle or wheel to school as much as possible. This helps reduce the number of car journeys, as well as improving their health and fitness. We are also developing car free school zones to make the streets outside a school safer.
23. LED lighting
The final year of the LED street lighting replacement programme has achieved further energy savings of 7%, bringing the total savings since the programme started in 2015 to 68%.
24. Energy efficiencies in our school buildings
The design of our new schools adopted a fabric first strategy of being highly insulated to reduce energy costs. In addition Low Carbon or Carbon reducing technologies were included, such as Biomass boilers, Photovoltaic Panels, Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps, LED lighting have also being included to further improve the carbon footprint and energy efficiency of our schools.
25. Chatelherault reforestation
20 hectares of conifers were removed to allow natural regeneration of native woodland. Native broadleaf trees absorb more carbon than coniferous trees.
26. Electric street sweeper
A brand new fully electric sweeper is now helping the fight against litter on South Lanarkshire’s streets. The new eSwingo operates entirely on electric power without generating any emissions.
- 26 things the council is doing to help climate change
- 26 things you can do to help climate change