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Sustainable development and climate change strategy

Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy - Our future is now

Progress to date

Throughout the strategy covering the period 2017 to 2022 the following was achieved

  • We reduced our carbon footprint by a further 50% between 2017 and 2021. This reduction is partly due to changes to service provision throughout 2020 and 2021 because of Covid, but also due to a sustained and successful effort to reduce energy and fuel consumption and implement more energy and fuel-efficient technologies. This has included an ambitious street lighting replacement programme between 2015 and 2019 which saw all lanterns replaced with LED. This reduction in our carbon footprint builds on earlier successes when we reduced our carbon emissions by 28% over the period 2005 to 2017.

  • We established a Climate Change and Sustainability Committee in 2020 to oversee and make strategic decisions on how to accelerate the pace and scale of action needed in response to the climate emergency.

  • We undertook a range of air quality improvement projects and an education programme involving communities, businesses and schools throughout the 5-year period. The development of a story map displayed on the council website has helped spread knowledge and understanding of the need for good air quality and the actions taking place.

  • We developed and launched the council’s first Good Food Strategy in 2019 which includes a key theme of ‘Good food for the environment’.

  • We expanded food growing allotments sites throughout South Lanarkshire and the development of a Food Growing story map to promote the benefits of homegrown.

  • We implemented the South Lanarkshire Biodiversity Strategy 2018-22 with input from all members of the South Lanarkshire Biodiversity Partnership, alongside the council’s own Biodiversity Duty Implementation Plan 2018-22

  • Green Flag status was awarded to many of our parks throughout the period and we continued to develop safe and accessible walking and cycling routes throughout South Lanarkshire.

  • We increased recycling facilities for many of our 320,000 residents, with most of the non-recyclable waste being sent to an energy from waste facility, and very little sent to landfill.

  • More than 1,300 affordable and green homes were built throughout the term of the Local Housing Strategy 2017-22.

  • We increased the numbers of fuel efficient and electric vehicles within the council fleet, including pool cars, sweepers and a mini bus, and expanded the public electric vehicle charging network.

  • We developed a Climate Youth Forum in 2021, which included the involvement of many South Lanarkshire pupils. Pupils attended the COP26 climate emergency newsroom and participated in a successful media campaign throughout the event.

  • We launched a £200,000 Community Grants Scheme at the start of 2022 to help groups develop climate change and sustainability focused projects within the community.