Project Zero

Local Gov't • Vale of Glamorgan

The Council is implementing a plan for the organisation to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, working across multiple fronts and encouraging other stakeholders to take similar action.

  • Pupils have started learning at South Point Primary School.
  • The Big Fresh Catering Company reduces carbon output by using local produce
  • Wales' first electric bike share scheme was launched in the Vale.

Our story

Having joined Welsh Government and other Local Authorities in declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the Vale of Glamorgan Council launched Project Zero, its response to the significant threat posed by global warming. As the name suggests, the aim is to make the organisation carbon neutral by 2030 and encourage others to make positive changes that benefit the environment.

Project Zero brings together a range of initiatives to send a clear message about the damaging effects of climate change and the importance of working together to address this issue. Here are some examples:

South Point Primary School. This is the first net carbon zero school in Wales, which recently opened in Rhoose. The building has been designed to achieve net-zero carbon through improved building fabric, maximising solar gain, increased photovoltaic panels with battery storage and an air source heat pump.

Electric vehicles. The Council took delivery of its first set of electric vehicles in March. Twelve Hyundai Kona EVs will replace a number of the diesel-powered cars in the Council's pool car fleet, reducing emissions by 26,304kg each year.

Recycling changes. In October 2020, the Council introduced a new source-separated recycling system to Barry, a model that has since been rolled out in other areas of the County. All waste that cannot be recycled is sold to UK markets, ensuring it is not disposed of overseas.

Trains. The Council's Barry Railway Depot houses a fleet of Transport for Wales' environmentally friendly trains. The trains are powered by battery, diesel or overhead power cable, and have a significantly reduced carbon output compared to other models.

Big Fresh Catering Company. The Council's own innovative catering company that operates a café and bar and supplies school meals. All ingredients are locally sourced while the company also has a low waste approach.

Aberthaw. As part of the Cardiff Capital Region, the Council was recently involved in the purchase of the disused Aberthaw Power Station to drive sustainable, clean economic growth across South East Wales. Our plans for the site include renewable energy production; a battery storage facility; a zero-carbon manufacturing cluster including green hydrogen production; a green energy innovation centre; and a bio-diverse ecology park.

Ovo Bikes. Funded a pilot of the first fully electric bike share scheme in Wales. Rolled out in Penarth in 2019, 50 electric bikes were installed across several docking stations, with more added subsequently in other locations.

Active travel routes. Creation and enhancement of walking and cycling routes around the County.

Our advice

Our Kona electric vehicles help raise awareness amongst residents of how everyone can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

Our fleet of environmentally friendly trains will improve public transport links and have a positive environmental impact by reducing the need to travel by car. They will operate on the Core Valley Lines services, routes that will undergo a major upgrade as part of Cardiff Capital Region's investment in the South Wales Metro project.

Our innovative enterprise, Big Fresh Catering Company, helps improve the range of food on offer. It also functions as a separate commercial entity, with all profits invested back into partner schools, paying for things that promote active lifestyles, such as an alfresco dining area and sports kit.

Electric bikes offer an active and sustainable way to travel around town, with tariffs cheaper than travelling by car, bus or train. Ovo Bikes have now been installed in multiple locations in the County.

Active travel routes help to promote an active lifestyle. By enhancing existing routes, including painting murals on Cogan and Gladstone bridges, gateways to existing active travel routes at Penarth Marina and Barry Waterfront, it is hoped residents and visitors will be encouraged to make use of these walkways and cycle paths. The designs explore what Barry and Cogan mean to the community and the chosen shapes and colours were inspired by local landmarks and the town's history.

Our metrics

Measuring overall CO2 emissions.
Make sure our work e.g. in planning and procurement help us fight climate change
Reduce food waste and help people to reuse, repair and recycle.
Use technology to help staff work from home and make it easier for people to access services.
Use less energy and get our energy from renewable sources like the wind and the sun.
Make our homes and buildings including schools use less energy.
Encourage others to think about the way they travel e.g. walking, cycling, buses, trains, electric vehicles.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Response to climate crisis

Mitigation & Adaptation




Local Gov't, 250 to 10,000 people

Shared by

Stephen Ware

Updated Feb, 2024

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