Stockport Council declared a climate emergency back in 2019, which has gain cross party support. This has built momentum and led to the development of the Climate Action Now Strategy in 2020, to focus all of the operations and services that the council provides.
Climate Action Now means every service and department in the council will need to review and change its activity to cut carbon use wherever possible. There is a strong focus on climate literacy, ensuring that all staff understand why the changes are being made and empowering everyone to be able to recognise where carbon is being wasted or unnecessarily used.
Some of the actions we have taken so far:
-An all-party Climate Emergency Task Group has been established following the Council declaring a Climate Emergency;
-We've achieved official recognition as a bronze carbon literate organisation;
-We use a green energy supplier;
-Stockport Homes has designed and developed an interactive environmental awareness course called ‘My Planet and Me’ which is delivered by Stockport Homes’ staff members to new starters, which also includes waste and biodiversity;
We have lots more on the way, such as embedding Climate Impact Assessments into everything we do, including all key strategies and policies. We are working with and supporting our staff to reduce carbon including lowering paper waste, cutting energy use, and reducing staff journeys.
Image: Unsplash stock image, Nonso Emmanual Biose
Embed sustainability in everything. It's one thing to have a carbon or sustainability policy, but unless there's a section about sustainability in every policy, it's just not going to work.
Likewise, all staff need to be aware of what's happening. We can't expect everyone to know what to do, and to do it, unless we talk about it first.
Training is a great way to do this, and we've focused on Carbon Literacy Training to help empower everyone who works with us to be part of the change.