Eight steps to becoming a greener council
Firstly, there needs to be political buy in at the highest
level. This is about the Council leading on tackling one of the biggest public
policy issues of our time; it requires political vision, commitment and leadership.
Secondly, you need to do an audit of the local area, what
natural assets are at your disposal will depend which strands of renewables or
energy efficiency measures are most appropriate.
Thirdly, you need to develop an all encompassing climate
change strategy, which should spell out the Councils intentions for the next
ten or twenty years. This should seek to balance energy efficiency and
renewables, with the financial returns generated by the latter helping to fund
work on the former.
Fourthly, get corporate management team buy in for this by
making an economic case rather than an environmental one. This can be built
around the economic cost of doing nothing and the financial, social, economic and
environmental benefits of being proactive on this agenda. The green strategy must link with the mid to
long term corporate financial strategy of the Council.
Fifthly, it is important that the Leader of the Council and
Chief Executive communicate their commitment to this and announce their
intentions in a vision statement.
Sixthly, get early win green projects by focusing on areas
that are less complex and where visible benefits will emerge early. An example
of this would be solar, once this has proven successful more complex projects
such as wind will achieve a better hearing.
Seventhly, implement quickly once a direction has been
agreed, rather than continuously over analysing, like any strategy success will
Finally, communication is key at every stage of this, a
compelling case can be made for a greener council, the public deserve to be
made aware of this and continually informed on progress.