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Council sets out bold vision for UK's most sustainable borough - 10.12.09

Just days after being named a national leader on the environment and climate change, Sutton Council is set to adopt a bold new strategy to become the UK's most sustainable borough.

The Executive, the council's decision making body, will on Tuesday (15 December) be asked to formally adopt a detailed plan with targets to massively reduce the borough's impact on the environment.

It includes steps the council and its partners will take to cut carbon emissions from buildings and vehicles, increase recycling and ensure all new developments are built to the highest environmental standards.

These targets will be supported by programmes that encourage people to use less energy in the home, travel more sustainably and eat more locally grown food. There are also targets to improve schools, leisure facilities and nature habitats, and improve services for the borough's most vulnerable residents.

The plan follows the principles of One Planet Living, a programme developed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Hackbridge based charity, BioRegional to encourage better use of the earth's resources. It has measured that if everyone in the world lived like an average UK resident we would need three planets to sustain the population.

Sutton's One Planet Action Plan sets out how the council will work with local people and organisations to reduce consumption while ensuring people continue to live an excellent quality of life.

Sutton was awarded a green flag on environmental sustainability in its Comprehensive Area Assessment, published by the Audit Commission last week.

Cllr Sean Brennan, Leader of Sutton Council, said:

"Climate change is the single biggest challenge facing the world today and while we need to think global, it's vital we act locally.

"If approved, this plan will build on our 20-year track record of protecting the environment and give us the framework we need to make Sutton a truly sustainable suburb.

"The council cannot do this alone and that's why the targets we have set include working with partners but most importantly, working with local people to change Sutton for the better.

"Our aim is to create a place where people want to live and work for its excellent quality of life, but also a place that preserves this quality of life for future generations.

"This is a hugely ambitious goal and we are under no illusions that we face big challenges in the years ahead. But we can and must act now if we are to combat climate change."

Work is already underway in Hackbridge, the borough's pilot area for achieving One Planet Living.

The suburb is home to the BedZed zero-carbon housing development and has its own detailed plan that includes:

  • Building over 1,000 new, energy efficient homes
  • Fitting existing homes with energy saving technology
  • Buildings powered by locally produced, renewable energy
  • Attracting new employers to provide more local jobs
  • Roads, pavements, bridges and more improved to encourage walking, cycling and public transport
  • New parks and open spaces
  • More shops and entertainment.

For more information on One Planet Living and Sutton Council's plans visit

Last updated: Monday, 14 December 2009

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