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What is the Council Doing?

What is the Council doing?

Sutton Environment Strategy

The Sutton Environment Strategy 2019 - 2025 sets out our ambition to become London's most sustainable borough by 2025. Residents, community groups, the Council and businesses will be working together to deliver this vision using the following chapters within the strategy:

  • Cleaner air
  • A greener borough
  • Achieving net zero carbon
  • Creating a circular economy
  • Tackling climate change

View the strategy and its action plans here.

The vision

Sutton will be London's most sustainable borough. 

Our zero carbon future means cleaner air, and more journeys taken by bike, public transport or on foot. We’ll have more green spaces, connected to each other, protecting and enhancing nature and biodiversity. Our energy will be renewable and our homes will be warm in winter, cool in summer, and well insulated.

We will reduce waste and create a circular economy, with options to reuse, repair or re-manufacture the things we buy. We will be able to withstand heat waves, droughts and flooding caused by climate change. Everyone will know and play their role in reducing their impact on the environment.

The targets

Cleaner Air

  • By March 2022, 48% of journeys in Sutton will be made by walking, cycling or public transport, rising to 63% by 2041.
  • By March 2022, 36% of people will be doing 20 minutes of active travel a day, rising to 70% by 2041. 
  • By December 2021, 24% of Sutton's population will be within 400m of the strategic cycle network, rising to 37% by 2041. 
  • Implement the air quality action plan, meeting the national air quality standards for nitrogen dioxide as soon as possible.
  • Continue to take action to reduce levels of particulate matter. 

A Greener Borough

  • No overall reduction in the amount of green space in the borough. 
  • By 2050, at least half of Sutton's land area will still be green space.
  • Plant 2,000 trees every year (community, council and developer-led schemes all count).
  • Focus area: Maintain and enhance the biodiversity value of the borough.  

Achieving Net Zero Carbon

  • The Council will achieve net zero carbon emissions across its estate and operations. 
  • The Council will switch to a renewable electricity supplier from April 2021.
  • All of the borough's energy needs will be met from renewable, community and local sources of energy, helping to deliver boroughwide zero carbon emissions. 
  • Focus area: Take action to tackle fuel poverty 

Creating a Circular Economy

  • Reduce waste and increase reuse and recycling from 50% year on year and target being the best recyclers in the UK. 
  • Help residents reduce the amount of avoidable food waste they throw away by 20% by 2025. 
  • Focus area: Embed sustainable procurement into the Council's buying and contracts.
  • Focus area: Encourage businesses to switch to circular economy business models.

Tackling Climate Change

  • Focus area: Raise awareness of the climate emergency, the impacts of climate change on Sutton, and the actions individuals can take.
  • Focus area: Increase preparedness of Sutton's people, public services and infrastructure for extremes of temperature, drought and flooding.
  • Retain Sustainable Food City status each year. 
  • Work with SES water to help people reduce their daily water use to 138 litres by 2025.


Sutton Council have set out an ambitious action plan in the Environment Strategy to meet the targets set. Learn more about some of the projects being delivered to meet these targets.

Our Performance

Sutton Council monitors its performance against the Environment Strategy and Climate Emergency Response Plan and the stand alone Air Quality Action Plan (found on the air quality pages of the council's website). The Environment Strategy Board is responsible for monitoring progress of the Environment Strategy and Climate Emergency Response Plan. Progress reports are pulished quartetly, the most recent Environment Strategy Progress Report  is available online, along with previous reports.

Achievements during July - September (Q2) 2021/22

  • The Sustainable Transport Strategy 2020 - 2025 was agreed and aimed to increase opportunities for greater use of walking, cycling and public transport in the borough. 
  • A new low carbon road maintenance scheme has been piloted. 
  • Over 1,100 people attended biodiversity education sessions and events at Sutton Ecology centre. 
  • Biodiversity volunteers have donated 422 days of support since March 2021. 
  • Triple glazed windows and doors installed at Sutton Housing Partnership properties. 
  • 91 residents proceeding with installing solar panels on their property as part of Solar Together, a collective purchasing scheme. 
  • A community food shop has opened in St Helier to provide support to residents in the local area. 
  • Pilot project is taking place to remove gas ovens in school kitchens, replacing them with electric ovens to reduce CO2 emissions.
  • 40 staff join the new staff champions network, coming together to champion environmental action and initatives at the council. 

Work experience

The Environment Strategy Team welcomes work experience applications from school and university students as well as people who are interested in exploring whether sustainability or local government is a career route for them. We can offer a range of experiences relating to projects and communications activity. This is a year round opportunity and we can be flexible about dates but we do require a minimum two week commitment. Please contact if you are interested and would like to know more.