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Environment & Planning

From Environment City to A Low Carbon City

This page highlights some of the milestones in Leicester’s progress to reduce its environmental impact and become a more sustainable city.  Links are provided to further details where available.  For specific queries not answered below, please contact the Environment Team.

2012: Leicester launched the 'Climate Change - Programme of Action'. Supported by over 40 local organisations, this sets out a plan of action to make Leicester a low carbon city by 2025, with 80 actions to complete in the first year alone.


2010:  Leicester was judged Britain’s second most sustainable city by independent think-tank Forum for the Future in its Sustainable Cities Index and came top in the ‘Environmental Protection’ section of the index.


2010:  The Council joined the national 10:10 campaign  – making a pledge to cut its carbon emissions.


2008:  A commitment was made to plant an extra 10,000 Trees in Leicester by 2011.


2008:  The Council’s first action plan for  Adapting to Climate Change was launched.


2006:  The City of Leicester Local Plan introduced a new policy on Renewable Energy (Policy BE16) requiring Major Developments to be designed to meet a percentage of their energy needs from renewable energy generated on site.


2005:  The Council was awarded “Beacon Status’ for “Sustainable Energy”


2003:  Bursom Recycling Centre was opened by BIFFA Leicester.  It is designed to remove metals, compostable waste and much of the paper and plastic from household waste to reduce landfill.


2003:  Leicester’s first Climate Change Strategy was launched.


2002:  EMAS in Schools was launched, enabling children and young people to learn about the environment while taking practical steps in their school.


2002:  Leicester achieved Fairtrade City  status through the work of ‘Leicester Advocates Fairtrade (LAFT) – the City’s Fairtrade action group.


2001:  The Council was awarded ‘Beacon Status’ for “Maintaining a Quality Environment”


1999:  The Council achieved the prestigious Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) standard for its environmental management of local services.  It continues to meet this standard to this day.


1997:  The Bike Park was opened by local charity Environ (now Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire) with Council support.


1997:  The kerbside recycling service was rolled out city-wide after the success of trials the year before.


1992:  Leicester was invited to send a delegation to the first UN ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janiero to discuss the role of local communities in tackling the world’s environmental challenges.  World leaders at the Summit issued ‘Agenda 21’ which included a call for local communities, led by local authorities, to develop their own local Agenda 21 plans for sustainable development.


1990:  Leicester was designated Britain’s first Environment City by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation, in recognition of its progress and commitment.


1989:  Eco House  – one of the UK’s first environmental show-homes, was opened to the public by charity Leicester Ecology Trust (now Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire).


1986:  Leicester’s Ecology Strategy – the first such city-wide strategy by a (then) District Council - was launched.


1974:  A programme of work was begun which led to the creation of the award-winning linear Riverside Park from north to south through the city, incorporating the Great Central Way walking and cycling route.