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Environmental policy

Our environmental policy sets out our goals for managing our environmental impact and improving our performance - it applies to all our services except schools.

Scope of the policy

The purpose of this policy is to set out our goals for protecting and improving the environment and supporting Leicester to become a carbon-neutral and climate adapted city. It covers all of our activities and estate, including the traded services we deliver to other organisations and our ‘landlord’ responsibilities for the schools’ estate.

All Council staff must apply the policy where it relates to their role in the authority’s corporate activities. We will encourage and support schools to adopt their own policies.

We will also ensure, through the procurement process, that suppliers and outsourced service providers apply it to services or goods supplied to us.

Under the leadership of the City Mayor and his Executive team, the Council is committed to making Leicester:

  • A city where business growth is propelled by a thriving low carbon economy
  • Accountable in its tackling of the climate emergency through the development and implementation of a comprehensive action plan. 
  • A great place to live, providing investment to reshape the public realm, improve transport infrastructure, grow the green economy, create exciting new visitor attractions and prompting others to invest.
  • A place that promotes a fair economy and provides equality of opportunity for all. 
  • A city that is recognised for its substantial programme of environmental capital investment across council land and estates. 
  • A place that seizes upon new ways of working, creative thinking and imagination to meet the challenges of recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Environmental Policy supports these goals and will guide the development and delivery of a programme of action across these and other key areas of work.

This policy is also part of our work to address the UN Sustainable Development goals in relation to environmental issues, following their adoption by the council.

Sustainable development goals

17 goals to transform our world

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Life on land
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Partnerships for the goals

The policy

In addition to fulfilling our statutory environmental responsibilities and complying with all legal and other requirements, including any voluntary commitments, we will use our powers and influence to further protect and improve the environment – challenging ourselves to make continual improvements in our performance. 

This policy will support the council in its commitments to take action on urgent environmental issues facing the city and the wider world. This includes the increasing threats presented by dangerous climate change and loss of biodiversity and habitats.

We will:

  • Implement Leicester’s Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan to deliver our ambition to make Leicester a carbon neutral city and achieve carbon neutrality in our own operations.
  • Develop our understanding of the risks presented by climate change and ensure our services and infrastructure are adapted to protect the city and its residents.
  • Prevent or minimise pollution to air, water and land (including noise pollution, litter, fly tipping and the impacts of car travel) and work to ensure that air quality in Leicester meets all legal limits on air pollution levels.
  • Protect and enhance the quality, extent and accessibility of Leicester’s ‘green infrastructure’ (it’s open spaces, trees, waterways and natural environment) for people and biodiversity. Use the improvement of green infrastructure to help the city adapt to climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Contribute to the creation of a sustainable built environment through the planning process and achieving a high level of sustainability in our own development projects.
  • Minimise energy and water demand across our estate and use all resources efficiently to reduce the environmental impacts of their consumption by our services and activities.
  • Encourage the appropriate generation and use of renewable and low carbon energy, including through the installation of projects within our own estate.
  • Minimise waste and the impact of its disposal by applying the ‘waste hierarchy’: maximising waste reduction, reuse, recycling or composting and energy recovery to minimise the amount sent to landfill.
  • Reduce the environmental impacts of the goods we buy and the works and services we commission, and promote a circular economy, through our Sustainable Procurement Guidance. Seek added environmental benefits for the city from our contracts through our Social Value Charter.
  • Use products and materials such as paper efficiently and specify goods that, wherever possible, have a minimal environmental impact in the extraction or sourcing of materials, manufacture, transport, use and disposal.
  • Promote a culture of environmental awareness within the council, including through the provision of training and ensuring that staff are aware of their role in implementing this policy.

Implementing the policy

Environmental management 

At Leicester City Council we recognise that we can affect the environment through: the services we provide and how we deliver them, our policies, our enforcement of laws and regulations, the choices we make when buying goods or commissioning services – as well as our role as a community leader.

All staff are expected to implement this policy within the council wherever it relates to their work and managers are expected to ensure it is implemented as relevant and appropriate.

Communication, participation and dialogue 

We recognise the importance of effective communication in delivering this policy, as well as the potential of participation and dialogue to enhance progress.

We will communicate this policy within the Council and to our external stakeholders, enabling our staff and others to fulfill their role in delivering it by providing information and other support. 

We will also encourage dialogue within the Council and with our stakeholders to foster debate, learning and greater environmental improvement. This will include the public, businesses, education and community organisations, and regulators. 

Through our procurement processes, we will seek to ensure that goods and services we buy meet our environmental requirements and we will work with our contractors and suppliers to help them improve their environmental performance.

We will encourage the public, schools and partners to take action too, through environmental information, advice and services.

Accountability 

This Policy has been approved by the Deputy City Mayor – Environment and Transportation and will be reviewed every four years, or more frequently if required. 

Its delivery is the overall responsibility of the City Mayor and is led by the Deputy City Mayor – Environment and Transportation. The Council will publicise its environmental performance and progress each year to enable the people of Leicester to hold us to account.