Introduction and Scope

At the Town Council meeting of 20th November 2019, it was resolved to set up a working group to reduce the carbon footprint of the parish.  Carbon Neutral Northleach (CNN) was formed, with the full support of the Town Council.  The Project Plan sets out the proposed programme, which was agreed at the working group meeting of 9th January 2020.  As of 1st March 2020, we have set up as an independent group, but working closely with the Town Council.  Membership is free, all we ask is that everyone does their bit to reduce our carbon footprint.

Background

As a Parish we do not precisely know the size of our carbon footprint, but it’s at least 20,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.  Carbon Neutral Northleach (CNN) is a long term project (maybe 10 years).  If our overall aim is to be carbon neutral, even if we are only 25% successful we will reduce our footprint by over 5000 tonnes a year.
Our success will be dependent upon engaging the community in the project.  ​Many hands make light work

Principles

There are of course lots of approaches.  

1. Through questionnaires, surveys, research etc identify a good estimate of our carbon footprint. We can then establish a starting point.
2. Learn from other Community Energy Projects across the UK.
3. Engage the community in the objectives of the project. Get their support.
4. Identify a plan for energy reduction and where we cannot reduce, how we can effectively offset by supporting CO2 reduction elsewhere. The key will be to have a number of different initiatives.
5. Implement the Plan
6. Pursue funding, grants, sponsorship, business partnerships to resource activity.
7. Initiate easy wins e.g. green energy preferred electricity supplier for the Town.
8. There should be no negative financial impact on residents.
9. All working group members contribute on a purely voluntary basis.
10.All sponsorship funds are managed through our own bank account.

Priorities

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”  Climate change is a massive issue with many different strands.  We are a small group and it would be easy to spread our work too wide.  It is therefore proposed that we focus primarily on mainstream carbon footprint reduction projects, i.e. projects that clearly reduce our footprint.  This is the “​main thing”.

Other projects such as improving recycling and reducing waste to landfill, whilst worthy, should be something to support, but not part of our main work in the first year.
Year one and two should be working on those projects which are the “​low hanging fruit”, ​ i.e.  projects where we can readily see an impact and help the profile of the CNN project.
To be able to actually measure (as far as practicable) what we achieve will be crucial.

In summary

There are five main strands to the plan:

1. Learning- research, specialist advice
2. Measurement-current position, actual savings
3. Education/Communication- community, schools, PR & promotion
4. Reducing carbon emissions- green energy, energy efficiency/using less/insulation, buying local produce
5. Offsetting carbon emissions- tree planting, supporting world wide programmes.

And further down the line:

6. Waste and recycling- improved recycling, reduced landfill

How can you help?

Click below to read our Carbon reduction Plan 2020-2030.  Fill out and send back our questionnaire 

For further details or to join the group please contact Peter Mills peter.millsdcfc@gmail.com