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Net Zero 2030 commitment at Sevenoaks District Council

In November 2019, Sevenoaks District Council took the first steps on a journey towards a more sustainable future, making a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030. In practice, net zero refers to when the amount of greenhouse gas produced is no more the amount removed from the atmosphere.

In its latest Net Zero 2030 proposals, the Council has agreed that it will be “a ‘community leader’ and encourage low carbon measures across the district through education, best practice, incentives, policy and opportunities.” This team effort approach is two-fold – reducing carbon emissions and environmental conservation and improvement.

Regular audits of the Council’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions has helped progress towards the decarbonisation of its assets. Installing solar powered smart compacting bins; insulating nearly fifty park homes and reducing waste as a Council have been some of the initial steps taken over the past few years. Promoting low carbon travel has also been a big initiative by improving the provision of EV charge points, introducing a staff electric car lease scheme and supporting greener forms of travel including walking, cycling and car sharing.

This can be seen more specifically through the recent project with Connected Kerb to bring 41 new EV charge points across council car parks and working with Sustrans to produce a ‘Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan’, as well as the recent launch of Kent’s first ‘Movement Strategy’ within the District and securing £1.2 million funding for a new east to west cycle and walking route in Sevenoaks town.

Adaptation measures which are currently being explored include creating new wildlife habitats; natural flood alleviation; sustainable water management; and improving the quality and resilience of green spaces. Given 93% of the Sevenoaks district is greenbelt land, it is vital that the natural spaces are protected. 

At the centre of the proposals is the idea that whether you are an individual or an organisation of any size, pledging to support this Net Zero 2030 effort can make a real difference and Sevenoaks District is there to support. A key way this is being achieved is through community engagement and education, for example education videos and participating in national awareness initiatives such as Zero Waste Week.