Key priority 2 - Net zero Cheltenham

Councillor Max Wilkinson with a representative from Vision21, holding garden tools at the High Street entrance to Sandford Park

Working with residents, communities and businesses to help make Cheltenham net zero by 2030

Our Climate Emergency Action Plan: Pathway to Net Zero sets out our aim to achieve the 2030 target by working with residents, communities, businesses and public and voluntary organisations. We'll need to reduce our carbon footprint and adapt through improving our infrastructure to achieve a cleaner and greener sustainable environment.

We strongly believe that in order to ask others to make the necessary changes to their organisations and lives, we must be seen to be leading on making these changes ourselves. By seeking to set ever higher standards and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we can position ourselves to offer advice and share best practice, signposting to other leaders along the way, making it easier for others to follow.

Our climate emergency declaration called for devolution of power and money to local councils to speed up further net zero initiatives. We will continue to play a leading role in partnership with others across Gloucestershire to champion and support net zero initiatives.

Cheltenham’s new Climate Impact Assessment Tool will make sure that we are appropriately considering climate factors, from biodiversity to air quality, in all of our decisions. The tool will help shape projects which optimise positive impacts on the wellbeing of residents and the environment we all live in.

To support our climate emergency agenda, we will look to make innovative service improvements to our waste, recycling, street cleansing and grounds maintenance services and deliver a clean, green, sustainable environment for Cheltenham’s residents, communities, businesses and visitors.

"Cheltenham Borough Council and Podback recognise that innovation is needed to meet the challenges of the future and our collaboration with Cheltenham, the first authority to sign up to the Podback initiative, demonstrates forward thinking and a real commitment to implementing new initiatives for its residents by launching one of the first kerbside collections of coffee pods."

Rick Hindley, Executive Director, Podback

A bee visiting our new sustainable planting at Clarence Fountain

  • Work with others to help make Cheltenham Borough net zero by 2030
  • Make Cheltenham Borough Council net zero by 2030
  • Deliver a modern and fit-for-purpose strategic waste facility that will provide more efficient and environmentally sustainable management of waste and recycling service to better meet the future requirements of the Environment Act 2021
  • Implement improvements to the waste and recycling service to further improve Cheltenham’s environment-focused approach
  • As part of our net zero carbon commitment and strategic asset management plan, we are reviewing our land holdings, to find potential locations for publicly-accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging points across the town. To date, some 40 locations have been identified as being potentially suitable. We are in discussion with EV charging providers about the arrangements for installing the infrastructure
  • Work with residents, communities, businesses, public and voluntary sectors (including Gloucestershire County Council) to take forward the actions set out in our Climate Emergency Action Plan
  • Implement changes to continue to reduce fuel use in our waste, recycling, parks and gardens services
  • Lobby central government to ensure local councils have the funding and legislative framework to take forward our net zero ambitions
  • Through our £10m green deal fund, take forward climate emergency investment opportunities that support the net zero agenda and contribute to the financial sustainability of the council
  • Embed our newly-approved Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document in the planning decision-making process and deliver biodiversity net gain
  • Implement behaviour change initiatives to reduce waste and increase re-use and recycling
  • Work with local amenity and friends of groups to enhance biodiversity in our public spaces, parks and gardens to further improve Cheltenham’s environment
  • Review our environmental services, in partnership with our service provider Ubico, and the way we commission these services to meet the demands of the future and our climate emergency agenda
  • Reduce energy consumption across council-owned buildings and our waste, recycling, parks and gardens services
  • Explore options for a modern and fit-for-purpose strategic waste facility
  • Develop an Ecology and Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document to further support sustainable development
  • Work with the CheltZero partnership to fund businesses to carry out carbon footprint reporting and develop carbon reduction plans
  • Develop and deliver a town centre hub for safe bicycle parking
  • Work with Planet Cheltenham to develop the ‘Retrofit Street’ project to address fuel poverty including engagement, education, job creation and training
  • In partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, look into the possibility of launching two heat networks, which could warm hundreds of homes and businesses in the town
  • Install electricity infrastructure in key locations to remove reliance on generators for events and increase capacity for on-street and off-street EV charging points

“We are delighted to have partnered Cheltenham in the installation of 200 electricity and gas sub-meters, providing the detailed evidence base which the authority will use to drive down energy use across its property portfolio and helping the council to meet its net zero carbon ambitions by 2030.”

Alex Warren, Group CEO for Stark

How Cheltenham residents, communities and businesses will benefit

Benefits of becoming net zero for residents, communities and businesses
Resident benefits Community benefits Business benefits
Job opportunities Regeneration opportunities Opportunities for the local supply chain
More affordable homes Social value Advice and support for businesses
Skills and training opportunities    
Clean and green environment    
Capacity to adapt to the changing climate    

How success will be measured

  • Increase in re-use, reduction in residual waste per household and increase in recycling rates
  • Reduction in carbon emissions
  • Number of actions completed from the Pathway to Net Zero
  • Resident satisfaction
  • Reduction in energy use across the council’s land and property portfolio
  • Level of external funding secured
  • Retain Green Flag status for Cheltenham’s parks and gardens

Where to find out more

For more information on how we plan to achieve net zero, visit our Climate emergency action plan pages.