3 - Finance, funding, investment and procurement

Cheltenham's busy high street at dusk with shop and street lights coming on

Both public and private investment is crucial to the success of reaching our targets for 2030. How we invest is fundamental to bringing about change. We cannot overestimate the power that our purchasing decisions across the borough can have on encouraging, supporting and driving the green revolution and forcing markets to change for the better. Currently, the government’s procurement policy note requires that any suppliers bidding for goods, services or works, with an estimated contract value of over £5 million, must provide a carbon reduction plan confirming their commitment to achieving net zero by 2050. This also has to outline the environmental management measures that they have in place for the project/works. This sort of policy can bring about climate action through the supply chain, however we hope to be more ambitious by introducing suitable criteria for much lower contract values.

Ongoing and completed

We have developed our own Climate Investment Strategy for the purpose of sourcing funds using various financing options. This investment strategy will provide a wider pool of funding to help tackle the climate emergency by supporting and activating carbon reduction projects. This strategy is expected to be published in early 2022 and will enable the council to act quicker and respond better to investment opportunities, grants and private investment projects. A Green Investment Strategy Board is to be established to evaluate and authorise decisions for investments under £500,000.

We know that working closely with our fellow districts across Gloucestershire will be an important part of our effort to reach shared carbon reduction targets. We have therefore made a financial contribution to employ a county-wide climate change coordinator - a role hosted by Gloucester City Council and financed by public bodies and district councils in Gloucestershire. This officer will help ensure that the districts and county work collaboratively, share what they learn and benefit from economies of scale wherever appropriate.

We are committed to reducing our investment in oil and gas whilst understanding the continued need to balance this commitment with making the right financial decisions to safeguard our residents, businesses and communities.


Priority in 2021-23

  • Develop a Climate Investment Strategy known as ‘Cheltenham’s Green Deal’ that approves and enables money to be raised for investment in green projects, using various means such as grants, bonds, or Community Municipal Investments (CMIs) to speed up carbon emission reductions and increase resilience to climate change and to support the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)
  • Introduce an annual ‘Climate Community Fund’ that helps to finance smaller scale, community climate initiatives and projects, which can be used as best practice exemplars to encourage the take up of similar schemes
  • Ensure all future investment decisions take into account our climate emergency objectives.  As the council recovers from the impact from the pandemic, we will look at the earliest opportunity to review our modest investment portfolio, as part of our commitment of divestment from funds which support the burning or extraction of fossil fuels

Priority in 2024-26

  • Encourage suppliers to measure and report on their Scope 1 and 2 emissions, to help improve the level of detail of our Scope 3 emissions reporting, focusing first on the highest expenditure areas of repair and construction
  • Review our Procurement Policy to ensure all purchases properly consider climate-related impacts and add greater weight to purchasing
    from sustainable local businesses and those which add social value
  • Look to invest in low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure that reap multiple environmental benefits wherever possible. This may range from small Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) and rain gardens, to solar farms and green roofs

Priority in 2027-28

  • Work with Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (GFirst LEP) and other authorities and organisations to rapidly grow the green economy, by investing in economic activities that promote reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhanced energy efficiency and prevention of the loss of biodiversity
  • . Use legal and planning mechanisms, such as Section 106 agreements, the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and others to help fund climate actions and nature restoration projects
  • While acknowledging that the County Council is the lead transport authority, explore opportunities to introduce economic nudge mechanisms to help disincentivise car use, particularly for shorter journeys. Further encourage the County Council to use such mechanisms to enable and encourage sustainable transport, particularly measures that allow people to use active and collective forms of transport to travel to work, such as segregated cycle ways and public transport