Key achievements

Outlined below are our key achievements (to the end of January 2023) following the publication of the climate pathway:

Driving change

  • Writing to central government to lobby for more funds and more control at a local level
  • Driving positive change from property developers with Cheltenham’s new climate change supplementary planning document (SPD)
  • Formally evaluating the environmental and social impacts of projects and policies using the Climate Impact Assessment Tool
  • Directly impacting government policy by taking part in a heat networks study looking at the potential for a district heating zone in Cheltenham

Energy reduction

  • Installing 200+ submeters across our properties to make it much easier to read and understand our usage, allowing us to make improvements in areas where energy is being wasted
  • Internal behaviour change campaign for Cheltenham Borough Council staff

Transport and active travel

  • Supporting Gloucestershire County Council in exploring a ‘Mini-Holland’ approach around the Honeybourne Line to make cycling more pleasant, safer and more convenient
  • Supporting Gloucestershire County Council with the provision of up to 1,000 electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs) to be installed countywide for residents who have no off-street parking


  • Planting 1,800 trees in our parks, gardens and open spaces
  • Gradually replacing seasonal annual bedding plants with less carbon and water intensive flowering perennials
  • Allowing grass to grow longer to create instant habitats for insects and small mammals

Supporting community action

  • Providing financial support for community organisations’ energy efficiency projects with the Cheltenham Zero Community Fund
  • Supporting the Planet Cheltenham initiative, signposting to climate action projects and workshops in the borough to raise climate awareness

Our homes

  • Cheltenham Borough Homes has carried out a 'deep retrofit' of two homes with the installation of external wall insulation, upgraded loft insulation, improved ventilation, and smart monitoring
  • Another 83 homes being upgraded with improved insulation and ventilation
  • The first Cheltenham Borough Council owned net carbon zero homes are due to be built at 320 Swindon Road

Supporting our partners

  • Cheltenham Festivals has signed up to the ‘Green Events Code’ pilot. As part of this, Cheltenham Zero will support the festivals team in creating sustainability documents for local events such as a green events guide
  • Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership is providing an option for developers to improve natural habitats with the Gloucestershire Nature + Climate Fund
  • Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has been encouraging climate action from Cheltenham residents with the Do One Thing initiative
  • The University of Gloucestershire is co-developing a tool to better educate landowners on planting techniques including what should be planted and where it should be planted.
  • Reducing emissions in our Ubico fleet - HGVs are now operating on HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) rather than standard diesel and will be up to 91 per cent cleaner.

Looking ahead

Moving into 2023 our climate team are already focusing on the following goals to continue supporting the pathway:

Energy reduction

Reducing our carbon footprint and energy costs by:

  • installing building management systems (BMS) to centralise the control of large heating system
  • assessing the suitability of our buildings for solar photovoltaic (PV) technology that converts sunlight into electrical energy
  • motivating our teams to reduce their energy consumption when at work and home
  • installing a novel heat pump solution in Leisure at Cheltenham to reduce the carbon footprint of air heating, de-humidification and heating of pool water

Water reduction

  • Reducing water use in our buildings and harvesting rainwater for our green spaces

Community action

  • Setting up a scheme to celebrate ‘Climate champions’ highlighting climate efforts from businesses and community groups, as well as individual residents and council officers to inspire further change
  • Supporting Planet Cheltenham in empowering 10 community leaders to co-create hyper-local solutions to the climate crises that deliver for people and planet through the ‘Climate Changemakers’ programme

Our homes

  • CBH has committed to building all future new homes to net zero specifications

Transport and active travel

  • Installing 100+ bike racks in and around town
  • Leasing out selected council owned carparks to EV charging operators
  • Phasing out Euro 3 and 4 licenced taxis to be replaced with lower emission alternatives
  • Replacing all Ubico fleet vehicles under 3.5 tonnes with electric alternatives as they get renewed
  • Supporting Gloucestershire County Council in a trial with Cheltenham Hospital which will see some of their teams, including community midwives, travel around on e-cargo bikes instead of using cars
  • Developing a safe and central cycle hub for Cheltenham