Mid Sussex: A Net Zero Council
To reach net zero as soon as possible, it was vital that the UK Government set its legally binding target of reaching net zero by 2050 in 2021, becoming the first major economy to commit in law to achieving net zero by 2050.
Our Commitment to Net Zero
To ensure we are on track to meet this, Mid Sussex District Council has adopted the following net zero targets:
- 2040 for emissions within the Council’s direct control
- 2050 for emissions that the Council can only indirectly influence, in line with the national target
- 2050 for District-wide emissions, in line with the national target
To see the agenda and Council report for the adoption of these targets, please follow this link (point 8).
The consultant report on the adoption of these targets is also available here.
Emissions within the Council’s direct control include things like our fleet vehicles, the powering and energy efficiency of our estate and the overall energy consumption of Council operations. MSDC only directly controls 2.6% of the Council’s emissions.
Emissions under indirect Council influence include products or services procured through a supply chain. Many companies supply vital goods and services to the Council, and their carbon footprint is out of MSDC’s control. However, MSDC can attempt to sway the decision-making of these companies it contracts and employ sustainable procurement of goods and services as much as possible to reduce indirect emissions.
Emissions under indirect Council influence account for 97.4% of the Council’s total emissions, and 84% of this comes from our supply chain - I.e. our procured goods and services.
District-wide emissions include all emissions within Mid Sussex, from all areas of business to residents’ homes.
Our Sustainable Economy Strategy and Action Plan outlines the different steps we are taking towards being a truly sustainable district, and we are in the process of creating Net Zero Programmes to guide us towards the targets we have set for the Council and District.
Through these strategies, we will be able to:
- Reduce our District’s emissions and our impact on climate change, with a focus on decarbonising our estate and developing sustainable procurement policies.
- Adapt as best we can to climate change’s impacts, such as higher average temperature and increased flooding
- Support our local economy by growing ‘green skills’
- Create a modal shift towards more sustainable lifestyles
We have already made several changes and improvements which bring us closer to achieving our 2040 net zero target.
- We have already converted 60% of our operational fleet to Electric Vehicles. You should see our new electric parking enforcement vehicles around town!
- EV Charging at MSDC Offices – To support and encourage staff to change to electric vehicles, 5 EV charging points have been installed at Oaklands Campus.
- Solar PV at Oaklands – the Council’s main campus has also had solar PV panels installed on its roof, which now contribute a supply of renewable energy towards the Council’s activities at the site. These generated 27,404 kwh of pollution-free energy in 2021/22.
- Decarbonising our heating – we are exploring all options for ways to decarbonise Council buildings. Watch this space!
Case Study – Active Travel and EVs
The Council is doing lots more to try and promote sustainability throughout Mid Sussex.
- We have recently published our LCWIP – Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (Link here). This outlines the future potential for active travel links between and through the main urban hubs of Burgess Hill, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath.
- We have also completed feasibility studies on potential new cycling routes in Hassocks and Burgess Hill, as well as in relation to a potential bike share scheme.
- About the Place – we are developing planning approval for a 42-mile walking trail throughout the District that passes through Lindfield, Ansty, Handcross, Balcombe, Crawley Down, East Grinstead and West Hoathly. Watch this space!
Mid Sussex District Council is also a partner member of the West Sussex ChargePoint Network.
- To-date 72 EV charging points have been installed throughout mid Sussex through the provider Connected Kerb.
- Follow this link for more information on the West Sussex Chargepoint Network (WSCN): UK’s largest public EV charging project (connectedkerb.com). A video outlining the launch of the WSCN is available here: West Sussex Chargepoint Network Launched - YouTube.
Additionally, the 3,500 new homes in the Brookleigh development in Burgess Hill (formerly known as the Northern Arc) must provide EV charging points for each parking space where on-site parking is provided for residential dwellings. For the remainder, there is a minimum provision of at least one EV rapid charging point per 10 residential dwellings and / or 1000m2 of commercial.