We have declared a climate emergency. Our Destination Zero report explains how we will contribute to reducing carbon emissions from our own operations. It also sets out how we will use our leadership role, to help individuals, businesses and communities play their part in reducing the district’s overall carbon emissions.
Our vison is to lead Malvern Hills District to become carbon neutral as quickly as possible but by 2050 at the latest and with a minimum 50% reduction in the district’s carbon footprint by 2030. We aim to make our own operations carbon neutral by 2030.
When producing the plan we consulted with residents, community groups, various organisations and parish and town councils. Many of you said you wanted to play your part in helping to tackle climate change but you didn’t know where to start.
This page contains some simple things you can do that will make a difference and support our vision.
What can I do as an individual?
The first thing you can do is calculate your carbon footprint. You will find, like most people, you generate the most carbon emissions from the way you heat your home, the way you move around, your diet and the amount of waste you produce.
Targeting these areas will make a real difference to your carbon footprint and they do not have to be expensive, in fact they could even save you money.
Here are some easy changes you can make:
- Switch your appliances off at the wall and unplug. This could save you £30 a year
- Reduce the number of times you use your washing machine by one less cycle a week and hang dry your washing instead of tumble drying
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need
- Spend one less minute in the shower – this could save you £7 a year for every person in your household
- Switch to LED lights and turn them off when you aren’t in the room
- Turn your thermostat down by one degree Celsius. This can save you up to £80 a year and 320kg in carbon emissions (based on a typical three bedroom house, heated by gas and on April 2019 prices)
- Walk, cycle or use public transport for short journeys
- Reduce the amount of meat and dairy products you eat
- Buy pre-loved or vintage clothes, wear what you have more often and donate what you no longer need to charity
- Reduce your food waste. About 5,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by households across Malvern Hills District every year. By planning your meals, shopping smarter and making sure you eat what you buy you can make a major difference to your carbon footprint. Find more information on the Love Food Hate Waste website (opens in new window)
- Draught proof your home. Filling in the cracks in doors, windows and floorboards can save £20 a year
You may also like to look at improving the energy efficiency of your home. If you have moved since the 1 August 2007 then your home will have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It contains your current home energy efficiency rating and suggestions of things you can do to improve it. Find your EPC online (opens in new window).
Insulating your home and replacing your boiler for a more energy efficient one could save you up to £200 a year on your energy bills. If you are on certain benefits, including Child Benefit, you may even qualify to have your boiler replaced or home insulated for free.
Installing renewable energy generation, such as solar panels, in your home will cut your energy bills and your carbon footprint. Find more information on the Energy Saving Trust website (opens in new window).
Buying an electric vehicle is a great way to cut your carbon footprint and save money as the cost of electricity for charging is lower than the cost of petrol or diesel. The Government also intends to ban all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035 so if you can afford it, then it makes sense to take action in the near future.
New models are coming on to the market all the time and the range of electric vehicles has increased significantly in recent years and will continue to grow as technology improves. Prices are also coming down too.
The Government offers a discount of up to £3,500 off the price of new electric cars. You do not have to do anything as the dealer will automatically include the discount in the price you pay. Read more about the low emission vehicles eligible for a grant (opens in new window).
You can also get a grant of £500 to help with the cost of installing an electric charger at your home. Read more about the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (opens in new window).
What can businesses do?
Businesses are crucial to tackling the climate emergency facing the planet. That’s why funding has been made available to support companies to grow by investing in low carbon projects and renewable energy schemes, to cut costs and Co2 emissions.
Free assessments are available through the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme to help
- Identify viable renewable energy projects such as installing solar panels, biomass boilers or air, ground or water source heat pumps.
- Analyse opportunities for diversification or development in the low carbon products and services sector
Grants of up to 40% of a project are then available to bid for. Capital projects must be worth no more than £250,000 and revenue projects no more than £125,000. For example, if your project costs £50,000, the fund would provide £20,000 towards it.
The funding is available to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that are:
- Based in and trading from Worcestershire
- Employ fewer than 250 staff
- Have a turnover of less than 50 million Euros a year or a balance sheet of less
than 43 million Euros
The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.
You can also get help to lower your energy bills and support the environment through the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP). This involves a free assessment of your business premises, products and processes.
Recommendations will be made to improve energy efficiency and grants of up to £20,000 (40% of the total cost of the project) are then available to apply for.
Install electric vehicle charging points
Businesses can also get money to help with the cost of installing electric vehicle charging points at their workplace to help support their staff to make the move to an electric vehicle. Read more about the Workcharge Scheme on the Government's website (opens in new window)
What can we do as a parish /town council?
Across our district parish and town councils are taking action to tackle climate change by cutting the carbon footprint of their own operations or their own parish/town.
We encourage parish and town councils to read the Destination Zero report, to focus their efforts on the priority areas set out within it and to support our schemes, as well as introduce their own.
We will shortly be releasing information about our match funding scheme to help create pollinator sites across the district so please check this page for updates.
What about community groups and other organisations?
Our communities are crucial to helping us tackle climate change. We are already working with a number of them including Transition Malvern Hills, Malvern Community Forest and Malvern Hills Trust. If you're a community group or organisation involved with projects that help cut carbon emissions in our district then email us to see if we can support you.
Tree planting is not the answer to tackling climate change. It is always better to reduce emissions rather than offset or capture them. But, tree planting does have a role to play. To support our ambition to become a carbon neutral district, we need to plant tens of thousands of trees. We won’t be able to plant them all.
This will allow us to more accurately record the tree planting taking place across the district and to calculate their contribution to tackling climate change.