Priority 1: Lead Malvern Hills District Council’s operations to become carbon neutral by 2030

It is important for Malvern Hills District Council to show leadership on this issue by ensuring our own operations are carbon neutral.

As a council we have been taking action to reduce our environmental impact for some years, including partnering in 2010 with the Carbon Trust to produce an energy saving plan. Some of the actions we have taken include:

  • Shrinking the size of our estate to a single site and the depot which has reduced electricity and gas use by 34% and 19% respectively
  • Installation of solar panels on The Depot, Hill Centre and Malvern Vale Community Centre 
  • Fitting of LED lighting in the Council House, Council Chamber, Depot, TIC and Malvern Theatres
  • Fitting of lights sensors on kitchens and toilets in the Council House
  • Installation of sheep wool cavity insulation in the Council Chamber to upgrade the thermal value
  • Installation of three electric car charging points at Priory Road South Car Park
  • Installation of a grey water harvesting tank from the new reception extension
  • Installation of Energy efficient hand driers and low flush WCs in toilets in the Council House
  • Reduction in printing, saving 2,152 reams of paper since 2015/16. Paper used for printing is produced from FSA and Woodland Trust approved sustainable sources
  • Removal of single-use disposable cups from the Council House and depot  to reduce waste and use of plastic
  • Investment in a new fleet of fuel efficient refuse collection vehicles
  • A 33% reduction in co2e emissions from Malvern Splash as a result of measures to reduce the centre’s electricity and gas usage

This has helped reduce our emissions by approx. 350 tonnes since 2010 but we need to go further and faster.

In 2018/19 the council’s operations generated 1,750.18 tonnes of co2 equivalent gases (co2e). This is broken down as follows:

  • Waste and recycling vehicles – 46%
  • Malvern Theatres – 24%
  • Malvern Splash – 20%
  • Council House and Council Chamber – 4%
  • Other council buildings – 2%
  • Staff and councillor travel – 2%
  • Tourist Information Centres – 1%
  • Car parks and toilets – 1%

Two thirds of our emissions come from our waste and recycling collection vehicles and Malvern Splash. In order to become carbon neutral we will need to replace our waste and recycling collection vehicles at the end of their life with non-internal combustion engine vehicles.

This is likely to be necessary about 2029.  There will be earlier opportunities to replace other parts of the fleet over the next decade and introduce fuel saving technology such as electric bin lifts. Malvern Splash requires significant investment in the next two to five years to extend the life of the building.

This will provide an opportunity to improve energy efficiency and reduce the centre’s carbon footprint at the same time. Combined with other energy efficiency measures in our other buildings this should reduce our emissions to about 473 tonnes. This will then need to be offset by planting 7,500 trees over five hectares.