Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally
Edited by Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson
Chapter 11: Woking Borough Council: Working Towards a Low Carbon Community
Lara Curran INTRODUCTION Woking Borough Council (WBC) has been recognized for its longstanding commitment to tackling climate change and protecting the environment. The Council has been awarded Beacons for Sustainable Energy (2005–2006), Promoting Sustainable Communities through the Planning Process (2007–2008) and more recently the Beacon Award for Tackling Climate Change (2008–2009). This journey however has been long term and WBC embarked on the path to thinking globally and acting locally in the early 1990s when it adopted a new approach to energy efficiency for its own buildings. This led to substantial savings in both energy and finance and the incorporation of small scale Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units in corporate buildings in the mid to late 1990s. Energy efficiency and alternatives to conventional energy production were progressed and embedded in the Council’s approach to asset and property management. To date the authority’s portfolio of energy projects has come to include a range of low and zero carbon technologies, including solar photovoltaics, CHP and a demonstration fuel cell. In 2002 however there was a shift in approach. The Council adopted a comprehensive Climate Change Strategy covering all of the services it provided. This strategy saw a shift in focus from energy saving to carbon saving and the ability to contribute savings corporately from many service areas. The adoption of the Climate Change Strategy provided fresh impetus for WBC to pursue an agenda for community engagement in these issues and ‘lead by example’ through the learning activities from...
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