Climate emergency response

What we’re doing about climate change

What we’re doing about climate change

We're taking a range of actions to reduce emissions in Sheffield, which helps prevent and adapt to climate change. You can read more about them in Our Long term plan for climate change page and our bimonthly newsletter. Our newsletter includes information about events and opportunities such as grants for residents and businesses.

There are several programmes we deliver or fund which directly help people and businesses in Sheffield to reduce their emissions. You can find out how to benefit from our live projects on our page on Climate change and what you can do.

Some examples of the action we have taken to act on and adapt to climate change include:

Our council

  • developing a Climate Impact Assessment so we consider the impact our decisions, locally, have on the climate
  • training over 200 councillors and officers in carbon literacy and climate awareness, and over 65 officers to carry out climate impact assessments
  • our fleet replacement programme prioritises electric vehicles where possible (we currently have 71 electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles that run purely on electricity)
  • Sheffield has the first electric bin lorry in the country which runs on energy generated from our waste, although unfortunately the city’s hills means that at present electric bin lorries aren’t viable for most routes
  • we are starting to decarbonise our buildings. This includes a £1million investment through Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding to install renewable energy and energy efficiency works at Moor Market, Acres Hill Store, and the Town Hall
  • we are developing a programme to invest £3.5m in renewable energy on our buildings
  • we're exploring options for using our land for renewable energy and nature-based solutions to climate change such as planting trees and restoring peat bogs for sustainable food growing

Our homes

  • we are working to improve the energy efficiency of our Council homes and to support private homeowners to improve their energy efficiency
  • we’ve partnered with Eon to carry out energy efficiency improvements to over 800 homes lived in by people on low incomes, including a range of insulation measures, smart heating controls, PV, air source heat pumps. This includes improvements such as insulation and solar panels and helps make homes cheaper to heat, helping to tackle both the cost of living crisis and save carbon
  • Energy Surgeries have been established to provide advice on sustainable energy in the home and Smart Energy Meters have been installed for Council tenants. This has created a 40% saving for tenants as well as a substantial reduction in wasted energy

The way we travel

  • over £100 million of investment from the city and the government to make travelling in Sheffield greener, cleaner, and safer for people to travel by bike
  • our award-winning Grey to Green sustainable urban drainage system has replaced roads with cycle paths and drought-friendly, pollen-rich planting that captures water to prevent flooding
  • we have agreed an electric vehicle public charging infrastructure plan and installing new public chargers and have installed 75 public chargepoints
  • we loan out electric vans and taxis for businesses to trial for free
  • we've introduced a Clean Air Zone in Sheffield city centre to help lower emissions and improve air quality. This means that taxis, coaches and goods vehicles that don't meet our emissions standards will have to pay to drive in the city centre. We want to encourage drivers with vehicles that produce high emissions to use lower emissions vehicles and we've introduced a range of grants to help support them to change or upgrade their vehicles

Our land

we’ve made a commitment to plant over 100,000 trees across ten years: during 2022 the Community Forestry Team worked with communities to plant over 6000 trees, including a hectare of new woodland and 400m of hedges

Our energy

We are taking part in a heat network zoning pilot programme with the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy to help inform emerging Heat Network Zoning legislation.

Our business and economy

We have supported over 155 businesses across South Yorkshire by carrying out energy audits and providing 70 grants for energy efficiency improvements through our EU funded Low Carbon Business Support programme. This reduces their carbon emissions and saves them money.

We have two projects currently open for enquiries:

  • the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Low Carbon Project will offer audits to 260 more businesses across South Yorkshire with a target for 220 grants
  • the Low Carbon Community and Culture Project will deliver 140 audits and 100 grants for community and cultural organisations working in public-facing buildings in Sheffield

If you’re an organisation wanting to reduce your carbon footprint and save on energy bills, find out more on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Low Carbon Project page or the Low Carbon Community and Culture Project page.

What we buy, eat and throw away

We have carried out a 12-week food waste recycling trial to help us develop the best possible service when a permanent, city-wide food waste recycling service is introduced in the future.

Working with other organisations

A lot of what we are doing to tackle climate change isn’t just about projects we deliver ourselves. We work with the government, other regional and local public sector organisations, and organisations such as Northern Power Grid, Cadent and the Environment Agency to influence the development of our electricity, gas and transport and environment networks. We are working to increase our district heating network. We also use our planning powers to tackle climate change.

The Environment Act: expanded recycling collections, reusable products and more

The Environment Act became Law in November 2021. It introduces new legislation that will change what recycling is collected from people's homes, introduce a bottle deposit scheme and push manufacturers to produce reusable and repairable products. In response, over the next few years there will be major changes to waste and recycling services in Sheffield. Find out more about how the Environment Act will affect Sheffield

Contact the Sustainability and Climate Change Team

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