The statement is a reflective review of how the council has performed against its current environmental objectives over the last few years.
Positive activity within the statement includes:
- Reducing flood risk by investing in award winning flood alleviation schemes. Working in partnership, the council has completed five flood alleviation schemes in the last four years. As a result of these schemes, 13,520 properties are at reduced risk from flooding
- Improved energy efficiency measures, taking advantage of new technologies, such as LED lighting and increasing the number of renewables we use on our public buildings are all helping the council reduce its carbon emissions
- The installation of photovoltaic panels (PVs) on buildings including leisure centres, offices and depots across the East Riding. We have also installed our first solar farm at the council’s South Cliff Holiday Park. The 370kW solar farm will generate zero carbon electricity that will be supplied directly to the holiday park, significantly reducing carbon emissions and providing 45% of the site’s annual electricity usage
- Improvements in the work around climate change and a commitment to develop a Climate Change Strategy. The strategy will explore opportunities for reducing carbon emissions and examine how we can adapt to climatic changes across the wider East Riding
- Working in partnership to help conserve the rich biodiversity of the East Riding, for example the establishment of the Yorkshire Marine Nature Partnership Development Project to protect the Yorkshire coast's unique and diverse marine habitats
- Developing staff awareness on environmental issues across the council with the use of various training resources. This includes an e-learning package for all staff to complete, which covers areas such as pollution risks, biodiversity, waste management, and environmental best practice
- The continued installation of electric vehicle charging points in public car parks and council premises. The council currently has over 30 charging points across East Riding public car parks
- Seven new zero-emission electric vans and one electric minibus have been purchased for the council to use in delivering services, with charging points installed at three of our depots
- The adoption of a new Carbon and Energy Management Strategy, which sets out interventions on the Council’s assets (buildings, schools, street lighting and transport) that reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption
- Two new business centres ‘Raise’ in Goole and the ‘Beverley Enterprise Centre’ have been designed and built to meet excellent BREEAM standards and environmental requirements have been considered throughout
- Continuous improvements with the management of municipal waste. The authority was presented with the first ever trophy for the ‘Local Authority Recycling League Champion’ for England during 2020. In addition, in 2020, East Riding residents have helped the council become the country’s number one recycler for the third year running.
In addition, the council also has in place a certificated Environmental Management System (EMS) and Environmental Policy, which enable us to achieve and demonstrate sound environmental performance. To ensure continued compliance, the EMS is reviewed on an ongoing basis. The most recent external audit of the EMS was undertaken by NQA in January 2022 in which the council successfully retained certification to ISO14001:2015.
Cllr Chris Matthews, portfolio holder for environment and climate change at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The Environmental Statement for 2021 demonstrates the continued progress the council is making in reviewing its operations within services based on environmental factors.
“The council has taken a significant step forward in 2021 as we declared a climate emergency in the East Riding. The Climate Change Strategy will build on existing work and focus action to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience to climate change.”
The Environmental Statement for 2021 is available to view here.