02 February 2010

Northamptonshire County Council has received official recognition that the authority’s carbon footprint has been reduced and that it is committed to lowering its direct impact on climate change.

The authority has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard - the only independent award for organisations to verify they are cutting their carbon footprint and reducing their own direct impact on climate change year-on-year.

The award shows that Northamptonshire County Council is at the forefront when it comes to tackling climate change and has taken action by reducing the carbon emissions it is directly responsible for.

To receive the award the county council was assessed across all services, including the fire and rescue service and schools. The honour comes just nine months after the council set up its Environmental Unit, which was charged with reducing the authority’s carbon output.

This recognition means the council has joined an elite group of organisations in the UK which have received the accolade, including Marks & Spencer, IKEA and Tesco. The council is also setting an example of good practice in local government by becoming the first local authority in the region to gain the standard.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for environment, growth and transport said: “This is an excellent achievement and mirrors the hard work of our environmental unit, which was established to directly address the challenge of reducing our carbon emissions.

“The Carbon Trust Standard shows people which organisations can be trusted to have genuinely acted on climate change and are committed to ongoing emission reductions.

“We have to become increasingly aware of how our actions can affect climate change and it is imperative that we do what we can to reduce our impact on the environment.

“Not only is this important in tackling this global issue but it also makes sense from a financial point of view for us too as there are cost benefits for authorities for lowering their carbon emissions.”

The Carbon Trust Standard specifies requirements in three key areas:

  • Carbon footprint measurement
  • Carbon management
  • Carbon reduction performance