West Northamptonshire Council receives Bronze iiE accreditation

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has reached a key milestone in its journey towards becoming a net zero local authority by achieving its first national environmental accreditation.

Following an independent audit, the Council has earned Bronze Award accreditation with the Investors in the Environment scheme (iiE), recognising its commitment towards sustainability.

The iiE scheme is designed to help organisations improve their environmental performance and reduce their impact on the environment, save time and money as well as get recognition for their progress. Bronze status is the first of three iiE accreditation levels the Council is working towards achieving to ensure environmental excellence.

WNC is committed to achieving Net Zero for its own emissions by 2030 and Net Zero West Northants emissions by 2045, with the recent publication of its baseline emissions report for 2021-22 last month representing a significant step forward in meeting its sustainability goals.

In just 12 months since the launch of its Sustainability Strategy and less than two years since the Council was formed, WNC has made great progress in meeting its sustainability objectives, including:

  • – Setting out a new Sustainable West Northants Strategy and mapping activities, services and priorities against the UN Sustainable Development Goals so everyone can see how they contribute
  • – Establishing a new dedicated Sustainability Team, staff network and councillors net zero action group to guide, influence and involve communities, colleagues and partners
  • – Harnessing strong support from our Leadership Team and signing up to the national UK100 Network to drive forward change and gather best practice
  • – Establishing an online Sustainable West Northamptonshire information hub and social media channels to promote, share and encourage good practice
  • – Building upon early activities from the legacy councils and improving and expanding use of innovation and technology such as e-scooters and robot deliveries
  • – Expanding electric vehicle charge points  by installing 62 new charging bays giving residents the confidence to choose clean green transport
  • – Extending our e-scooter scheme that led to 1,055,769 car journeys being avoided and 505 tonnes CO2 reduction
  • – Supported our partners at Starship Technologies and the Co-op to extend on-demand robot grocery deliveries to over 80,000 homes across Northampton leading to 131,383 miles in car journeys avoided and 56,293kg CO2 reduction.

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “We’re delighted to be awarded Bronze iiE Accreditation, recognising our commitment to cutting emissions and meeting our 2030 target to achieve net zero as well as celebrate our achievements so far.

“Like many other organisations across the country, we are aware of our climate impact and are dedicated to making changes to our relationship with the environment in order to make a difference today, and for future generations. Now we have this initial recognition, we look forward to achieving a higher-level rating as soon as possible, as we progress our Net Zero journey.

“We have ambitious targets, and it is essential that we come together to make a change with both large and small steps in the right direction. There are a number of ways you can join and support our journey. You may already act sustainably in your daily life without thinking about it, whether it is walking to the shops, recycling milk bottles or donating clothes to charity. So, to make an even bigger impact, let’s all make these acts a conscious and concerted effort.”

There are three key Sustainability Pledges which outline WNC’s primary commitments, which are to:

  • Net Zero the Council’s own emissions by 2030 and those of residents and businesses by 2045
  • Take a community leadership role for Sustainability in West Northants
  • Ensure all Council strategies and policies are aligned to and contribute to the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Make your sustainability pledge, and find out more on our Sustainable West Northants page