CAMBRIDGE City Council has been awarded the Bronze Green Council Award at the iESE Public Sector Transformations Awards 2023 for the work the council and its partners have undertaken to decarbonise transport through facilitating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
The Green Council award recognises environmental best practice across the public sector in the UK. It is awarded to councils that have shown how they have helped the environment and improved sustainability not only in their own operations, but in the surrounding community.
Following the council declaring a climate emergency in 2019, progress has been made to increase the number of EVs used by the council and provide a network of charge points for residents, businesses, and visitors to use.
These projects include:
- Decarbonising the council’s vehicle fleet by committing to purchasing Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) when replacing vans and trucks. This is being done progressively and it is expected they will all be replaced by 2028.
- Developing a permanent, environmentally sustainable Operational Hub, where operational services like street cleansing and grounds maintenance will be run. This will support the transition to a fleet of EVs by providing charging infrastructure.
- The implementation of a new licensing policy in April 2020 requiring all newly licensed saloon vehicle taxis to be ULEVs or zero emissions vehicles from 2020 and all taxis to be ULEVs or zero emissions vehicles by 2028. The council is installing dedicated, rapid electric charge points for taxis.
- Working with Cambridgeshire County Council and UK Power Networks to facilitate on-street residential electric charge points. The pilot project has installed charge points in two residential areas in Cambridge where off-street parking is extremely constrained to make it easier for residents who don’t have driveways or other forms of off-street parking, to switch to EVs.
- Working in partnership with Connected Kerb to provide a network of approximately 600 charge points across the council’s car parks to further increase the number of publicly accessible charge points in the city. The parking spaces and chargers will also be accessible to residents to charge their electric car overnight with no parking charge, making the move to EVs for residents who do not have their own driveway more feasible.
- Encouraging residents and staff to use the Enterprise Car Club, the official car club provider on behalf of the council. The club makes it easier for staff and residents to use EVs without needing to invest in one.
- Being one of the first waste services in the country to invest in electric refuse collection vehicles (ERCVs) - through the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service which is a partnership between South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council. The councils have committed to decarbonising the fleet of refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) by 2030. The councils are also working on the Waterbeach Renewable Energy Network (WREN) project, on land adjacent to the waste fleet depot, to provide a dedicated renewable energy source to support the transition to electric RCVs.
Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Environment, Climate Change and Biodiversity, said: “Receiving the Green Council Award really highlights the great work that is being done to help decarbonise transport in the city and the scale of work undertaken.
“Through the work we are carrying out we are able to make the transition to electric vehicles more attainable for ourselves, business and residents. This will help to improve the sustainability of the city and reduce our carbon emissions.
“We are proud to be setting ambitious goals and delivering on these projects as we look to tackle the climate emergency and build a more sustainable future for the city. Our climate action work goes beyond decarbonising transport. In January, we handed over 67 new sustainable council homes to local residents and we are implementing our Biodiversity Strategy to make the city more resilient to climate change.
“Thank you to the teams who have worked so hard to deliver these successful projects. We are determined to build on this work contributing towards the vision for the city to be net zero carbon by 2030.”