Sutton announced as UK’s most ambitious green borough

story published 3.12.08

 Sutton Council representatives receive certificate from Kevin McCloud

(News jointly issued by Sutton Council and BioRegional)

BioRegional has today named Sutton as the first borough in the country to have developed an ambitious and achievable plan to become a ‘One Planet Borough’ - living within its fair share of the Earth’s resources.

BioRegional has calculated that if everyone in the world used the Earth’s resources at the same rate as Sutton residents, we would need three planets to support us.

Its global One Planet Living® initiative, based on ten key sustainability principles and which the council has now signed up to, aims to change that - working in partnership with local people.

Sutton Council will now work with residents, businesses and other organisations to achieve the targets in its Sustainability Action Plan which include reducing the impact of energy, waste and water and using sustainable materials. The plan will also be annually reviewed to monitor the Council's progress in meeting its targets.

Sutton has already demonstrated its commitment to green living now and for the future, through a number of major projects including:
• delivering new, sustainable homes in the Hackbridge suburb, and advising residents on fitting their existing homes with energy and water saving technology;
• taking the work of Smarter Travel Sutton, the UK’s largest travel programme to promote behaviour change, even further to encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport;
• working with neighbouring boroughs to promote more opportunities for reducing waste and increasing opportunities for recycling.

Sutton Council believes that while the Government’s goals for ‘eco-towns’ are positive, it is more important to focus on working with residents across the country on similar schemes to Sutton’s, that will reduce carbon dioxide and tackle climate change.

Cllr Colin Hall, Deputy Leader of Sutton Council, said:
“For over 20 years Sutton has been a national leader in promoting greener living. We know that residents’ focus right now will be on the economy and as a council we are working hard to support residents and local businesses. But we also have to plan now for the future Sutton that we want.

“As the first One Planet Borough we want to work with local people to reduce our impact on the environment. But it’s not just about being green for its own sake, it’s about protecting Sutton’s quality of life - reducing congestion and pollution, saving money through energy and water efficiency, protecting our green spaces – the list goes on.

“Our plan and targets will help Sutton play its part in protecting our environment and using the Earth’s resources more wisely. But more help is needed from central and regional government to tackle what really is a global issue.”

BioRegional’s global One Planet Living initiative, which the council has now signed up to, is working with partners around the world to deliver a network of real life, exemplary sustainable projects that meet these targets and will inspire even greater change.

Executive Director Sue Riddlestone said:
“In the weeks after the Climate Change Bill set us all a target to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 in the UK, Sutton Council is leading the way and aiming to show this in practice by 2025.

“It’s easy to talk about sustainability but the real value comes from actually trying to do it."

“The real beauty of what we have shown here at the BedZED eco-village in Sutton and in our One Planet Living projects is that reducing your eco-impact doesn’t mean going without, it means saving money and having a better quality of life."
Sutton announced as UK’s most ambitious green borough

“It’s a bit of work to sort it out but then we will all be set up to live within our planetary means having improved our quality of life. Who could argue with that?”

Case study: Hackbridge Sustainable Suburb
The suburb of Hackbridge in the north of the borough was chosen to be the pilot for One Planet Sutton. It is home to BedZED, the UK’s best known eco-village and also has three of the borough’s most deprived areas.

The aim is to work with the community to create a sustainable suburb including employment, local facilities, sustainable travel, 1,500 new sustainable homes and giving advice on how to retrofit existing homes with low-carbon technology.

There are five major sites earmarked for development. Around 45% of the proposed sustainable homes would be affordable. Existing homes nearby could also benefit from new facilities such as shops and community centres to renewable energy technology.

There has been extensive community engagement over the last 18 months; residents have been involved in developing a master plan for Hackbridge and a wider sustainability action plan for Sutton. The master plan is due to be released for public consultation in February 2009.

One Planet Sutton

The London Borough of Sutton is the first official One Planet Region. The Council, BioRegional and local people are working together to enable one planet living by 2025.

Find out more