Winchester organisations rise to the carbon challenge

Press Release: 22/06/2009

Organisations across Winchester, including Winchester City Council, have agreed to work together to reduce the District’s carbon footprint by 20 per cent over the next three years.

At a meeting on 9 June 2009, facilitated by Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) and hosted by Winchester City Council, members of the Winchester District Strategic Partnership (WDSP) agreed to work towards achieving the ambitious reduction in carbon emissions by 2012.

The event brought together a number of the District’s largest employers including: IBM, Zurich Insurance, DenPlan Ltd, Hampshire County Council, the University of Winchester, colleges, the Police, and the NHS, to discuss what action will be taken towards meeting the target.

The organisations agreed that there is an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, within the Winchester District.

Due, in large part, to its demographic profile and relative prosperity, Winchester is one of the highest carbon emitting Districts in the country. However, the partnership believes that it is possible reduce the District’s carbon footprint whilst still maintaining the high quality of life and prosperity associated with the District. It believes that a low carbon District would actually make Winchester a much more desirable place to live and do business.

The WDSP has identified a number of key areas where change is needed; including transportation, energy management, procurement practices, ‘food miles’, waste reduction, and home insulation.

Partners agreed a list of actions and made commitments to explore specific initiatives within their own organisations, and in collaboration with others. They were also encouraged to join WinACC,
Winchester’s main climate change network.

Cllr Frank Pearson, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, said:

“It was good to see so much enthusiasm for change from both public and private sector organisations.  Much of what we need to do can be done collectively, and we can also cut costs by working more efficiently.”

Robert Hutchison, Chair of WinACC and the WDSP High Quality Environment Group, said:

“We have an opportunity for a better life, economic gain, and to do what’s right. The benefits of moving to a low carbon future will go to those who get there first. I am pleased that Winchester is taking the first steps on the road to cutting its carbon footprint by 20% by 2012.”

For more information on the action plan and how you can get involved contact Christine Holloway on 01962 827083 or email winacc@winacc.org.uk