UK local authorities work together to reduce carbon footprints

UK local authorities work together to reduce carbon footprints

A group of UK local authorities are taking part in an insetting initiative to accelerate their progress to net zero through innovation.


Designed as a public sector alternative to traditional carbon offsetting, the initiative is being developed in response to the carbon offsetting issues faced by local authorities, such as using emission reduction activities outside of the region and the lack of well-defined, fit-for-purpose local offsetting options.


Investing in value chains


The programme has been developed by the local authorities with the Anthesis Group, which describes itself as a sustainability activator. Its Authorities-Based Insetting (ABI) initiative aims to help the authorities benefit from their insetting investment choices locally. Insetting is where organisations invest in their own value chain to reduce carbon footprints.


Insetting can stimulate greater local investment in carbon-saving projects and the ability to quantify and report on the associated carbon impacts. As part of the initiative, Anthesis will work alongside local authorities and engage industry leaders in green investment and offsetting, emissions standards experts, NGOs, and academics. The project will result in an insetting guidance framework for local authorities in Q4 2021.


The concept was initiated following a series of Anthesis-facilitated net zero events and discussions with UK local authorities in 2020. Recognising the need for a new standard for insetting, the project was subsequently developed between Anthesis and the local authorities of Blackburn with Darwen, Brighton & Hove, Cheshire East, Horsham, Leicester, Leicestershire, Oxford, Richmond, Shropshire, Trafford, Wandsworth and West Sussex.


“We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce our emissions as an organisation by 2030, but recognise that there may still be some carbon emissions that we have not been able to completely eliminate by this date,” said councillor Julia Neden-Watts, chair of the environment, sustainability, culture and sports committee, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

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