Kent County Council has given an update on its plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions for its estate and operations by 2030.
The government declared a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but KCC plans to accelerate its own action to reach that target 20 years earlier.
KCC has already successfully reduced carbon emissions by 45% between 2010 and 2019.
Laser Energy, part of Commercial Services Kent, a company owned by Kent County Council, has developed a tool to assess various actions and forecast their impact to achieve net zero.
This includes investing in renewable energy, shifting to electric vehicles and smarter working practices.
Practically, this will mean fewer miles travelled for business, greater use of electric vehicles, improving the energy efficiency of the buildings KCC owns, creating a district heat network in Maidstone, and greater investment in solar panels.
Speaking at County Council, KCC Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “What you see in the report today is not everything we are doing for Kent’s Environment – our work on biodiversity, natural solutions, adaptation to climate change, to increase active travel, reduce fuel poverty and generally make Kent a better place to live are all in addition to this specific goal of reaching net-zero for KCC’s services and buildings.
“To reach net-zero by 2030 will certainly need considerable effort, we should not underestimate this, but the measures we want to take are worth doing and I believe we’d want to do them whatever target had been set.
“There will be opportunities along the way that may allow us to make faster progress and we need to remain flexible enough to adapt our plans to take advantage of funding, partnerships, technology and innovation that will come our way.”
The report will now go before the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee in September, ahead of a proposed Key Decision.