Why is the environment important?
The Council has a responsibility to protect and manage the environment by reducing our impact and ensuring efficient use of natural resources. This should be done throughout the stages of any project or decision. This helps to minimise current and future threats to the environment and our people, assets and information. The Council has a duty to meet such requirements through the public bodies duties under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Namely to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, adapt to a changing climate and act sustainably.
What does a manager need to know?
It is essential that as a manager you are aware of key environmental issues and the impact of any actions on the environment your service operations may have. All Council managers should play a role in achieving targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and make better use of resources.
Cost efficiencies and/or savings can be delivered through efficient use of resources, implementing measures which reduce revenue costs, mitigate against financial risk, reduce disruption to services and the wider community.
By managing our environment responsibly we can improve our reputation and meet stakeholder expectation. By doing so this could increase our funding potential and enable the Council to be recognised for our achievements. Through sharing best practice and collaborative working economies of scale can be achieved, by joint working in this way awareness of environmental issues is discussed in a broader arena.
What should you do?
As a manager you should be familiar with Council environmental policies and strategies and help to meet them by making sure:
- Natural resources are conserved and cost savings made, by efficient and responsible use of raw materials.
- Waste reduction is addressed and an increase in reuse and recycling is introduced.
- A reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through energy efficiency measures, reducing energy consumption, using low/ zero carbon technologies and sustainable transport initiatives.
- You contribute to ensuring business continuity to predicted changes in climate.This could include measures to avoid flooding, improve drainage, increase urban green-space, water conservation measures and addressing coastal erosion.
- You protect and improve water and air quality, avoid pollution and protect and enhance the natural environment.
- You should work to reduce risk, ensuring flexibility and longevity of projects to predicted changes.
The links below provide some information on existing policies and plans – though these are continually being reviewed and updated. For further guidance contact the relevant service area through Our Environment on the Zone.
- Environmental Management Policy
- ACC Carbon Management Programme – reducing corporate carbon emissions
- Internal Waste Minimisation Policy, – developing a sustainable approach to waste management.
- Strategic Environmental Assessment – the environmental assessment of plans, programmes or strategies.
- Habitat Regulation Assessment – ensuring plans and projects do not have a significant effect on European designated sites – scroll down to the bottom of the page for further information.
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