Sustainability documents

Below are links to the Council's key strategic environmental sustainability documents which are directing the work of the Council.  These will ensure that Bath and North East Somerset moves towards an environmentally sustainable, low carbon future that is resilient to climate change, whilst maintaining a high quality of life for those who live and work in the district. 

Environmental Sustainability Partnership

The Bath & North East Somerset Environmental Sustainability Partnership has a 2020 vision:

‘Environmental sustainability is about our ability to survive and thrive into the future.  Everything else that we seek to achieve – such as improved health and well-being and economic prosperity - is dependent on a clean environment and stable climate.

In Bath & North East Somerset, our ambition is to provide the leadership to enable the whole community to benefit from an environmentally sustainable, healthy, low carbon future that is resilient to changes in our climate.  We seek to be a leading place for innovation and achievement in pursuit of these goals.’ (updated July 2018)

In taking this action on climate change, a wide range of strategic issues are encompassed, including energy infrastructure planning and sustainable buildings, transport, peak oil, air pollution and waste management, as well as local green space, bio-diversity and protection of the natural environment.  The Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy 2016-2020 outlines the vision and appoach that is being taken by the partnership.  This strategy is available to download here.

There are practical and successful examples from around the area showing how it can be done:

Environmental Sustainability Partnership case studies.

Community Energy Strategy

The Community Energy Strategy 2015-2018 sets out an approach for how local public and private sector partners can work together in Bath and North East Somerset to accelerate the growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements across the district in a way which delivers maximum local benefit. It supports the Core Strategy target of installing 275MW renewable energy by 2029, as well as other Core Strategy targets on retrofitting, sustainable construction and district heating. It also supports other policy aims such as the provision of lower cost energy, reduction of fuel poverty, local economic benefits and community ownership and involvement, as part of our local target to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2026.


Local Food Strategy 

The Local Food Strategy sets out its vision as Bath and North East Somerset as a place where everyone can access good quality, safe, affordable food and enjoy a healthy diet, with more locally produced food that sustains the environment and supports the local economy. In particular we want to reduce diet-related ill health and inequality, reduce the local environmental impacts of food production and supply including its contribution to climate change, increase food security and support a strong and prosperous food economy.

We want Bath and North East Somerset to be a place where good quality food is widely provided, celebrated and promoted and where everyone has the opportunities to develop food related skills and to reconnect with food and where it comes from. The need for a B&NES Local Food Strategy arose from the synergy between the Environmental Sustainability Partnership objectives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG ) emissions and environmental impacts from the food sector and the Health & Well-Being Board (HW BB) objectives to reduce diet-related ill health and inequality. In addition, the importance of a thriving local food economy to local economic well-being is included in the Economic Strategy.

The B&NES Local Food Strategy provides a framework for action that encompasses social, economic and environmental sustainability in a coherent and coordinated manner. The strategy has been designed to bring together the full range of current food activities and to identify future opportunities within a single strategic framework, enabling greater co-ordination, crossfertilisation and closer working between partners and stakeholders across the local authority.

It is the intention that this more integrated approach will increase the opportunities for our strategic ambitions to be realised, working in partnership with public sector organisations, food and farming businesses, the voluntary sector and local communities.


Local Development Framework

The forthcoming Local Development Framework will set out how the planning system will help deliver the aspirations of the Sustainable Community Strategy. It will determine the location and level of new housing and other development and is one of the Council’s key policy documents that seeks to build upon the area’s strong foundations which include the emerging creative industries, success of local Universities, and vibrant retail and tourist offer.


Covenant of Mayors

Bath & North Somerset Council is a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors. The project is a mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources in thier areas. As a signatory, the Council is aiming to meet and exceed the European Union 20% carbon reduction objective by 2020.  The short film found here highlights the isses of the European carbon footprint and some of the efforts already made by communities involved in the project.



Climate Local succeeds the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change.  Climate Local is a framework that reflects our local priorties and opportunities for action.  It supports the Council's efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to improve thier resilience to the anticipated changes in the climate.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Report

The Council publishes an annual report on its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) using the standard GHG guidance from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  View the 2013/14 emissions report. The report is published annually at the end of July.

Bath & North East Somerset Sustainability Building Standards Study 

This study, undertaken jointly by Max Fordham, Architype and Gale & Snowden, aims to capture the options and opportunities for setting sustainability standards for development and regeneration projects which the Council is involved in. It consists of the following sections, available at the links below:

Sections 1-6: Standards and Methods

  1. The Council’s approach: Please note, the Council’s approach as cited on this page is a draft under revision and is not the final adopted approach of the Council
  2. Financial considerations for Sustainable Construction, including build costs and value for investors.
  3. Managing the process to achieve Sustainability outcomes: Certification- Pros and cons; Max Fordham Sustainability Matrix; Soft Landings Framework; Energy Modelling Software; Future climate resilience; Contractual Routes 
  4. Options for Standards, Methods and Implementation (a comparison table) 
  5. Implementing Passivhaus through the RIBA stages 
  6. Top 10 Sustainable Construction Measures for Schools

Section 7: Keynsham Civic Centre Case Study: The Council has delivered an award-winning headquarters building to achieve a DEC A energy performance at no additional cost uplift. This section includes a detailed case study of measures and costs, plus the Tender Documentation that was used to implement the Soft Landings process and embed sustainability throughout the project. 

Section 8: Non Domestic and Domestic Case Studies: Including costs and specifications. 

  • Max Fordham Case Studies: Woodland Trust; Heelis; National Trust HQ; the Hive, Worcester Library and History Centre 
  • Architype Passivhaus Case Studies: The Enterprise Centre; University of East Anglia; Wilkinson Primary School; Herefordshire Archive and Record Centre 
  • Gale & Snowden Passivhaus Case Studies: The Curve (offices); Reed Walk, Rowan House and Knights Place (social housing); Westcott House (renovated Victorian house)

Section 9: A note on the sustainable refurbishment of historic buildings: Trinity College New Court, Cambridge. Section 10: About the Authors

West of England Low Carbon Initiative

During 2011 and early 2012, Bath & North East Somerset Council led a research project for the West of England (WOE) local authorities entitled the ‘West of England Low Carbon Initiative’.  The purpose of the research was to contribute to the development of a comprehensive approach to making the West of England a low carbon place with a low carbon economy and low carbon communities.  The research is covered by two reports; Low Carbon Economy and Renewable and Low Carbon Energy in the West of England (reports also available to download on the right handside of this page):

Low Carbon Economy:

  • This study examines economic activity from a carbon perspective, providing a comprehensive evidence base and analysis of risks and opportunities. 
  • It recommends, among other things, that the West of England responds to the twin challenge of needing to decarbonise existing business activity, whilst simultaneously growing new low carbon business.  A ‘Green and Grow’ strategy.
  • The study also looks at supply chains and contains a number of useful case studies from West of England businesses.

Renewable and Low Carbon Energy in the West of England:

  • This study builds on previous individual local authority studies to identify opportunities for developing regional sustainable energy infrastructure.
  • The consultants also undertook a series of workshops in order to build local capacity to exploit these opportunities.  The workshop write-ups are included in the report.

These studies are being used to inform policy and strategy development at local authority level and at West of England level, through the Low Carbon Sector Group of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Related documents:

  • The Council's Waste Strategy
  • The Council monitors and controls environmental pollution.  View more details about minimising the effects of pollution, including plans, strategies and enforcement legislation. 
  • Green Infrastructure Strategy will ensure that the natural infrastructure is in place to help people live happier, healthier and more sustainable lives.


Help us improve our website

We would like to improve our website navigation. Help us understand how people find our services.

Take part

Become a website tester

If you would like to be contacted by a member of our team to help us understand how people use our website please leave your details below.


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

Your rating: 

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (7 votes)
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.