LETTER: Sustainable development work by Crawley Borough Council

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Recently you published a letter calling upon Crawley Borough Council to ensure that sustainability and care for the environment are key considerations in all decision making.

In fact Crawley Borough Council has a commitment to behaving sustainably stretching back almost a quarter of a century to the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. Local Agenda 21 as it was known, given impetus by Rio, inspired me and others at the council to introduce sustainable development thinking into all aspects of Crawley Borough Council’s activities. Spearheaded by our Environmental Sustainability team founded in the mid 1990s, working sustainably long ago entered the mainstream DNA of the council and has been validated many times by challenging external environmental audits.

Internally the council’s commitment to sustainability has seen, for example, measures such as reduced water use, office recycling systems and now a move towards being paperless, LED lighting and solar panels for council buildings leading to major reduction in carbon emissions.

Sustainable development work by Crawley Borough Council is also very much about helping residents and businesses to embrace sustainability. Over the years this has seen, for example, the extensive promotion of home composting, working with partners to enable residents to save rain water for use in gardens and many advice workshops for local businesses. The council’s popular Let’s Face It initiative - Focus Action on Crawley’s Environment - also grew out of the commitment to campaign for sustainability in the community.Much of this is of course taken for granted now, and rightly so, but many of these and other developments would not have happened when they did and prospered so well without the council’s determined commitment to sustainability. The mission continues with a second Combined Heat and Power unit due to be installed at K2 in early January, a new commitment by the council to reduce its carbon emissions by another 20 per cent by 2020 on the journey to being carbon neutral by 2050 and work with partners to explore the scope for a local heat network in the town centre.

Councillor Colin Lloyd, Crawley Borough Council (Lab, Tilgate, portfolio holder for Environment)

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