Climate Change Board - Wednesday, 28th September, 2022 4.00 pm

Proposed venue: Room 8 - Hatchlands, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: Carrie Anderson 

Note: Also on Teams. See your Outlook invitation for joining instructions. 

No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies for absence were received from Professor Bob Nichol (UNIS), Chris Wheeler (EHoS: Environmental Services) and Ben McCallan (SCC).

Debbie Hickman was welcomed as a new member of the Comms Team.



Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising pdf icon PDF 2 MB


The minutes of the meeting held on 17 August 2022 were approved.

The Board agreed that it would be supportive to run an Action Tracker to review and monitor business and progress. This would be arranged by Democratic Services.

An action was outstanding for Alistair to circulate a paper concerning natural capital and health and well-being costs. Action: Alistair Atkinson

It was recommended a specialist in carbon costs be invited to address the Board and to set out any opportunities for the Council. The Finance Team would be approached for more detail. Action: Nat Prodger

[DSO note. The Board felt that the minutes did not set out ownership for the above outstanding actions, however this was not the case as there had been paragraph movement on the document.]


GBC Emissions Report 2020-21 - Presentation pdf icon PDF 271 KB


The Climate Change Officer gave a presentation.

The Guildford Borough Council (GBC) Scope 1,2 and 3 Carbon Emissions Report for 2020/21 was written by the Association for Public Sector Excellence (APSE). It was prepared in March and revised in July 2022.

The evidence baseline was for 2008/09. The calculations had been made in-house at GBC and had been reviewed by APSE. The net carbon footprint from Scopes 1,2, and 3 for 20/21 was 6,057 tCO2e. From the baseline data that represented a reduction of 9519 tCO2e or 61%.

Due to the pandemic 20/21 was classed as a ‘non-standard’ year and the data should not be sued for comparison against standard years. This was because of lockdowns and closure of the leisure centre etc. Data from 2021/22 had been commissioned and would be compared against data from 2019. Data informing the new Action Plan would be drawn from 2019 data.

Scope 1 was direct emissions and represented natural gas usage and was the largest source of emissions at 2,393 tCO2e per annum. Council vehicles were also accounted for under Scope 1 at 920 tCO2e per annum and it was noted that waste vehicles accounted for 68% of Council vehicle emissions. Scope 2 was indirect emissions and represented electricity use and accounted for 2,116 tCO2e per annum. Scope 3 emissions accounted for 644 tCO2e per annum, however Scope 3 emissions needed focus to ensure that there was full capture. Scopes 1 and 2 accounted for 98.4% of all Council emissions.

The revised Carbon Trajectory report had also been received from APSE in July. For the year 2020-21 the Council had produced less carbon emissions than forecast because it had been a ‘non-standard’ year. Therefore, the year 20221-22 was expected to see a rise as business returned to normal. The trajectory report provided an indicative cost to the Council to attain net-zero by 2030 for Scopes 1 and 2 at £56.8M. It was recommended in the report that the Council undertake a review of all vehicles and assets and provide an action plan setting out what interventions could be undertaken, along with a calculation of capital costs and funding opportunities. Additional recommendations from the report were to centralise and store all Scope 1 and 2 emissions data via SystemsLink[1]; to develop an understanding of and report on Scope 3 emissions; that waste disposal data be recorded and reported; and that Scope 3 be expanded to include purchased goods and services. Under SystemsLink the 331 electricity meters that the Council were responsible for were currently under review to seek to reduce emissions. A new carbon tab would be included on the SystemLink carbon table to ensure that renewable energy generation could be counted to offset as energy reduction?? A number of assumptions had been made to calculate Scope 3 emissions. Currently, only water supply was calculated and not used water treatment. It had been assumed that 95% of the water used by the Council had been returned to the sewer. Carbon emissions associated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Climate Change Communications Plan (Draft) pdf icon PDF 250 KB


The Communications Plan had been reviewed by the Climate Change Officer against a number of other local councils plans. It was an internal document to sit with the Communications Team.

The draft document identified key stakeholders and the messages that Council would wish to project with regards to Climate Change.

The Communications Plan and the Draft Action Plan were closely aligned.

The key messages would include an infographic to set out what had been achieved by the Council since 2019.

The meeting heard that the Council was responsible for around 1.1% of the emissions coming from across the borough and held an important leadership role in encouraging and empowering others to take action to reduce emissions by example and by highlighting the benefits in terms of costs and lifestyle. This leadership role should be clearly set out in the ‘Aims’ section of the document.

The terms ‘net-zero’ and ‘carbon-neutral’ were not interchangeable and the former had a legal implication. The draft should ensure this was clear.

The Board was invited to submit any further comment on the draft by email.


Climate Change Action Plan (Draft) pdf icon PDF 174 KB


The Climate Change Officer presented the draft Climate Change Action Plan.

It was noted that the governance route for the draft was be discussed at the Joint Executive Advisory Board meeting on 10 November before being considered for adoption by the Executive on 24 November.

A forward for the document needed to be written and it was felt that either the Chairman as Lead Councillor for Climate Change and/or the Leader of the Council with the Joint Chief Executive would be appropriate.

This was to be an outward facing, external public document and as such was presented to be accessible to all using basic language and assuming no prior knowledge of the issues and terminology. It was suggested a technical summary might be included.

The policy contexts ran from global to local, going on to explain the intentions and position of the Council and how those objectives would be achieved including working with residents, business and partner agencies. The draft was comprehensive and set out finance projections, deliverables, reviews and governance routes.

Greenhouse gas emissions data had been drawn from national statistics but would be updated with APSE data as and when there was an update or revision. In this aspect it was a working document. There had been revisions in carbon measurements over the years and this was explained within the test, for example from 2018 agriculture had been included in carbon calculations.

The draft had drawn from Waverley Borough Council’s action plan which had been commended in national rankings as well as the SCC Greener Futures programme and the Council’s existing High Level Action Plan.

It was reported that transport plans around the country were being revisited for low carbon and there were opportunities for Government funding. Where possible the Council might invest sufficiently to get projects ready to attract such funding.

Social equity and a just transition might be highlighted in the draft as something the Council was aware of and incorporating into plans. It was suggested the Council might work with the University and public health partners in this regard.

It had been proposed that an officer working group be set up to review the actions in the draft plan and to identify ownership across the Council and what work was already underway. This group would feedback to update the draft plan.

The matter of any Climate Assembly being run by the Council was subject to a mandate evaluation process and was included in the draft action plan at 8.4.

It was noted that ’buy-in’ for the action plan was vital and needed to be obtained at the highest level of the Council to be successful. The action plan should be a ‘living’ document with actions being moved to an action log and new actions added over time and reflective of changing technologies etc.

It was understood a local walking and cycling infrastructure project would be developed with SCC, probably under the Greener Futures programme and the Council should take every opportunity to promote that work.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Any other business


There was a discussion about taking forward the Board’s review of the Council’s Climate Change declaration motion, to potentially include biodiversity and air quality and to define the Council’s understanding of ‘net-zero’ as proposed at the previous meeting.

Alastair kindly agreed to submit a draft rewording or a list of questions for the Board to take forward the discussion at the next meeting.

The timescale for the review was not dependent upon the adoption of the draft action plan and could be put back to February full Council. It would be added to the agenda for the next meeting and be included on the new action tracker.

Need a note to say they don’t want a presentation on bus stops?? What was this Nat?



Date of the next meeting


Wednesday 30 November from 10:30am. Via Teams and in person in Room 6 (Hurtmore), GBC offices, Millmead.