Read our full strategy for dealing with the climate and ecological emergency.

We are committed to protecting and improving the environment for future generations.

Declaring a climate emergency means we recognise we need to accelerate our plans. It is too late to stop climate change, however it is not too late to reduce the impact it will have.

Sutton is already being affected by climate change. The actions of people and organisations in Sutton are contributing to climate change here and elsewhere in the world. If everyone acts, we can make a difference in both.

Our Environment Strategy

Developing the environment strategy

The Environment Strategy was developed following engagement at 19 events, which allowed more than 880 people to share their views on responding to the climate and ecological emergency.

These included drop-in sessions in public places, presentations, workshops at Local Committee meetings as well as an online survey. You can read the Climate Emergency Engagement Event Analysis report, provided on the campaign.

The valuable feedback we received helped to shape our Environment Strategy and Climate Emergency Response Plan. 

The Strategy

The Sutton Environment Strategy 2019 - 2025 sets out our ambition to become London's most sustainable borough by 2025. We'll be working together to deliver this vision with:

  • residents
  • community groups
  • businesses

Download the Environment Strategy and its Action Plan (PDF).

Our vision

Sutton will be London's most sustainable borough. 

Our net zero carbon future means cleaner air and more journeys taken by bike, public transport, or on foot. We’ll have more green spaces, connected to each other, protecting and enhancing nature and biodiversity. Our energy will be renewable and our homes will be warm in winter, cool in summer, and well-insulated.

We will reduce waste and create a circular economy, with options to reuse, repair or re-manufacture the things we buy. We will be able to withstand heat waves, droughts, and flooding caused by climate change. Everyone will know and play their role in reducing their impact on the environment.

Our targets

Cleaner Air

Our cleaner air targets are:

  • by March 2022, 48% of journeys in Sutton will be made by walking, cycling, or public transport, rising to 63% by 2041
  • by March 2022, 36% of people will be doing 20 minutes of active travel a day, rising to 70% by 2041
  • by December 2021, 24% of Sutton's population will be within 400m of the strategic cycle network, rising to 37% by 2041
  • implement the air quality action plan, meeting the national air quality standards for nitrogen dioxide as soon as possible
  • continue to take action to reduce levels of particulate matter

A greener borough

Our greener borough targets are:

  • no overall reduction in the amount of green space in the borough
  • by 2050, at least half of Sutton's land area will still be green space
  • plant 2,000 trees every year (community, council, and developer-led schemes all count)
  • maintain and enhance the biodiversity value of the borough

Achieving net zero carbon

Our net zero carbon targets are:

  • we will achieve net zero carbon emissions across its estate and operations
  • we will switch to a renewable electricity supplier from April 2021
  • wll the borough's energy needs will be met from renewable, community, and local sources of energy, helping to deliver borough-wide net zero carbon emissions
  • take action to tackle fuel poverty.

Creating a circular economy

Our targets for creating a circular economy are:

  • reduce waste and increase reuse and recycling from 50% year on year and target being the best recyclers in the UK
  • help residents reduce the amount of avoidable food waste they throw away by 20% by 2025
  • embed sustainable procurement into the Council's buying and contracts.
  • encourage businesses to switch to circular economy business models.

Tackling climate change

Our targets for tackling climate change are:

  • raise awareness of the climate emergency, the impacts of climate change on Sutton, and the actions individuals can take
  • increase the preparedness of Sutton's people, public services, and infrastructure for extremes of temperature, drought and flooding
  • retain Sustainable Food City status each year
  • work with SES water to help people reduce their daily water use to 138 litres by 2025

Action plan

We have set out an ambitious action plan in the Environment Strategy to meet these targets. You can learn about some of the projects being delivered to meet these targets.

Our performance

We check performance against the Environment Strategy and Climate Emergency Response Plan and stand-alone Air Quality Action Plan.

You can read about our progress in reducing our emissions through our Greenhouse gas emissions report.

The Environment Strategy Board handles monitoring the progress of the Environment Strategy and the Climate Emergency Response Plan.

Progress reports are published quarterly.

Environment Strategy Progress Reports

As our work progresses, and new technology and solutions become available, we will need to include new actions within the Environment Strategy and Climate Emergency Response Plan. These changes will be incorporated via annual reviews of the Climate Emergency Response Plan.