East of England

East Suffolk Council's story

In July 2019, East Suffolk Council recognised the existence of a ‘climate emergency’ and asked Groundwork to investigate ways in which it could become carbon neutral by 2030.

The UK Government has committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, however, it is predicted that this target will not be achieved with current policies.

Therefore, the action of local authorities is more crucial than ever and the adoption of local targets will help achieve the national commitment.

East Suffolk Council is the country’s largest district council and provides services to over 248,000 residents and more than 9,000 enterprises. In July 2019, it committed to investigate ways in which it could become carbon neutral by 2030.

In response to this East Suffolk Council commissioned Groundwork to carry out an independent desk-based review of their current carbon footprint. This process also identified top priorities in the coming months and years to reduce or offset emissions.


Groundwork’s team of specialist environmental advisors carried out an independent desk-based review of East Suffolk Council’s current carbon emissions, its progress to date and an assessment of the carbon reduction opportunities available to East Suffolk Council.

Groundwork worked directly with staff at East Suffolk Council to ensure support was tailored to specific requirements. This involved understanding the work that East Suffolk Council have already undertaken and what was in the pipeline.

Industry-leading tools were used to calculate and forecast a comprehensive and achievable pathway to netzero emissions. This included benchmarking of the Council’s properties to identify areas of good practice, as well as the sites which should be prioritised for action. Opportunities for reducing the Council’s other carbon emissions were also investigated and the costs and benefits of doing so highlighted.


Following a comprehensive review of carbon reduction strategies, our expert advisors identified a variety of carbon reduction opportunities including:

  • Improving the energy efficiency of Council buildings
  • Installing solar PV across the Council’s entire property portfolio, including Council owned houses
  • Upgrading fleet vehicles to electric vehicles
  • Use Council owned land to draw down carbon

The carbon savings identified have the potential to achieve a significant reduction in East Suffolk Council’s current carbon footprint.

The detailed report, with many references to best practice, has provided an excellent review of what we’ve already achieved and what our Climate Change Action Plan needs to focus on in the future. The findings from the review were presented by Groundwork to the members of our Environment Task Group at their first meeting.

Phil Gore, Head of Environmental Services and Port Health, East Suffolk Council


Can the review be carried out remotely?
Yes! Provided we have all the information, we can carry out a desk-based review.

What information would I need to provide?
Typically, the following information is required:

  • Complete fuel consumption data
  • Details of any refurbishment works either undertaken or planned
  • Most recent DEC or EPC where applicable, for all buildings.

Can an in-depth survey be carried out on individual buildings?
Yes! A Climate Commitment Review can be tailored to your requirements. If an in-depth energy survey is requested,
Groundwork will support collection of this data.

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