Climate Emergency


Three Rivers declared a climate emergency in April 2019.

Three Rivers Annual Council approved the Climate Change Strategy on the 25th of May 2021.

The council's Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy sets out how the council can improve and lead by example in our own operations. It also sets out how we will work with and assist the residents, businesses, and other stakeholders in our area to reduce their impact on the environment, improve sustainability and also adapt to and build resilience to a changing climate.

Three Rivers District Council 2017-2018 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report (pdf)

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy Supplementary Document (pdf)

What has the council done so far?

  • Purchased and restored the Withey Beds – one of few remaining wetland habitats in Hertfordshire.
  • Single-use plastics have been significantly reduced across Council operations.
  • As active members of the Hertfordshire Refill Scheme, we have over 20 Refill stations around the district to make it easier to refill on the go.
  • As an active member of WasteAware (the campaign branch of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership), we run public awareness campaigns throughout the year, work to make waste collection across the district more consistent, and lobby waste producers and policymakers.
  • We separate all waste from our public litter bins for recycling.
  • We convert the District’s food waste into electricity and fertiliser at a local Anaerobic Digestion plant.
  • We process garden waste products in to compost and have an annual compost giveaway for residents.
  • The local walking and cycling strategy has helped develop and create safe, efficient and accessible transport networks in the District to encourage sustainable transport.
  • The Better Buses Programme provides essential local bus services which up to 2020 had replaced nearly 80,000 car journeys annually (saving an estimated 40% of carbon emissions with the same journeys made by a small car).

 Since 2020 we have:

  • Secured Green Homes Grant funding to alleviate fuel poverty by improving energy efficiency in over 100 dwellings across the District.
  • Helped residents recycle 64.1% of their waste – the highest proportion of waste recycled, composted or reused in England (2019/20).
  • Developed a comprehensive county-wide Water Sustainability Action Plan in collaboration with all key water-related stakeholders to ensure sustainable water management.
  • Worked to enhance natural habitats across the District; Leavesden Country Park was awarded a national Bees’ Needs Champion Award by DEFRA for creating pollinator-friendly environments which attract and nurture local bee populations.
  • Facilitated the development of local climate and environmental action groups to advance community-led sustainability initiatives, in collaboration with Friends of the Earth Watford and Three Rivers Groups.
  • Appointed two dedicated officers responsible for the development and implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan for the Council’s own operations and the District.

12 steps to lowering your carbon footprint?

Find out what your carbon footprint is - what would happen to the planet if everyone looked like you? 

  • Switch to renewable energy at home.
  • Make your home more energy efficient through improving insulation and installing smart heating technology. You can currently apply for a government grant and advice through the Green Homes Grant to make some of these changes.
  • Eat local, seasonal foods. Or even better - grow your own!
  • Walk, bike, or use public transport. 
  • Avoid purchasing items with excess packaging.
  • Remember your re-usables - try to reduce your use of single-use plastics. City to Sea has lots of great advice!
  • Reduce your water use. Hertfordshire has the highest water use in the country, yet is one of the driest. Try installing water saving devices, have shorter showers, and make sure you fill your washing machines when you use them!
  • Replace your lightbulbs with LED energy efficient bulbs. 
  • Increase biodiversity in your garden or any other land you may own. There are some great tips by the Wildlife Trust!
  • Looking for new furniture, clothes, homewear, or tools? Why not look at second hand first? It saves money and resources! You never know what you might find in your local area! 
  • Vote with your money! Customers have much more power than you think! Spend your money with companies/producers who share your values - if they don't, why not try writing to them and asking them to make a change?
  • Cut your food waste! The average family waste 1 in 5 bags of food! If everyone in the UK stopped wasting food for just one dat, it would be the carbon equivalent of taking 14,000 cars off the road for a whole year! The average family could also save £700 a year! Check out Love Food Hate Waste for all the tips and tricks!

 Films and documentaries to watch