Climate change

Climate emergency

Three Rivers declared a climate emergency in April 2019.

The council's Sustainability and Climate Change 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. The draft strategy can be downloaded below which was consulted on in 2020. The Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy will be uploaded once approved by Full Council. 

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

What has the council done so far?

  • Three Rivers House has a ground source heat pump to provide comfort heating.
  • Enhanced natural habitats - Bees Needs Award Leavesden Country Park/Purchased and restored Withy Beds
  • LED Lights used in Three Rivers House and the two Leisure Centres
  • Three Rivers has 4 Green Flag awards and Countryside Management Plans for key green spaces
  • Recycling Rates are the highest in Hertfordshire and third highest nationally at 63% (2018/19)
  • Single Use plastics have been significantly reduced across Council operations 
  • Active members of Hertfordshire Refill Scheme meaning residents can refill their water bottle in over 20 premises in the district.
  • Active members of WasteAware (the campaign branch of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership)
  • Separate our public litter bins at the depot for recycling.
  • Cycle hub at Leavesden Park, high-density bike parks at Rail Stations and cycle parking at every retail centre.
  • Better Buses has enabled 80,000 bus trips around the district, saving 58% carbon per trip
  • Electric Vehicle Charge Points have been installed in local car parks, with Three Rivers having the most public charge points in Hertfordshire, supporting the shift from carbonised travel. 
  • The extension of the South Oxhey Leisure Centre achieved a “very good” BREEAM rating.
  • Development managers promote the highest standards of sustainability at pre-application stage.
  • Facilitated the development of local climate and environmental action groups to advance community-led sustainability initiatives.

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

Hertfordshire County Council

See what Hertfordshire County Council is doing to tackle climate change and sustainability issues here.  

Three Rivers District Council is a partner of the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP), which has members from Hertfordshire County Council, all local district and borough councils and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). This is a strategic partnership which aims to share information, coordinate and influence solutions, and bring forward proposals for interventions around climate change and sustainability across Hertfordshire. The key focus for HCCSP is working in partnership and developing joint programmes that are beyond the scope of individual authorities.

For more information please see