Three Rivers District Council's action on the Climate Emergency

Three Rivers declared a climate emergency and is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 for our own emissions and by 2045 for the District. 

Our 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.

We have created an online booklet in partnership with Affinity Water, Watford and Three Rivers Friends of the Earth and Sustainable Three Rivers to help residents live more sustainably and outline what we are doing to tackle a range of climate issues. 

Key documents

Environment and Sustainability Profile for Three Rivers

The latest government data on emissions across Three Rivers District (2005-2019 ONS data)

APSE Energy Three Rivers carbon footprint baseline report: December 2021 (pdf)

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy Supplementary Document (pdf)

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Action Plan (xlsx)

What has the council done so far?

 Since 2020 we have:

  • Used Green Homes Grant funding to improve the energy efficiency of over 150 homes in the District thereby alleviating fuel poverty locally.
  • Helped residents recycle, compost and reuse over 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.
  • Engaged with local residents through a series of events including film screenings, expert Q&A's, school visits and online discussions. 
  • Developed a leaflet to inform residents of what they can do to reduce their own environmental impact and live more sustainably.  
  • Trialled rewilding in more than 10 area across the District.
  • Commissioned reports on the state of nature in Three Rivers to establish opportunities to improve nature across our green spaces. 

In previous years:

  • 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).

Find out more about ways you can help fight the climate crisis here


Further data and documents

Three Rivers District Council operations Green House Gas Emissions Report (2009-2018) (pdf)