Climate Strategy and Actions

What action is being taken on the climate emergency and sustainability

In this section

Three Rivers District Council's Strategy and Action Plan

We are committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 for our own emissions and to inspire and enable the district by 2045. The staff and members have adopted this charter to embed sustainability in all their work. To ensure sustainability is embedded into decision making and procurement this climate and sustainability tool is used for decision making and procurement. Sustainability has been further embedded into procurement via the sustainable procurement strategy adopted December 2023. 

Our Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy 2023-2027 (PDF 24MB) and Action Plans details how we will support residents and businesses in the district to become more environmentally friendly. We will provide support to residents through Retrofit One Stop Shop who want to make their homes more energy-efficient, and will be installing charging points in council-owned car parks. Furthermore, the Council is committed to protecting and enhancing nature on its land and the wider district, as demonstrated by the new grassland management regime.

The Three Rivers District Council's Climate Action Plan covers key themes, the tables below show the number of actions planned across these themes:

The Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan can be found in the documents at the bottom of this page.

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One of our key aims is to protect and enhance the local environment. We regularly commission reports to find opportunities to improve nature across our green spaces and enhance natural habitats across the district. We are pleased that one of our local parks, Leavesden Country Park, was last year awarded a national Bees’ Needs Champion Award by DEFRA for creating pollinator-friendly environments that attract and nurture local bee populations.

We manage a large proportion of our land for the benefit of biodiversity through site management plans and also the Alternative Grassland Management initiative. Managing the Council’s grassland balances the need for public access green space for recreation with the benefits that biodiversity can also gain. In addition to this, within our woodlands, deadwood is often left as a valuable habitat where it is safe and not creating a hazard. A range of invertebrates, fungi, lichen and mosses thrive on the conditions only deadwood can create.

Chalk streams also flow through the district, these globally rare habitats are fed by groundwater aquifers and are heavily influenced by the chalk bedrock, which results in clean, clear water that maintains a relatively stable temperature. It is these conditions which make chalk streams such a valuable habitat to wildlife, utilised by fish, birds and a vast array of freshwater invertebrates including mayflies - whose larval stage is aquatic.  The diversity of mayflies and other freshwater flies are a particularly good indicator of water quality as they are only able to survive in clean water conditions. Chalk streams are the most botanically diverse rivers in the UK supporting a wide variety of plant life.

We have also facilitated the development of local climate and environmental action groups to advance community-led sustainability initiatives in collaboration with Watford and Three Rivers Friends of the Earth and Sustainable Three Rivers. Our Sustainability Booklet (PDF file, 7.1 MB), created in partnership with these organisations, provides suggestions for how to live more sustainably and outlines the steps we are taking to tackle various climate issues.

We continually seek to improve levels of recycling across the district. In 2022/23, Three Rivers residents recycled, composted and reused 61.5% of their waste – the second highest proportion of waste recycled, composted or reused in England. We work to make waste collection across the district more consistent and lobby waste producers and policymakers and run public awareness campaigns throughout the year with WasteAware. In recent years, we launched an initiative to separate all waste from public litter bins for recycling and began converting the district’s food waste into electricity and fertiliser at a local anaerobic digestion plant. We also started processing garden waste products into compost and hold an annual compost giveaway.

We also want to encourage walking and cycling in Three Rivers District and create safe, efficient and accessible transport networks in the district to encourage sustainable transport. Major improvements to essential local bus services in recent years have meant they have now replaced nearly 80,000 car journeys in the district annually, saving an estimated 40% of carbon emissions compared with the same number of journeys made in a small car.

Key strategy documents and reports

Emission measurements for the council and the district

APSE Energy Three Rivers carbon footprint baseline report: 2022-23 (PDF)

APSE Energy Three Rivers carbon footprint baseline report: 2021-22 (PDF)

APSE Energy Three Rivers carbon footprint baseline report: 2020-21 (PDF)

Three Rivers District Council Operations Green House Gas Emissions Report (2009–2018) (PDF)

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

Environment and Sustainability Profile for Three Rivers

Strategy and Action Plan 2023-2027

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy 2023-2027 (PDF 24MB)

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Action Plan - Council Emissions - 2024 -2027 (PDF)

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Action Plan - District Emissions - 2024 -2027 (PDF)

Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2023

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy 2021-2023 (PDF)

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy Supplementary Document 2021-2023 (PDF)

Climate Emergency and Sustainability Action Plan 2021-2024 (xlsx)

Procurement Strategy

Procurement Strategy 2023-2026 (PDF)