2015-16 One Planet Sutton Progress Report Released


Sutton Council has released its latest One Planet Sutton progress report.

The report sets out the progress on the 32 priority targets the council is making to become a One Planet borough by 2025. Sutton has been a One Planet Borough since 2009.

Councillor Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“One Planet Sutton is about creating a borough where everyone can lead happy and healthy lives. Adopting more sustainable lifestyles helps save money and also reduces our dependence on natural resources.

“We set ourselves 32 ambitious priority targets to help us achieve our aim of becoming a One Planet borough.”

“With the help of residents and partners we have made good progress towards the targets. Our recent notable achievements include reducing the council’s CO2 emissions, using less water and improving the condition of the River Wandle.”

“We have made good progress, but there is still more to do to achieve all our targets.”

“We are not resting on our laurels and have plans in place to meet these ambitious targets. I encourage residents to download and read a copy of our report to learn more.”

The relevant documents can be accessed here:


One Planet Sutton Progress Report 2015-16


OPS Technical Information 2015-16


Bioregional annual review 2015-16

A link to this year’s One Planet Sutton report is also available here: http://bit.ly/2hDVvIR

Energising the Sustainable Economy

By Andrea Crump, Sustainability Manager and LondonGreen houses

Circular Economy Champion at the London Borough of Sutton 

 As populations continue to rise and public purse strings tighten, local authorities are having to balance ever-increasing demands on services with fewer and fewer resources – all of which places significant pressure on our environment.

The London Borough of Sutton recognises that by supporting the development of the sustainable economy local authorities will be able to balance these demands while helping to create new jobs, exploit competitive advantages, build resilience, improve resource efficiency and contribute towards environmental targets such as carbon and waste reduction.

However, the immense size of the challenge means that tackling it will require local authorities to work across geographical and sectoral borders.

This belief drove Sutton to work with the Covenant of Mayors Office to co-host the Energising the Sustainable Economy in Cities summit to explore opportunities for growing the sustainable economy.

The summit, held in Sutton on 18 October, was attended by more than 100 representatives from across the UK and Europe. Sustainability experts, local authority officers and stakeholders from a number of pioneering cities including Vienna, Glasgow, Copenhagen, London, Ljubljana, Peterborough, Gothenburg, Manchester, Almada and Brussels came together to share strategies and case studies for innovation and best practice.

During the event five critical elements emerged as key to allowing local authorities to catalyse and energise the Sustainable Economy. They are:


1. Leadership

Governments and local authorities can act as a driving force to galvanise and convene local partners and regulation behind local policy and delivery. Commitment to a long-term vision is crucial. In 2009 Sutton committed to becoming a One Planet Living Borough by 2025. This commitment is one of the council’s four corporate priorities and has helped the borough to reduce CO2 emissions by 27 per cent since 2007.

All delegates identified a clear link between the ability to show leadership and progress sustainable economy at a local level, and the need for a clear policy direction set by central Government. The recent energy policy changes by the UK Government were widely recognised to have damaged investor confidence, and the financial sector has sent a clear message that it is reluctant to invest until confident that the Government has a long-term energy strategy.


2. Ownership by citizens

As funding for councils decreases it is even more essential for citizens to be engaged and take responsibility for delivering actions such as local sustainable energy. Manchester Climate Change Agency has worked with citizens to create a climate change plan 2017-2050, which invited citizens and the public and private sectors to create the plan together. Manchester sees its role to facilitate all sectors of the city to come up with the solutions needed so that delivering sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. Leadership also comes in to play here so that local authorities can build on the grassroots action being taken by the community to create a structured and coherent approach.

Linked to this is a clear need to mainstream the sustainable economy and focus on delivering liveable cities/boroughs. To move sustainable economy opportunities forward it is important that this is not seen in isolation as a “green” issue but more widely as a key contributor to quality of life and economic development.


3. Partnerships and collaboration

Local authorities cannot transition to sustainable economies on their own. They will need to work with businesses, academia and citizens, and across geographical boundaries to gain the skills, knowledge and contacts required for success.

In Glasgow the City Council has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, Zero Waste Scotland and a variety of businesses on projects that aim to provide jobs and growth in the sustainable economy sector. Private sector involvement has been crucial for the city to progress findings from its “Circular Glasgow” study to identify opportunities to use waste from one business as a resource for others. Pioneering companies are now involved in a range of projects including using waste bread to brew beer.


4. Creative funding models

New delivery and financing models are needed as we move away from central Government funding. Green finance opportunities being used by other areas include Green Loans offered by Brussels Council that can be used to finance energy efficiency improvements in homes by tenants and owners with a rate of interest linked to the applicant’s income.

In Gothenburg the Treasury works with the local authority to deliver financial investment in environmental initiatives. Green Bonds have been used to finance electric vehicles and large-scale biogas through gasification. These models are only possible in partnership with financial organisations.

In many European countries local authorities are already much more involved in delivering critical infrastructure. In the UK there is a current move to the remunicipalisation of energy services, with this returning of the supply of local, sustainable energy by local authorities themselves already being delivered in cities such as Bristol and Nottingham.

It was clear that there is no right answer on the delivery or funding structures needed to deliver local, sustainable energy. But there is an appetite from local authorities for more guidance on the options available for taking forward local energy.


5. Need to incubate innovation

While entrepreneurs and new SMEs can provide innovation and kick-start growth, to do so they need help to turn ideas into business models. Within Sutton, Dearman is a company developing a revolutionary new engine that runs on liquid air, a concept originally created in the founder’s shed. In Sutton we are developing a scheme that will provide a support programme to new businesses such as Dearman to provide workspace, advice and funding to grow.

The summit highlighted the role local authorities have to play as a key enabler of the sustainable economy by ensuring opportunities for sustainable growth are maximised and stimulated through key policies, infrastructure, leadership, partnerships and support.

Sutton aims to create a community of urban sustainable economy leaders to work with South London to collectively take forward and develop this agenda over the coming months and years.


Andrea Crump is Sustainability Manager and London Circular Economy Champion at the London Borough of Sutton. She can be contacted on 020 8770 6379, andrea.crump@sutton.gov.uk

Sutton wins Good Food for London Award

This week the Council was presented with an award for the Most Improved Borough in the Good Food for London Report 2016.
The annual report is a league table and series of maps illustrating how boroughs are performing against a number of sustainable food initiatives. In 2015, Sutton was 14th in the league table, this year the borough has moved up to joint 6th place with Camden Council.

 Good Food Award

Image: Katrina Lloyd (Senior Sustainability Office, LB Sutton) and Rosie Boycott (Chair of the London Food Board that oversees implementation of the Mayor’s Food Strategy)



Performance in the report is driven through the Sutton Food Forum. The forum was set up in 2014 and is a partnership between the Council, local organisations and the voluntary sector.  The forum meets quarterly to discuss sustainable food projects and monitor progress against the Local and Sustainable targets within One Planet Sutton.

Key achievements reported this year include:

  • Sutton Food Forum has achieved Sustainable Food Cities Status, one of only 8 boroughs in London to do so.
  • Progress is being made by schools within the Healthy Schools and Food for Life programmes.
  • The council has achieved full marks in the Community Food Growing category due to the inclusion of community food growing spaces in the draft Local Plan.
  • Sutton has achieved full accreditation for the UNICEF Baby Friendly initiative, one of only 11 boroughs in London.
  • The Fairtrade Community Group have maintains the boroughs Fairtrade status for its commitment to Fairtrade products.
  • The Sustainable Fish Cities pledge was signed by the borough on behalf of the 32 schools who have brought into the school meals contract.
  • Sutton has achieved two silver food for life catering marks, one of which is for the 32 schools who have brought into the school meals contract.
  • Sutton has achieved the Good Egg award for its purchase of cage free eggs, in the school meals contract and also in the food purchased by the council (e.g. meals on wheels service and meeting refreshments) as well as the lunchtime refreshments sold to staff.

The performance above isn’t down to one organisation, but the variety of organisations across the borough taking action to support the provision of good food across the borough. The progress is great news for both the council and our partners which we are keen to promote as widely as possible.

Upcoming nature events for the family

Bug Hunt!         

Discover which insects are good for your garden and which aren’t. Go on a bug hunt and see them up close!


Tuesday 31st Maybug hunt

10.30am – 12 noon

Price: £4 per child

Held at Carshalton Community Allotment, Westmead Allotment Site, SM5 2PW



Phone 020 8404 1522 or email beanstalk@ecolocal.org.uk


For families with children aged 4+.  Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.  Places are limited so we can only accept people who have booked in advance. If you have booked, and then can’t come, please let us know so we can offer your place to somebody else.


Super Seeds!       

Meet the seeds that become your favourite vegetables. Create your own mini vegetable garden to take home.


Saturday 2nd Julysuper seeds

10.30 – 12 noon

The Circle Library,



FREE but Booking with the library is essential.  Please phone 020 8648 6608

Please arrive promptly for the start of the session. For families with children aged 4+.   A responsible adult must remain with the child at all times.



Bees and Flowers!        

Find out about the secret life of bees and why flowers are so important on your allotment.  See the world through the eyes of a bee and play the bees and flowers game, then try your hand at sowing, planting out and harvesting. 

bees and flowers


Thursday 28th July

10.30am – 12 noon

At Carshalton Community Allotment Westmead Allotment Site, Colston Avenue SM5 2PW

Price: £4 per child



pPhone 020 8404 1522 or email beanstalk@ecolocal.org.uk


For families with children aged 4+. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.  Please note that places are limited so we can only accept people who have booked in advance. If you have booked, and then can’t come, please let us know so we can offer your place to somebody else.

Sutton Community Energy Event

Interested in Community Energy?



Communities across the UK are coming together to take control of local energy production. Community energy schemes that are owned and managed by local community groups have taken off in a big way over the last five years. In London, groups such as Brixton Energy Co-operative and Hackney Energy have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to invest in locally-owned green energy, generating a range of benefits for their communities.

Sutton Council, Bioregional and Repowering London will be hosting a unique community event in Hackbridge on the evening of Wednesday 13th April to accelerate the development of community energy in Sutton. Please click here for more information.

Register for free via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sutton-community-energy-event-tickets-23925325292


Cut home fuel costs with the Big London Energy Switch

Sutton Housing Partnership are supporting residents to sign up for the Big London Energy Switch. Sutton are one of a number of London boroughs to join the campaign to help residents save money on their energy bills.

Those who sign up for the Big London Energy Switch will be offered the unique opportunity to be a part of an auction where gas and electricity suppliers bid their best deals to customers and the kind folks over at Big London Energy Switch help ease customers through the transition from their old supplier to their new one.

It’s free to register and signing up by 12th October 2015 will register your interest to be included in the next auction on 13th October 2015. About a month after the auction you’ll receive a personal offer by email from a supplier with the best deal based on your usage.

There is no obligation to accept any offer given but the Big London Energy Switch must be notified as soon as possible for those wanting to accept.

More people registering, mean more discounts from energy suppliers, so sign up and save today! You can register now by following this link www.biglondonenergyswitch.org.uk.

Sutton Schools Sustainable Fish Cities Pledge

The London Borough of Sutton has signed up to the Sustainable Fish Cities Pledge, committing to serve sustainable fish across 1.5million lunches served each year. fish

32 Primary, Nursery and Special schools, who each purchase their lunches via a central school meals contract managed by the London Borough of Sutton, are part of the Sustainable Fish Cities pledge to serve only sustainable fish in their school lunches.

Sustainable Fish Cities is an ambitious campaign for towns and cities to buy, serve, eat and promote only sustainable fish. The campaign aims to turn London into the world’s first city where businesses, hospitals, universities, schools and citizens all eat sustainable fish.

The Sustainable Fish City pledge commits Sutton Schools to:

  • Avoid the worst: Removing endangered species from menus and catering – those rated as ‘fish to avoid’ by the Marine Conservation Society
  • Promote the best: Serving sustainably managed fish – Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish, and those rated as ‘fish to eat’ by the Marine Conservation Society
  • Improve the rest: Telling suppliers they want to serve only sustainable fish – and that there are organisations that can help them to do this, such as Good Catch and the MSC.

Ensuring the food we consume in Sutton is sourced sustainably is part of the council’s commitment to One Planet Sutton – a commitment to help resident’s lead healthier, happier lives whilst reducing our impact on the environment.

One Planet Volunteer Officially Launches




This week, an exciting project was launched in partnership with Bioregional, Volunteer Centre Sutton and Sutton Council to encourage the 50,000 people who volunteer every year in Sutton, to do so with a one planet attitude. The aim of the scheme is to establish volunteers as role models for sustainable living, and reward them for their contribution to the community.

The One Planet Volunteer scheme is a way of encouraging volunteers to do so in a more sustainable way and be recognised for not only helping others, but our environment too! This could be anything from catching the bus to their placement instead of driving, or taking the person they support to an independent, Fairtrade coffee house rather than a big commercial chain.

To get involved, all you have to do is “Like” the One Planet Volunteer Sutton Facebook page and start uploading a photo of yourself living out each of the five One Planet Themes in your volunteer placement. There are details on each of the five One Planet themes, as well as lots of ideas and examples of what you could do on the page. A range of thank-you’s from local businesses are available for those that complete all five!

For more information, please contact Sian at Bioregional on info@bioregional.com.

Click here for full details of the scheme

Putting the heart back into Hackbridge


This week is an exciting time in Sutton, as we mark the opening of the new pocket park in Hackbridge, at the entrance to the Mile Road Bridge.

Not only has this project brought more greenery to the area, but will provide a gateway to the Wandle Valley Regional Park and has managed to create a pocket of open space in what was once an overgrown, featureless entrance to a bridge where fly-tipping was a regular occurrence.

So, it would be a good time to reflect on the Heart of Hackbridge project in its entirety, now that Bioregional and Sutton Council have successfully delivered the project.

Hackbridge has been a hub for economic activity for a long time, whether it was dense mills all along the River Wandle in the 18th century or thriving watercress cultivation in the 1920’s. Cut to 2012, and Hackbridge looked very different. It was a non-descript place, with cars hurrying through and very few memorable shops, where few would choose to linger.

With the help of the Greater London Authority (GLA), Sutton Council and UK Power Networks funding, a group made up of local residents, businesses and council officers, chaired by Bioregional, set out to change this. Their vision was to restore some character back to Hackbridge, provide a place for local businesses to thrive and foster more sustainable practices in the process.


The changes achieved by the delivery team have been remarkable, both visually and on paper. Local businesses have benefited from new interiors, frontages and products. They are also seeing significant reductions to their energy bills. Two new businesses have entered the mix; Toni Bridal and Sainsbury’s- both bringing new reasons to visit Hackbridge. We also cannot forget Moh, who serves his coffees to the commuters of Hackbridge from his solar-powered van.

Moh Coffee solar panels

Hackbridge finishedThe environment has changed too, with the new pocket park, street trees, rain gardens, more parking, benches and cycling facilities. There are also more crossing points and a narrower road- this has succeeded in reducing average traffic speeds by 10%. All of these measures are helping to deter people from simply “passing through”; in fact, survey results have shown that the proportion of people who visit on a daily basis has more than doubled from 31% to 63% as a result.

With all this success comes reflection and the importance of identifying the aspects of the project where lessons can be learnt. Here, it was the ability to ensure all users can enjoy the new surroundings, rather than feeling like the changes presented new obstacles. The council has recognised that early involvement of accessibility specialists is critical for such schemes. Also, establishing a clear route of communication for the local community to engage with the project is imperative when working with so many different organisations.

Yet here we are. Entering into another exciting phase for Hackbridge with upcoming plans for the development of the Regional Park, which will enable more interaction with the exceptional biodiversity stowed within the Wandle Valley. Local residents are in the process of creating their Neighbourhood Development Plan and so many new ideas for innovative projects are being generated.

The Heart of Hackbridge project has, without a doubt, proven that there is a strong, engaged and passionate community here, with Hackbridge’s best interests at their heart. It has also highlighted just how unique this little part of south London truly is-where else would you find local shops, a world renowned eco-village and an urban wilderness within minutes of leaving the train station?


Sutton reaffirms its green credentials

Sutton Council has set out an updated strategy for delivery of its One Planet Sutton ambitions,

reaffirming its commitment to being a greener borough in partnership with organisations across the borough.

At the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee meeting on Thursday 18 June the council agreed to keep the five One Planet Sutton themes aimed at reducing the borough’s carbon footprint.watering-can

The five themes are:

  • Cutting carbon emissions
  • Cutting waste
  • Valuing our natural environment
  • Supporting healthy communities, and
  • Supporting the local economy.

These five themes are embedded in everything the council does, from targeting its work on community energy schemes, the growing of local food, and sustainable transport by encouraging walking, cycling and use of public transport.

The council will continue to undertake work across all of the One Planet themes to reduce carbon emissions. By targeting resources on deliverable projects within each of the five themes Sutton Council can re-endorse its vision for the borough to be London’s most-sustainable suburb.

Over the past four years, more than £8.5m of funding has been levered into the borough to help deliver projects contributing to its One Planet Sutton targets, and the council has made over £1.9m savings from council energy usage. The council has been monitoring targets annually relating to borough-wide energy reduction, waste, local food, transport, flooding and water reduction.

The council estimates the direct financial savings of the service review will be £84,700 from the 2014/15 budget.

Benchmarking of Sutton’s performance by the charity Bioregional confirms that Sutton is ranked the highest outer London borough and the third-highest London council overall in terms of having the lowest CO2 emissions.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, said:

“Sutton is committed to delivering a borough where residents have an excellent quality of life, and where our natural resources and wildlife are preserved for future generations.

“Our revised sustainability strategy will allow the council to focus limited resources where we can provide best value. This includes increased partnership working on projects such as community-owned solar schemes and community-led behaviour change programmes.”

Sian Cooke, Senior Project Officer at Bioregional, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Sutton Council on its refocused sustainability strategy in order to really push Sutton’s aspirations and achieve even more. Our focus will be to help local people benefit by saving money on their energy bills as well as lowering the borough’s carbon emissions.

“We’re also working with Volunteer Centre Sutton to find practical ways for Sutton’s volunteers to apply sustainability in their placements and bring One Planet Sutton to new audiences.”


For media enquiries, please contact James Tweed at the Sutton Council Press Office on 020 8770 5606 or email james.tweed@sutton.gov.uk.

Notes for Editors

  • Sutton is one of only three One Planet Living-accredited boroughs in the UK.
  • One Planet Living is a framework created by WWF and Bioregional. If everyone in the world lived as we do in Sutton, we would need three planets worth of resources to sustain us – we need to reduce this to a sustainable level.
  • Sutton committed to becoming a One Planet Living borough in 2009. This commitment is delivered by the One Planet Sutton programme, which aims to make our borough a place where residents can have a high quality of life in a way that reduces our impact on the environment.