Environmental Performance Highlight Report April 2021 – July 2021

This report provides a quarterly update on Devon County Council’s (DCC’s) corporate Environmental Performance programme that implements the Environmental Policy. The report is split into topics (e.g. Energy, Procurement, Waste & Resources) and gives a short update on the individual projects we are running to improve environmental performance of that topic.


April 2021 – July 2021

Project Colour Key

Each project is assigned a colour to indicate its current status. The key is as follows:

Green 🟢 – Project is performing well. There may be minor issues that do not affect project viability or timescales.

Amber 🟠 – Issues have arisen that affect the time, cost or scope of the project. However, these can be dealt with by the Environmental Performance Management Group. The Environmental Performance Board should be notified.

Red 🔴 – Significant issues that cannot be handled solely by the Environmental Performance Management Group. The Environmental Performance Board must be engaged to assess the situation.


Buildings Energy Efficiency [Green 🟢]

Zero Carbon Buildings Phase 1 – Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (£4.2m grant) to deliver deep retrofit of Great Moor House, Taw View, Abbey Rise, St Michaels and Lucombe House. Tender for works has been launched. Interest received from contractors for all buildings. Tender will be awarded next quarter. Extension has been provided through to December 2021.

Zero Carbon Buildings Phase 2  – Getting Building Fund (£2m grant) to achieve deep retrofit of Rifford Rd, Honiton Newholme, Rosalind House, Treetops and Orchard House. Survey work has started and tender will be launched in the next quarter. Completion date for these is March 2022.

Corporate Renewables [Green 🟢]

In May, the Environmental Performance Board approved the business case to invest £196k in 131kW of solar panels on the roofs of DCC salt depots.

300kW of solar PV expected from the solar car ports at County Hall and Taw View. Planning application for this was expected to be submitted by now, but still waiting for approval from Digital Transformation and Business Support (DTBS) Management Team.

The two phases of the Zero Carbon Buildings projects are expected to install 200kW of renewable energy.

Proposal for purchasing renewable energy from community schemes via synthetic power purchase agreements will be presented to DTBS next quarter.

Street Lighting [Green 🟢]

Objective is to retrofit 100% of remaining all and part-night lighting with LED lamps. Work is ongoing across the county to schedule. 45,000 are now using LED technology with 34,000 remaining.

Energy Upgrades in the Schools Estate [Green 🟢]

Okehampton Special School new-build has completed a whole life cycle assessment and has identified an opportunity to offset those emissions at a reasonable cost to make it net-zero.

The busy construction market and COVID measures are meaning that about 6 of the 10 schools previously identified for upgrades are being taken forward for a retrofit over the summer. The other 4 have not been able to progress because tenders were not returned, often due to a restriction on materials and also the time constraint of the summer holidays.


County Council Travel Plans for Strategic Work Locations [Amber 🟠]

Majority of staff are continuing to work remotely due to social distancing requirements and therefore the implementation of the Travel Plans is taking stock of what this means for how our strategic work locations will be used post COVID.

Electric Vehicle Charging [Green 🟢]

Rapid Charging, Exeter

Eight sites have been approved by DCC in phase 1 of the StreetHUBZ/ Rapid Charging Exeter project and further sites will be going to committee in July for further approval. Works have started on site. The first is unlikely to go live until September due to current supply chain constraints on batteries.


Leases are currently being signed for the Deletti phase 1 contract awarded to Scottish Power. This will see chargepoints installed at 68 sites across Devon and South Somerset, 40 of which are in Devon. Installations will commence next quarter.

Bid to the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme for phase 2 of the Deletti project with the installation of chargepoints at a further 38 public car parks across Devon, including parish council sites, has been successful.

DCC Fleet

Works at Avocet Road for DCC Highways electric vans to install free chargepoints secured through the E-Flex Innovate UK funded project is complete. Four chargeposts installed.

Total electric vehicles in the fleet is now six.

In May, the Environmental Performance Board approved a request for capital funding to install 13 further chargeposts at Ivybridge, Great Moor House, Avocet Road and Taw View for highways vans by September 2021.

Waste and Resources

Establish a New Reuse Policy [Amber 🟠]

No further progress this quarter. The new Reuse Policy has been drafted, however it doesn’t feel the right time to be progressing this when there is considerable uncertainty over they types and quantities of resources that the policy will need to cover after COVID.  Currently on hold.

Establish a waste/recycling data management system [Amber 🟠]

No further progress this quarter. The waste analysis, to look at the composition of the refuse from County Hall, was planned for March 2020, has been postponed until we know more about how buildings will be used after COVID.

Procurement and Supply Chain

New Procurement Strategy [Green 🟢]

Revised procurement strategy has been completed. This incorporates the actions for procurement that are within the Carbon Reduction Plan.  Engagement with wider parts of DCC has started. The Sustainable Procurement Tool is being refined as part of this process.

Net-Zero Supply Chain Strategy [Green 🟢]

Plan is to develop a Net-Zero Supply Chain Strategy by the end of 2021/22 to provide a route map to a net-zero supply chain by 2030. Recruitment of the Low-Carbon Procurement Intern is complete and the post holder has started developing the strategy. A steering group has been created which met for the first time in July.

Influencing New Contracts and Contract Renewals [Green 🟢]

The Low-Carbon Procurement Intern is influencing new contracts.

Civils Activity [Green 🟢]

Highways, Development and Infrastructure continue to make progress on benchmarking the carbon intensity of civils activity – 15 activities are complete and 13 are in progress. A booklet of CO2 emissions per activity/m2 area has been developed by Exeter University.

A bespoke carbon impact assessment tool is under development with the help of Exeter University. Testing is underway with end users.

Discussions are underway with ICT about how to record, display and share data from highways works. A subgroup has been established to develop a standard approach for capturing CO2 data.

The service is continuing the evaluation for new materials that could help the authority on its journey to net zero.

Environmental Risk

Produce a Template for Service-Level Climate Adaptation Risk Assessments [Amber 🟠]

No further progress this quarter.

Enhance Procedures for Reporting and Learning from Environmental Incidents and Near Misses [Amber 🟠]

No further progress this quarter.


Water Resource Management Surveys [Green🟢]

Water Resource Management Surveys of the top 5 water consumption properties have been completed and the report has been received. We will now review the report findings and work to agree a policy target by the end of the year. Next quarter a strategy proposal will be brought to the Environmental Performance Management Group.

Countryside and Heritage

Support the delivery of the Devon Ash Dieback Action Plan [Green 🟢]

A bid to support further tree planting has been submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. We expect to hear whether this has been successful in September.

The ‘Right Place, Right Tree’ project has developed draft guidance that has been produced and tested through events with key stakeholders. This is now awaiting input from the Communications Team and will be launched in the next month.

Pilot the Valuation of Natural and Cultural Assets in Part of the County Farms Estate [Amber 🟠]

The Environmental Land Management Scheme trial is now underway in North Devon. A County tenant was not included in the first phase, but there could be an opportunity to do so in the second phase later in 2021. The North Devon Biosphere service will liaise with the County Farms land agent over opportunities.

Review the Land Drainage Consent Process to Ensure Compliance with Statutory Environmental Requirements [Amber 🟠]

No further progress this quarter.

Addressing Light Pollution [Amber 🟠]

No further progress this quarter. Officers from DCC Highways, Engineering Design Group and Environment Group are working together on a DCC Lighting and Environment Paper to supplement DCC’s Lighting Policy. The paper has been drafted.

Carbon Offsetting

Purchasing Woodland Carbon Units [Amber🟠]

A procurement process needs to commence next quarter to purchase carbon offsets to cover the commitment to offset 10% of 2021/22 emissions.

Land Purchase Exploration [Amber 🟠]

NPS have been engaged to search for land purchase opportunities. Have explored some recent opportunities but these have not been successful.

Additional Resource [Amber 🟠]

The job description has been drafted for a new resource to lead on the testing of different approaches to carbon offsetting and habitat enhancement to meet the carbon offsetting commitments of the Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan. The role will also lead on the updating and implementation of the Countryside and Heritage Action Plan. The recruitment process needs to be progressed next quarter.