Environmental Performance Highlight Report January – April 2020

This report provides a quarterly update on Devon County Council’s (DCC’s) corporate Environmental Performance programme. 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.


January – April 2020

Programme’s Aims

The Environmental Performance programme embeds the principles of the Environmental Policy throughout the Authority and champions the consideration of environmental issues within the Authority’s policy and strategy development, and operational procedures.

It develops and implement policies and action plans that respond to the Environmental Policy and improve the Authority’s environmental performance.

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.



Energy Efficiency [🟠Amber]

Lucombe House refurbishment and the energy-efficiency improvements to sash windows at County Hall delayed due to Covid-19

Developing deep retrofit programme business case to deliver c. 960,000 kWh energy reductions over next 10 years in line with the Carbon Action Plan on DCC delivering net zero by 2030

Corporate Renewables [🟢Green]

Solar PV at County Hall has now been installed and due to be supplying energy soon.

Electric Vehicle Charging [🟢Green]

StreetHubz bid led by Zapinamo and Gamma Energy for a £4m project to install on-street chargepoints in Exeter and surrounding major towns was successful. Phase 1 sites are close to being confirmed.

As part of the Deletti programme we have engaged the supply chain regarding the installation of solar carports at Taw View, County Hall, Sowton Park & Ride, Honiton Road Park & Ride and Exeter Science Park.

Street Lighting [🟢Green]

Objective is to retrofit 100% of remaining all and part-night lighting with LED lamps. Work has commenced. 6,500 lanterns replaced so far of 45,000.

Energy Upgrades in the Schools Estate [🟢Green]

Twelve-month monitoring report from Kenn, Denbury and Loddiswell schools have been received from Exeter University. These show that the electric heating, solar PV and battery storage technologies have met their design objectives.



County Council Travel Plans for Strategic Work Locations [🟢Green]

Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology installation has started. The cameras are installed.

Driver Aids for DCC and Contracted Fleet [🟠Amber]

A planned week-long trial of the technology on 15 vehicles to determine its effectiveness has been delayed due to Covid.


Waste and Resources

Establish a New Reuse Policy [🟠Amber]

In progress. Delayed as a waste team focussing on data.

Establish a waste/recycling data management system [🟢Green]

Data records are taking shape.

The Devon Norse contract arrangements are being reviewed. The waste team has fed into this regarding desired waste key performance indicators.

Plastics Strategy [🟢Green]

Action Plan implementation largely complete.



New Procurement Strategy [🟢Green]

The need to incorporate the climate emergency into the revised strategy is understood by the procurement team.

Asking for new staff resource via the Corporate Carbon Action Plan to help transition contracts onto a low carbon footing.


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 [🟠Amber]

Still awaiting data to from South West Water.


Countryside and Heritage

Implement the DCC Pollinator Action Plan [🟢Green]

No further activity this quarter but project is performing well.

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

‘Free Trees’ has planted over 1800 trees in Devon. Next year the scheme will be operated via the Saving Devon’s Treescape project.

Implement an Enhanced Monitoring System for all County, Waste and Mineral Development [🟠Amber]

Need to produce a prioritised list of sites to monitor so that the limited resource can be used most effectively. No progress this quarter.

Pilot the Valuation of Natural and Cultural Assets in Part of the County Farms Estate [🟢Green]

The Environmental Land Management Scheme is now underway. Contractors to provide advice to land managers have been appointed by Natural England and farms will be recruited in the coming months.

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

Review is underway but no progress this quarter due to staff resource focussed on the climate emergency.

Enhance the Environmental Checklist used for Public Rights of Way Maintenance to Ensure a Proportionate Environmental Review Occurs [🟠Amber]

No progress this quarter due to staff resource in Environment Group.

Addressing Light Pollution [🟢Green]

Officers from DCC Highways, Engineering Design Group and Environment Group met on 29th April to discuss DCC street lighting policy and the environment. Further to this the officers are working together on a DCC Lighting and Environment Paper to supplement DCC’s Lighting Policy. The Paper will capture what DCC is already doing to minimise environmental impacts of light pollution and will document current internal procedures and guidance applied when designing schemes.

Opportunity will also be taken to include a short, plain English guide to lighting and the environment (explaining lumens, kelvins etc) and to highlight key Devon sensitivities relating to wildlife and dark skies. Discussions to date have also started to explore what more could be done, and have captured some ideas for improving DCC’s internal procedures and outcomes around environmental assessment and scheme design.


Embodied Carbon [🟢Green]

Highways, Skanska, WSP and the Engineering Design Group have partnered up to look at the opportunities available to reduce embodied carbon in civil engineering. Currently baselining the carbon intensity of their operation, initially focussing on the top 10 activities. SWEEG at the University of Exeter is assisting with this. This is new territory for everybody involved.

DCC has established a regional group set up to discuss this learning with South West Water, the University of Exeter, Devon and Cornwall Police and some district councils.