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 and gives a short update on the individual projects we are running to improve environmental performance.
November 2021 – January 2022
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 significantly.
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 🟢]
Target: Retrofit 2 buildings by March 2023. Current projection is 10 due to unexpected funding opportunities from government.
Zero Carbon Buildings Phase 1 – (Retrofitting Great Moor House, Taw View, Abbey Rise, St Michaels and Lucombe House) – Revised approach to continue with these retrofits following cost increases was approved by Cabinet in November 2021.
• Work is underway. Unfortunately there have been mistakes made regarding communications to building users at Abbey Rise and Taw View. Corrective actions are being put in place.
• A meeting has been held between DCC, NPS, Devon Norse, Mercury (contractor) and building user representatives at Abbey Rise and a way forward has been found that meets everyone’s needs.
• A building user briefing has been drafted for Taw View and once approved will be sent to all building users via the Facilities Manager. A meeting between DCC, NPS, Devon Norse, Mercury (contractor) and building user representatives to ensure everyone is up to speed and they’ve had a chance to ensure works fit in with their requirements.
• An on-site Pre-Construction Meeting will be held at St Michael’s on the 16th February.
• Once we’ve entered into contract with the Great Moor House Contractor, comms and on-site meetings will be arranged.
Zero Carbon Buildings Phase 2 – (Retroftting Rifford Rd, Honiton Newholme, Rosalind House, Treetops and Orchard House) – Tender has been launched.
Review underway of how to replace gas and oil boilers beyond 2025.
County Farm dwellings continue to be improved, generally achieving an Energy Performance Certificate level C.
The Authority has moved out of the Customer Service Centre, Tiverton, and has plans to move out of Matford Offices.
Corporate Renewables [Amber 🟠]
Target: 400kW installed by March 2023. Current projection is 631kW.
Solar PV on salt barns – Tender issuing has been delayed one quarter. Should now happen in the spring.
Solar car ports at County Hall and Taw View – Change of approach has caused a 3-month delay. Instead of securing planning permission before selecting a supplier, a supplier will be selected first. Tender is expected to be launched in April 2022.
Proposal for purchasing renewable energy from community schemes via synthetic power purchase agreements was approved by the Environmental Performance Board in November 2021. Awaiting further input from Finance and Legal services.
Street Lighting [Green 🟢]
Target: Retrofit 100% of lighting with LED lamps by March 2023.
Work is ongoing across the county to schedule. 56,197 of the 79,000 lamps have been replaced.
Energy Upgrades in the Schools Estate [Green 🟢]
Okehampton Special School new-build – recalculating carbon offset requirements, should that be an opportunity that is implemented. Display Energy Certificate is expected to be rated A or B.
West-Exe Nursery School – new PV array will be installed and commissioned before the end of March.
Bishops Nympton Primary School – additional external insulation is due to commence at the end of January 2022.
2022/23 Maintenance programme is being approved by Cabinet in February and we will look at options for small scale practical enhancements to improve energy efficiency and production.
County Council Travel Plans for Strategic Work Locations [Amber 🟠]
Majority of staff are continuing to work remotely 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 Vehicles and Charging [Amber 🟠]
Rapid Charging Devon
At least 84 charging bays to be installed by March 2022.
Installations were expected to start last quarter but leases are still waiting to be signed for the phase 1 contract awarded to Scottish Power for the installation of charge points at 40 sites. Installations expect to start next quarter.
The tender for Phase 2 for a further 40 sites will be launched in February 2022, which is a month’s delay.
Target: 25 electric vehicles in the fleet by March 2023. Total electric vehicles in the fleet is now 6.
Procurement of a further 12 replacement vehicles is underway. Delivery not expected until April 2022 due to supply chain issues.
The chargeposts for fleet vehicles to be installed at Ivybridge, Great Moor House, Avocet Rd and Taw View depots are delayed by about 6 months. Tender will be issued shortly.
Waste and Resources
Establish a new Reuse Policy [Amber 🟠]
No further progress this quarter – need to understand how buildings will be used in the future.
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 Commissioning
Net-Zero Supply Chain Strategy [Green 🟢]
A draft Net-Zero Supply Chain Strategy is expected next quarter.
Opportunities are being taken to test approaches to considering carbon in contracts and tendering procedures as they come up for review.
Highways, Development and Infrastructure Activity [Green 🟢]
Good suit of benchmarks is now established. Exeter University have 3 more benchmarks to complete. Now refining benchmarks through the use of live site data.
Whole life carbon assessments are being added to the Minor Frameworks Contract, High Friction Surfaces, and Resurfacing contracts.
Carbon Impact Assessment Tool for scheme design
A further enhancement of the Carbon Impact Assessment Tool now allows designers to consider the carbon impact of the traffic management option selected.
Managing service-wide carbon data
Working with DCC’s ICT service we could have an initial phase 1 system in place by summer 2022.
A platform for allowing new materials to be considered and trialled is being developed. This will link to the existing ‘Technical Approval Panel’ but offer more visibility of sustainable material opportunities to the service.
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 🟠]
Water Resource Management Surveys completed. The development of a strategy proposal is delayed due to a focus on delivering energy projects.
Countryside and Heritage
Note: The Countryside and Heritage Action Plan will be revised this year. Dormant actions that are not time-critical have been removed from this report.
Support the delivery of the Devon Ash Dieback Action Plan [Green 🟢]
Ongoing programmes of inspection and remedial action, particularly on the road network. There has been good progress in replanting initiatives, especially through the Saving Devon’s Treescapes project, but also through the first practical works linked to the DCC ‘Emergency Tree Fund’ initiative, funded by the Woodland Trust.
Addressing Light Pollution [Green 🟢]
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.
Purchasing Woodland Carbon Units [Green 🟢]
Sourcing carbon offsets to cover the organisation’s commitment to offset 10% of 2021/22 emissions continues.
Land Purchase Exploration [Green 🟢]
The purchase of 28 acres has completed. However the process has been time consuming and, generally, land values are increasing more quickly than expected which means the future strategy for offsetting may need to change.
Additional Resource [Green 🟢]
The post of Climate and Ecological Emergency Officer has been advertised and interviews are scheduled for the 20th January 2022.