Environmental policy

View the Environmental Policy as a PDF document

Devon County Council’s Environmental Policy was adopted in May 2011. The Policy is implemented through a set of themed action plans.

We are reliant on the natural environment. It controls air and water quality, regulates global climate, circulates vital nutrients to enable the provision of food, fuel and pharmaceutical resources. Partnered with historical and cultural offerings it provides recreation and tourism experiences that are beneficial for our health and well-being and economic prosperity.

Devon County Council recognises its responsibility to minimise the impact of its own operations on the environment and acknowledges the contribution it can make to protecting and enhancing Devon’s distinctive natural, historic and cultural surroundings whilst being sensitive to economic and social considerations. Minimising the use of resources will help protect the authority from future increases in energy and utility prices.

Devon County Council will…

Embedding and Educating

Consistently consider the environmental implications and opportunities of policies, projects, decisions and working practices.

Encourage environmental best practice among employees, Members and school communities.

Community Leadership

Set an example by continually seeking to improve the authority’s environmental performance.

Help improve communities’ environmental awareness and encourage individuals to take responsibility for their actions.


Ensure the environmental impact of goods and services is considered within its procurement decisions.

Work with suppliers, contractors and tenants to lessen the environmental impacts of their operations.

Transport & Travel

Help employees, Members and school communities minimise the environmental impact of commuting.

Reduce the need for fleet, work and school related travel and minimise the environmental impact of that which is necessary.

Water & Sewage

Monitor, manage and reduce its use of fresh water by cutting demand and improving efficiency in existing and new buildings.

Ensure sewage disposal occurs through appropriate mechanisms.

Environmental Risk

Meet the requirements of relevant legislation.

Suitably store, use and dispose of hazardous materials.

Ensure its services are resilient to extreme weather and a changing climate.

Countryside & Heritage

Promote the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity, landscape, built environment, maritime, cultural and historic interests through its estate and activities and through its work with others.


Reduce its demand for energy, improve energy efficiency and utilise renewable energy technologies where appropriate in existing and new assets.


Minimise waste and make the best use of resources by encouraging employees, Members and suppliers to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.