Our environmental statement

View our commitment to ensuring a better quality of life by conserving, developing and promoting a healthy, safe, diverse, clean and attractive environment

A high quality environment is one of the four core strategic aims in Everyone’s Essex, our plan for levelling up the county 2021 to 2025.

Essex County Council set up the Essex Climate Action Commission to advise on Essex’s response to climate change. The commission published its report ‘Net-Zero: Making Essex Carbon Neutral’ in July 2021, and this set out a comprehensive plan to:

  • reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, in line with UK statutory commitments
  • make Essex more resilient to climate impacts such a flooding, water shortages and overheating

The recommendations in this report form a call to action for everyone and every organisation in Essex. We know we have a critical role to play and are working with partners to deliver a programme of action to address the climate and nature emergencies.

Our ambitious programme of action is set out in our four year, £200m, Climate Action Plan. This was agreed at Full Council in November 2021 with cross party support. This is our response to the recommendations of the commission and it includes commitments in the following areas:

  • land use and green infrastructure
  • transport
  • built environment
  • energy
  • waste
  • community engagement
  • green economy

Land use and green infrastructure

We will help all our communities to enjoy a high-quality environment, by making them more resilient against flooding, heat stress and water shortages, by enhancing our county’s green infrastructure and by reducing air pollution.


We will deliver a step change in sustainable travel across the county, by growing passenger transport and active travel.

Built environment

We will ensure we support the move towards net zero, climate resilient developments, including our new garden communities, by delivering sustainable, healthy neighbourhoods for the future.


We will take action to ensure that we:

  • achieve net zero across our estates by 2030
  • move Essex as a county to net zero by 2050

We will achieve these net zero targets by significantly reducing our own carbon footprint and supporting an acceleration in the progress towards:

  • sustainable housing and energy
  • active and alternative forms of travel

Waste minimisation

We will support residents and businesses to reduce waste and increase recycling and will work with others to deliver a more circular economy, so that we can better protect our natural resources though the efficient and ongoing reuse of materials.

Community engagement

We will work with communities and businesses, providing advice and support to enable and empower local action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience.

Green economy

We will support a Just Transition to a green economy by creating green jobs and opportunities for Essex businesses and social enterprises. We will support Essex residents to access those jobs.

We are working with our suppliers to embed carbon reduction and climate resilience into decision making and procurement. Essex County Council has a mandatory weighting in all tenders for social value, which includes climate. For contracts valued at £100,000 or above, suppliers may be asked to:

  • measure defined carbon emissions
  • set a net zero target as an organisation
  • provide an action plan to reach this target


We will deliver our vision by embedding sustainability and environmental issues within our policies and plans.

Essex County Council is committed to producing annual reports to track our greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilience measures as part of our corporate KPIs.

In addition, Essex County Council reports annually on county wide emissions and progress on climate actions. The first Essex Climate Action Annual Report, covering financial year 2021 to 2022, was published in November 2022.

This statement is subject to review annually and any changes escalated as necessary to the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive.

Signed by the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive.