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Tackling climate change at South Ayrshire Council

Our Corporate Approach

In June 2019 the Council approved its first  Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy (PDF) [2MB]  which will drive delivery of the Council's climate change duties over the next 4 years. The SD&CC strategy is underpinned with a cross departmental action plan to deliver mitigation and adaptation measures across the Authority area, putting South Ayrshire Council in the forefront of Scotland's push towards a more sustainable future.

The strategy has three themes:

  1. Sustainable Council: Reducing the corporate greenhouse gas emissions and improving the wider environment.
  2. Sustainable Environment: Protecting and enhancing the environment while improving the health, well-being and livelihoods of local communities.
  3. Sustainable Community: Supporting local communities to limit greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change impacts and improve their local environment.

Other important documents

The Sustainable Development and Climate Change Strategy pulls together existing commitments, and aligns with other Council strategies which focus on social and economic development. Some important documents that contain key information on the Council's efforts to address environmental issues include the following:

Some key climate actions taken by the Council

South Ayrshire Council has reduced its carbon emissions by 26% between 2014/15 and 2018/19 through increasing resource efficiency, encouraging behaviour change of employees and investing in renewable energy.

  • Through the Sustainability Partnership, South Ayrshire Council raises awareness of environmental issues and encourages partners to consider ways in which they can contribute towards mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • The Council has been running electric vehicles since 2012 and there are now 37 electric / hybrid cars and vans in the fleet which have been funded by Transport Scotland, including nine fully electric BMWi3s which have a range of 160 miles.
  • South Ayrshire Council's Bike to Work Scheme was introduced in 2020 permitting Council employees to purchase bikes through a salary sacrifice scheme to encourage active travel.
  • LED lighting replacements across South Ayrshire are estimated to make savings of 1281 tonnes of CO2 between 2019 and 2020 and save over 374 thousand pounds annually. Overall completion of this programme is expected in Spring 2021.
  • In March 2018 the Council committed to stop buying single use plastic straws immediately and stop buying other single use plastics over a four year period.
  • Through the Scottish Government ABS (Area Based Schemes) Programme South Ayrshire Council helped manage a project with the Energy Agency in which 194 properties in fuel poor areas received external wall insulation in 2018/19. This has made annual savings of £50,440 in fuel bills as well as and 213 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • Working with Zero Waste Scotland, the Council introduced an enhanced waste collection schedule between 2018 and 2019. This new system delivers cleaner, separate materials that can be sold on to specialist companies, providing additional income to support public services.

Climate Change Reporting

South Ayrshire Council signed up to Scotland's Climate Change Declaration in 2007 and pledged to lead our community by taking action on climate change throughout the local authority area and to report on this annually. Reporting is done through the Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Report, which is published annually on the Sustainable Scotland Network website.

If you have any enquiries or suggestions regarding the councils response to the climate emergency please contact