What we are doing to reduce our own carbon emissions and become more resilient to climate change.

We're one of many public services operating in the city, such as:

  • local and national government
  • schools
  • healthcare
  • hospitals
  • emergency services
  • law enforcement

In November 2018, we were the first Local Authority in the UK to decare a Climate Emergency.

Following this, we set a target to be carbon neutral by 2025 for our own direct emissions, and by 2030 for the emissions from things and services that we buy. We published the first  pdf Mayor's Climate Emergency Action Plan (4.71 MB) in 2019.


  • reduce our own emissions and monitor our own impact on the environment
  • plan for emergencies that may result from climate change, such as flooding
  • plan to reduce the future impacts of climate change

The One City Climate Strategy sets out that all public service organisations need to:

  • be carbon neutral by 2030
  • record and measure their own emissions every year
  • have training, engagement, management and operational support to help them become carbon neutral by 2030
  • improve their resilience to climate dangers through planning how they would respond to emergencies such as: flood and heatwaves
  • develop Bristol's position as an environmental leader by sharing lessons with other organisations in the city

The detail of  our actions to achieve these are described in our other webpages describing our climate action.

How we have reduced our own emissions


  • included carbon neutrality, climate resilience and ecological recovery goals into our Corporate Strategy
  • coordinated One City climate action
  • introduced a new pdf Healthy and Sustainable procurement policy (219 KB)  and begun to change our accounting practices, to better measure the emissions that come from the goods, services and works we buy
  • represented the Core Cities at the government's newly established Local Authority Net Zero Forum, enabling dialogue with government departments on achieving net zero

We have a corporate  pdf Environmental Policy (171 KB) in place to make sure our commitment to Environmental Management is embedded within our operations.

We've reported the city's emissions to internationally recognised standards through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2020.

Environmental Management System

We've implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) that covers our activities across all the sites and services we manage.

Our activities and services can have positive and negative impacts upon the environment. We need to manage them to improve our performance and manage risks. This helps us manage, measure and reduce our environmental impacts such as energy, waste, water and carbon.

The environmental management system makes sure we:

  • identify all our environmental impacts 
  • comply with environmental legislation 
  • continually improve our environmental performance

As part of our EMS we measure our carbon emissions to track our progress towards our ambitions.

Our progress for 2022/23 can be found in our pdf 2022/23 Environmental Performance Summary (459 KB) .

To view information from past years you can view:

How we will reduce our own emissions in the future

We continue to refine the way we monitor our carbon emissions, according to global best practice. We actively work with partner organisations to make sure we stay at the forefront of UK local authorities emissions monitoring.  

We plan to take various actions to reduce our own emissions, including:

  • to replace 2 energy inefficient cremators at Canford Crematorium with electric ones
  • to replace all our streetlighting with energy efficient LEDs 
  • a central control system to reduce electricity use
  • plan for all the electricity and gas we purchase to be from renewable sources by the end of 2023

We continue to be an active member of:

  • the national Core Cities Low Carbon Energy and Resilience Hub
  • the government's Net Zero Forum
  • the UK100 Network
  • the local Climate Leaders group

We'll also keep working with our neighbouring local authorities and the West of England Combined Authority.