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CYC ♥‘s One Planet York

Monday 25th July 2016

Cycling, Businesses, Electric Vehicles

City of York Council wants to lead by example and become a ‘One Planet Council’, putting sustainability at the heart of everything it does.

Typically in the UK we are using the resources of three planets when we have just one, which is not sustainable. 

To help address this, One Planet York focuses on ten key principles, including: zero waste, zero carbon, sustainable transport, health and wellbeing, land use & wildlife and sustainable food and water.

The council is set to adopt a new One Planet Council policy and a four year Carbon and Resource Smart Management Plan 2015-19, if approved at an Executive Member for the Environment decision session on 1st August.

These will help to strengthen the authorities commitment to One Planet living and demonstrate how the council is working to reduce carbon emissions and associated expenditure across its estate.

Some of the innovative proposals/schemes include:

  • Exploring options for increasing the amount of solar power collectors at the council’s eco-depot ad using this energy onsite or to charge our growing electric vehicle fleet.
  • Securing approximately £1m of technical support to explore the feasibility and viability of up to ten renewable energy schemes across the council estate (and wider city)
  • Developing seven ‘hyper hubs’ – a network of ultra low carbon transport refuelling hubs across York fuelled by solar energy ( via solar car ports / canopies / similar)
  • Create innovative energy efficiency standards and integrated renewable energy i.e. exploring a water source heat pump to heat and cool a redeveloped Guildhall.

The authority is already making good progress and teams across the council are putting their skills and knowledge to the test to not only help residents and neighbourhoods but its staff too.

In line with the Council Plan, progress has already been made towards embedding sustainability across the council and more work will be done through the proposed new plans and tools.

James Williams in the council’s businesses travel team sets a good example of how the authority is steering staff to try new sustainable travel ideas.

James helped to launch the council’s new pool bike scheme earlier this year. Funded entirely through government funding (Local Sustainable Transport Fund), the pool of 20 bikes are available to reserve at a small cost of 25p per hour, which is charged to the rider's CYC service on a monthly basis. Multiple bikes can also be made available to CYC teams and partner organisations for use in their service delivery with the general public.

This is just one example of how the authority is working towards introducing new schemes and campaigns as part of its One Planet York commitment.

More recently, the Waste and Recycling team – based at Hazel Court – helped to launch the new citywide One Planet York app.

It allows residents to check their waste collection date, or whether packaging is recyclable plus much more at the touch of a button. The free app works on smart phones and tablets and was developed by the council.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the Environment at City of York Council, said: “These plans will create a more sustainable OnePlanet council, reducing our environmental impacts, balancing economic and social needs of the council and its services. It will deliver operational savings and foster innovation. It will also be great for the one planet we have, in our aim to become the Greenest City in the North and the emerging OnePlanetYork network.

“Through this and other initiatives our goals are to boost recycling, cut carbon emissions, increase the use of renewable energy, deliver a vibrant economy and improve health and wellbeing.”

These actions are helping to put the council and city on a more sustainable and resilient footing as well as making York a great place to live, work and visit.

To download the app visit the Apple app store or the Google Play Store. For more information on One Planet York visit

The Decision Session for the Executive Member for Environment takes place on Monday 1st August from 5.30pm at West Offices and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online at

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit

Photo: City of York Council employee, Sam Maynard, using the council’s new pool bike scheme.