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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 16 December, 2013

 

Report of the Leader

 

Updated Environment Policy

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To present Cabinet with an updated Environmental Policy for endorsement.

Recommendations

1.         That this revised Environmental Policy is endorsed by the Cabinet.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To show a high level support for the environment and to gain commitment to the contents of the policy.

Background

2.         Green Dragon is the Welsh Assembly Government approach to improving sustainability. It provides a series of stages aligned with ISO14001 and allows an organisation to receive recognition for each stage reached.

3.         All sections of the Council have achieved a Green Dragon award, ranging from level 2 to level 5 (the highest level achievable).

4.         The Vale of Glamorgan Council originally adopted an Environmental Policy on 15 January 2003, with further revisions in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         An annually updated Environmental Policy is a requirement of Green Dragon. It is a written statement outlining the organisation's mission in relation to managing the environmental effects and aspects of its operations.  The Environmental Policy is the cornerstone of the development and implementation of an environmental management system. A copy is attached at appendix 1.

6.         The benefits associated with adopting the revised Environmental Policy include:

·           assuring customers of commitment to demonstrable environmental management

·           maintaining good public/community relations

·           enhancing image

·           improving cost control

·           reducing incidents that result in liability

·           conserving raw materials and energy

·           sharing environmental solutions

·           improving industry/government relations.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         All resource implications will be met from existing budgets.  Reducing the use of natural resources (such as energy and waste) can result in cost savings.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.         The Green Dragon award is assessed annually, and has contributed significantly to reducing carbon emissions, waste and pollution.  

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.         An environmental management system and environmental policy have positive legal benefits in that they identify environmental risks, and ensure that procedures are in place for reducing the environmental impact of an organisation, thus reducing incidents that could result in liability.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      Corporate Plan: To protect and enhance the Vale's natural and built environment.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.      This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.      N/A

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager - Corporate Policy and Communications

Officers Consulted

Sustainable Development Working Group

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director