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Climate change strategy and action plan

In September 2019, councillors voted to adopt the Climate Emergency motion, which sets out the council's aim to become carbon-neutral by 2030.

To reach this ambitious target, we have produced a strategy outlining actions that will help tackle climate change in our borough. The action plan and strategy were adopted by Full Council on 15 December 2020.

Main themes

Waverley’s action plan focuses on 7 main themes:

Waverley will identify ways to reduce carbon from our own non-domestic buildings:

  • Following a successful bid from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund in 2022, Memorial Hall in Farnham has now been fitted with a new Air Source Heat Pump to provide heating and a solar PV array to supply electricity. This aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% year on year and forms part of the council's move to harness solar energy. You can find out more here: Decarbonisation of Memorial Hall
  • We have also been looking at a regeneration project in Godalming which includes the decarbonisation of our own main council offices. 
  • We are working on delivering a new Passivhaus standard leisure centre in Cranleigh which will drastically reduce the energy requirements of the current unsustainable building which needs to be replaced.
  • Energy Audits have also been carried out on a number of other properties owned by the council. These will be used in further decarbonisation plans.

Waverley will reduce emissions from travel:

  • Waverley’s fleet consists of 17 vehicles across all of our services. Since our Climate emergency declaration we have purchased four electric vehicles and one hybrid.
  • We also actively encourage our contractors to switch to electric vehicles where it is practical with two of our main contractors already regularly using electric/hybrid vehicles.

Waverley will ensure we have sustainable procurement practices:

  • When it comes to commissioning goods, works or services we have sustainable procurement practices in place. In 2022 the Sustainable Procurement Policy was produced and adopted.  

Waverley is reducing emissions from commuting:

  • Most employees now, where their roles allow, split their time between working from home and travelling to the office so our own travel emissions are reduced.
  • A travel survey has been carried out amongst staff to identify how people travel to work, distances travelled and barriers to switching from private car use to influence behaviour change towards more sustainable travel.

Waverley is working with partners to reduce travel emissions:

  • In 2022 four bike shelters were installed in three Waverley car parks across the borough as part of a pilot scheme
  • Working with Surrey County Council, Town and Parish councils and local cycle groups Local Cycle and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) are currently being finalised for Farnham and Waverley.  A summary of the LCWIP report for Waverley (excluding Farnham) is now available online. Waverley LCWIP Summary Report
  • The Guildford-Godalming Greenway went out to public consultation in 2021 and, with the additional National Highways funding, the Greenway has moved into the detailed design and costings phase. The full consultation report and further details of the feasibility proposals are available online.
  • We continue to install Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers in our public car parks across the borough:
    • Eighteen EV chargers have been installed at Brightwells in Farnham. These will be available once the car park is open.
    • A further 14 new EV chargers are in the process of being installed in Godalming, Milford and Haslemere. 
    • We have a roll-out plan to install more EV chargers in Waverley-owned public car parks. Along with EV chargers installed by Surrey County Council, there will be 68 public chargers available. More details can be found in our EV Strategy

Waverley will produce and deliver a Low Emission Clean Air Strategy:

We are continually seeking opportunities to install renewable energy generation:

  • We currently have Solar PV panels at The Burys as well as Godalming, Cranleigh and Haslemere Leisure Centres. In 2022 new solar panels were installed at the Memorial Hall, Farnham.
  • We are intending to extend the number of solar panels at two of our leisure centres.
  • A feasibility study has been carried out to identify further potential sites for renewable energy across Waverley.

Our council properties:

  • Waverley owns 4774 council properties of which over 83% have Energy Performance Certificates rated EPC C and above.
  • In 2022 an Asset Management Strategy was produced. This outlines the requirements necessary to reach a carbon neutral position by 2030.

Help for private home owners and private rented properties:

  • Waverley is part of a Surrey-wide consortium with Action Surrey who provide impartial energy advice. They are the managing agents for various Government-funded schemes supporting the installation of energy efficiency measures for residents, including the recent Sustainable Warmth scheme. Action Surrey – Surrey’s Low Carbon Community
  • Waverley also offers its own Safe and Warm grant, a small discretionary benefit to pay for small, but essential, works to improve energy efficiency or safety in your home
  • Surrey County Council is supporting residents with a new online energy advice tool which will offer tailored guidance to Waverley residents. 

We have produced:

In 2022 Waverley started a new kerbside collection service. Textiles and small electrical items can now be collected:

Small electricals and textiles collection

Since our declaration of a climate emergency in September 2019, the council has produced the following action plans to improve the natural environment across areas that we manage and to encourage other organisations and residents across the borough to do the same to ensure the borough remains a desirable area to live and work in:

In addition, work is underway on the preparation of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy which will outline measures that we will need to put in place to minimise the effect of our changing climate.

We are working with businesses across the borough to help them become more sustainable. 

More sustainable business information, support and advice is available on the Business Waverley website

Useful links

Surrey's climate change strategy - developed by Surrey's 12 local authorities.

Surrey's Greener Future website - where local residents can share their views on key topics connected with climate change. 


If you have any queries or comments about sustainability in Waverley, please email