Creating a net zero carbon council by 2030

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Our journey to reach net zero carbon as a council by 2030 and as a borough by 2042.



What does net zero carbon mean?

Put simply, achieving net zero carbon means reducing the amount of greenhouse gases associated with energy (heating, lighting) to zero. This is because when fossil fuels like coal and gas are burned to meet our demand for energy, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, causing climate change.

To get to net zero carbon we need to:

Power down consumption - this is about being mindful on what we consume in the first place, only consuming what is necessary to avoid waste, and making wiser decisions.

Power up renewables, to electrify everything and reduce the use of fossil fuels where possible. Read more from The Energy Saving Trust about how renewable energy can help the UK here.


Putting sustainability at the heart of everything the council does

We recognise that sustainability is a cross-cutting challenge. Through Barnet Council’s Climate Action Plan we will deliver on eight key themes towards delivering our sustainability goals. An overview of these actions is provided below:

1. Housing and Buildings – we will ensure that all housing stock is up to the highest sustainability standards, retrofitting Barnet’s social housing stock to EPC-B by 2030. Read more here.

2. Transport – we will create a safe and resilient environment for walking, wheeling and cycling, make public transport accessible as possible, and developing a greener public realm by facilitating greater use of Active Travel methods.

3. Renewable Energy – we will reduce the use of fossil fuels where possible, and support residents and businesses to access grants and support to increase uptake of solar power.

4. Waste – we will reduce the quantity of general waste produced across the borough by construction, commercial businesses.

5. Business and Skills – we will create opportunities to make Barnet an attractive place for sustainable business and investments; support the development of green skills and sharing sustainable business practices.

6. Natural Environment and Biodiversity – we will protect existing natural space and seek to expand coverage of green space and biodiversity across Barnet.

7. Investments – we will improve the understanding of the impact of investments, such as pensions, promoting sustainable investment and incorporating green objectives.

8. Staff, Policy and Supply Chain – we will involve staff in the importance of sustainability, integrating sustainability in procurement and decision-making processes, reducing the council's own waste generation and increasing recycling rates.


What we are doing to make our operational buildings, including schools and libraries, more sustainable

As part of phase one of the decarbonisation scheme, we have already installed decarbonisation measures, such as heat pumps and solar panels, to 17 buildings across the borough, including the council’s main office building in Colindale and five libraries.

In total, this project will reduce carbon emissions by 287 tonnes of carbon per year, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon emissions produced from 66 average homes electricity and gas usage per year. These works were funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and administered by Salix Finance.

Barnet is now delivering the next phase, which includes installing heat pumps at schools and libraries. In total, the council will be fitting decarbonisation measures, including solar PV, LED lighting and heat pumps to 20 buildings (predominantly schools) across the borough. And for the first time, several of the sites will be 100% heat decarbonised, meaning their buildings will be heated using electricity alone (no gas).

This will reduce carbon emissions by 800 tonnes of carbon per year, which is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 186 homes’ electricity and gas use per year.


Sustainable partnership work with schools

We are future proofing our borough for generations to come, through delivering initiatives and working in partnership with schools and young people's organisations across the borough.














The council has set up a School’s Sustainability Working Party with two strands of focus:

1. Buildings, transport and procurement: Including information on grants and funding available to retrofit school buildings, active travel and sustainable foods procurement support.

2. Curriculum development and activities relating to pupils/families: This includes supporting schools to build a comprehensive framework of practical suggestions and learning resources, such as a Climate Charter.

If you are a headteacher or a member of staff working on sustainability in your school who would like to join our Sustainability Working Party, please email: BarnetZero@barnet.gov.uk

Other initiatives that the council are running in partnership with local schools include:

  • School Superzones

Creating healthier and safer places for children and young people to live, learn and play. The GLA have provided funding of £60k for two schools this year in Barnet. The zones cover a 400m area (roughly a 5-10 minute walk) and are designed to protect children’s health and encourage healthy behaviours in more deprived communities.

  • Cycle Confident training for children

We are working in partnership with Cycle Confident to deliver bikeability courses to primary school pupils across the borough. To inspire young people to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling.

Read more on our cycle training schemes here.


Return to the BarNET ZERO homepage

Our journey to reach net zero carbon as a council by 2030 and as a borough by 2042.



What does net zero carbon mean?

Put simply, achieving net zero carbon means reducing the amount of greenhouse gases associated with energy (heating, lighting) to zero. This is because when fossil fuels like coal and gas are burned to meet our demand for energy, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, causing climate change.

To get to net zero carbon we need to:

Power down consumption - this is about being mindful on what we consume in the first place, only consuming what is necessary to avoid waste, and making wiser decisions.

Power up renewables, to electrify everything and reduce the use of fossil fuels where possible. Read more from The Energy Saving Trust about how renewable energy can help the UK here.


Putting sustainability at the heart of everything the council does

We recognise that sustainability is a cross-cutting challenge. Through Barnet Council’s Climate Action Plan we will deliver on eight key themes towards delivering our sustainability goals. An overview of these actions is provided below:

1. Housing and Buildings – we will ensure that all housing stock is up to the highest sustainability standards, retrofitting Barnet’s social housing stock to EPC-B by 2030. Read more here.

2. Transport – we will create a safe and resilient environment for walking, wheeling and cycling, make public transport accessible as possible, and developing a greener public realm by facilitating greater use of Active Travel methods.

3. Renewable Energy – we will reduce the use of fossil fuels where possible, and support residents and businesses to access grants and support to increase uptake of solar power.

4. Waste – we will reduce the quantity of general waste produced across the borough by construction, commercial businesses.

5. Business and Skills – we will create opportunities to make Barnet an attractive place for sustainable business and investments; support the development of green skills and sharing sustainable business practices.

6. Natural Environment and Biodiversity – we will protect existing natural space and seek to expand coverage of green space and biodiversity across Barnet.

7. Investments – we will improve the understanding of the impact of investments, such as pensions, promoting sustainable investment and incorporating green objectives.

8. Staff, Policy and Supply Chain – we will involve staff in the importance of sustainability, integrating sustainability in procurement and decision-making processes, reducing the council's own waste generation and increasing recycling rates.


What we are doing to make our operational buildings, including schools and libraries, more sustainable

As part of phase one of the decarbonisation scheme, we have already installed decarbonisation measures, such as heat pumps and solar panels, to 17 buildings across the borough, including the council’s main office building in Colindale and five libraries.

In total, this project will reduce carbon emissions by 287 tonnes of carbon per year, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon emissions produced from 66 average homes electricity and gas usage per year. These works were funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and administered by Salix Finance.

Barnet is now delivering the next phase, which includes installing heat pumps at schools and libraries. In total, the council will be fitting decarbonisation measures, including solar PV, LED lighting and heat pumps to 20 buildings (predominantly schools) across the borough. And for the first time, several of the sites will be 100% heat decarbonised, meaning their buildings will be heated using electricity alone (no gas).

This will reduce carbon emissions by 800 tonnes of carbon per year, which is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 186 homes’ electricity and gas use per year.


Sustainable partnership work with schools

We are future proofing our borough for generations to come, through delivering initiatives and working in partnership with schools and young people's organisations across the borough.














The council has set up a School’s Sustainability Working Party with two strands of focus:

1. Buildings, transport and procurement: Including information on grants and funding available to retrofit school buildings, active travel and sustainable foods procurement support.

2. Curriculum development and activities relating to pupils/families: This includes supporting schools to build a comprehensive framework of practical suggestions and learning resources, such as a Climate Charter.

If you are a headteacher or a member of staff working on sustainability in your school who would like to join our Sustainability Working Party, please email: BarnetZero@barnet.gov.uk

Other initiatives that the council are running in partnership with local schools include:

  • School Superzones

Creating healthier and safer places for children and young people to live, learn and play. The GLA have provided funding of £60k for two schools this year in Barnet. The zones cover a 400m area (roughly a 5-10 minute walk) and are designed to protect children’s health and encourage healthy behaviours in more deprived communities.

  • Cycle Confident training for children

We are working in partnership with Cycle Confident to deliver bikeability courses to primary school pupils across the borough. To inspire young people to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling.

Read more on our cycle training schemes here.


Return to the BarNET ZERO homepage

Page last updated: 10 Jan 2024, 02:27 PM