Sustainability can be defined as:

"meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (“Our Common Future”, 1987, United Nations WCED)

It means being responsible for how our actions impact others – within the borough , in neighbouring areas and around the world.

Sustainability at Bolton Council

Bolton Council aims to embed the ethos of sustainability throughout its operations, including saving money on energy bills, attracting new jobs and investment in ‘green’ industries, managing local flood-risk and protecting our natural environment.

The council is committed to reducing its Greenhouse gas emissions arising from its own estate through its Carbon Management Plan (see Downloads tab). Key projects include:

  • The installation of devices in key buildings which automatically turn off equipment which is not in use;
  • Installing powerperfectors in Bolton Town Hall and Bolton Market which optimise voltage making electrical equipment use less energy.  This saves the council over £65k a year;
  • The streetlighting energy efficiency programme. The council is currently in phase 1 of a four phase, seven year programme.  By the end of year seven the council will reach an annual saving in excess of £300k per annum;
  • Installing waterless urinals and sensor lights in a number of council buildings.
  • Council staff are doing their bit to save energy and costs and reduce their impact on Bolton’s environment – by turning off all equipment instead of leaving on standby and even using the stairs instead of the lift. The council has a well-established network of volunteer Green Liaison Officers (GLOs) who encourage their colleagues to keep doing their bit.

All local authorities are required to provide a greenhouse gas emissions report for our own estate and operations to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) - this report should not be compared directly to our Carbon Management Plan as it contains different carbon conversion factors.

To view the latest report, please see the Downloads tab

Sustainability in the community

We also look for ways to share that ethos with the community, for example in improving recycling, managing waste and supporting efforts to insulate homes and install energy efficient devices. Further information can be found on the links tab.

Sustainability in schools

Children and young people face the need for long-term solutions to global and climate challenges perhaps more than anybody else.  After all, they’re more likely to be around to see the results of global warming and environmental changes.  Because of the importance of making changes now for the sake of future generations, Bolton Council supports sustainability education in various ways – including the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Network.

The ESD Network:

  • Collects and shares information it among its members.
  • Coordinates the Bolton ESD Directory of local sources of educational support, local places to visit, training opportunities and funding sources. 
  • Supports specific parts of the Sustainability agenda through local networks like Forest School in Bolton and Fairtrade Schools and through links to other organisations, such as Red Rose Forest.

Your local school, youth group or environmental organisation may well be keen to hear from anyone with the skills, experience, or simply the enthusiasm, to work with children and young people on growing food or plants, reducing their global footprint, making international links or reducing waste.

Contact the ESD Network using the details on the Contacts tab.

Adapting to climate change - the future for Bolton

Climate change is already happening and will continue to do so.

In “Pennine Fringe” areas like Bolton, average summer daily temperatures are likely to be between 1.4°C and 5.5°C warmer by the 2050s. The hottest day in summer is likely to be 1.6°-6.0°C warmer. We are likely to see around 20% less rain in summer (but this could be up to 36% less), and around 16% more rain in winter (or up to 36% more).

Bolton doesn’t expect to see large scale flooding like we have seen in some parts of the country, but it is likely that there will be localised areas of flooding when rivers, drains or road surfaces simply cannot cope with the greater volumes of water.

Similarly, Bolton will not become an arid desert, but changes in temperature could have an effect on wildlife, gardens, water supply, and so on. It could also lead to gradually changing patterns of disease if species migrate with changing temperatures. More significantly, a hot spell, when temperatures might rise by several degrees for a few days, could be very difficult for some people. It could make hygiene control in hospitals, food outlets and waste management problematic.

Hotter conditions in Manchester city centre, or flooding in Lancashire, could disrupt rail services for people in (or wanting to get to) Bolton. Heavy rain can close sections of the M61. Strong wind does cause problems at times, when trees get blown over or buildings experience damage. And these events might become more common.

Bolton Vision’s Cleaner Greener Partnership have gathered together a table of climate change risks which can be viewed on the Downloads tab.

Adapting to climate change
Sustainability in the community
Sustainable development

Planning Strategy

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