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City of Wolverhampton Council: Climate Emergency support Part 1: Sustainability Strategy & Action Plan Review

Lead Organisation

Sustainability West Midlands Project Manager: Anna Bright (Chief Executive)


In July 2019 City of Wolverhampton Council, became the first local authority in the Black Country to declare a Climate Emergency. The council commissioned SWM to provide an independent review of their draft sustainability strategy and action plan, the methodology for calculating their carbon footprint, and input to their citizens assembly.

Aims of the project

The council had recently completed their draft Sustainability Strategy and Action plan and were keen to ensure that it was independently reviewed prior to going out for public consultation. SWM undertook this review with consideration of:
    • The clarity of the scope.
    • Wider ‘place’ making activities
    • Links to other relevant priorities and outcomes including international m national and local policy and direction
    • Guidance such as:
      • Ashden’s ‘Climate Action Co-Benefits Toolkit – Cutting Carbon and Improving People’s Lives’
      • The SCATTER emissions tool for local authorities
      • The data, evidence and methodology used (for carbon footprinting)
      • Ownership, deliverability, and monitoring
    • Good practice from other local authorities

Results and achievements

SWM have developed criteria for reviewing local council climate action plans that contains 34 individual metrics based on a synthesis of good practice guidance and examples. The draft climate strategy and action plan were reviewed against the criteria, rated and future improvements suggested. A Red Amber Green (RAG) rating was used. Of the 34 metrics within the criteria, the draft strategy and action plan scored 11 Green, 19 Amber and 4 Red. This demonstrates a strong commitment and direction in a draft plan prior to consultation, with lots of opportunity for further strengthening during the next development stages.
“SWM was brought in to support the Council’s work on the Climate Emergency. Throughout, SWM have acted as a reliable, critical friend to the Council. Their analysis on our Climate Emergency plans offered an indispensable third pair of eyes enabling the Council to better develop our strategy on this critical issue. SWM were also key speakers at the citizens assembly on Climate Change held in February 2020.”. Isaac Vivian, Climate Change Project Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council (2020)

Download the full case study

For further information on the project or to work with us in one of a variety of ways, please contact the SWM team on at enquiries@swm.org.uk.

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