What are we doing?

We are working in a variety of ways to respond to the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Ensuring our response is evidence-based – We have calculated our carbon footprint for 2019/20 and will continue to measure our carbon reductions against our annual carbon accounting. Our carbon footprint highlights those areas we need to prioritise in our carbon reduction actions. This forms the basis for our strategic approach to Net Zero Carbon as set out in our Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan (to be published soon).

Habitat Carbon – Local habitats sequester and store massive amounts of CO2 but the understanding of exactly how much they sequester is variable. A lot of work is going on in partnership with others to get a better understanding of the potential for habitat carbon. We will use this evidence to influence our land management practices in tackling emissions.

Reducing our emissions – As an organisation we use energy to heat and power our buildings, fuel in our vehicles and tools, and we travel across Sussex to our reserves and places of work. We recognise the impacts of our actions and are identifying ways in which we can reduce these and influence the reduction of those of our partners, suppliers and visitors.

Tackling residual emissions – It is unlikely that we will be able to entirely eliminate all our greenhouse gas emissions, so we are exploring ways in which these ‘residual emissions’ can be dealt with. We will continue to examine with others an evidenced-based approach to offsetting which may be feasible when all possible carbon reduction actions have taken place.

Developing nature-based solutions to climate change and climate resilient landscapes – Even if all greenhouse gas emissions are cut entirely, changes in our climate will continue to occur because of legacy emissions and the time that they exist in the atmosphere. Natural habitats act as nature based solutions (NbS) for climate by sequestering and storing carbon and providing adaptation to climate change by reducing flooding or providing cooling. We will continue to work on opportunities for NbS such as the Sussex Flow Initiative and Sussex Kelp which also improve climate resilience in our local environments.

Partnerships – We work with a wide range of partners including other conservation organisations, local authorities, universities and individuals. These partnerships are valuable in providing a joined-up and effective response to the challenges of climate change. Wilder Horsham District and The Sussex Local Nature Partnership are examples of this approach.