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Our progress

In the last 2 years, we’ve made progress towards the targets we’ve set, both across our own buildings and the services we provide.

In the last three years, we’ve made progress towards that target we’ve set, both across our own buildings and the services we provide. Highlights over the last year are shown in the infographic below.

Annual reports

You can read our:


  • Published a report by the Carbon Trust to understand the Council’s own carbon footprint: Carbon trust report
  • Taken steps to eliminate single-use plastics from our offices at Swale House (read the full report here)
  • Reducing our use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertiliser whenever possible, and encouraging the use of compost from food waste recycling.
  • Started to plan an eco-refit of our offices at Swale House
  • 2,400 trees were planted in our country parks over winter 2021/22 and a baseline audit of our existing trees and potential sites for further planting have been identified. The next phase of tree planting will be carried out via our successful bid to the LATF.
  • COVID19 has accelerated the move to virtual meetings, resulting in business and commuting miles falling dramatically
  • The council purchases green electricity and green gas. All electricity is sourced from renewable energy, and gas is sourced from anaerobic digestion.
  • A full survey of all of our lighting assets in Swale, both within our open spaces and within our off-street car parks has been undertaken. Plans are being drawn up to upgrade to LED lighting units that have not already been converted, as LEDs consume up to 80% less energy.
  • Worked in partnership with D S Smith Papermill to ensure disposable hot drink cups are collected and recycled adequately. D S Smith has also recently funded the purchase of 2500 biodegradable tree guards
  • Coppicing in Perry Wood has been increased to 2 hectares a year, as set out in the management plan. Coppicing enhances biodiversity, allowing wildflowers and insects to thrive as light reaches the woodland floor. The timber is being used locally.

Swale House

Our main office, Swale House was first opened in the 1970’s. Since then, the availability of new technology has meant we’ve now got an opportunity to improve its efficiency, helping to reduce the council’s impact on climate change.

We commissioned the Carbon Trust to produce a report which examines Swale House and makes suggestions about how we can improve it.

The first stage of the Swale House retro-fit will include:

  • New windows
  • New roof
  • Switch to LED lighting
  • Insulation of under-croft
  • Some internal alterations to facilitate renting out space to external parties

Further phases to be considered in due course.

Master’s House

Master’s House in Trinity Road, Sheerness is a Victorian period property that was formerly the local office for Swale Borough Council. Since the opening of the Gateway in 2011, the tenant has sublet the space for community purposes, however significant work now needs to be carried out to continue to lease the building. These works will also contribute towards achieving net zero carbon across our estate.

The low carbon refurbishment project of Master’s House includes:

  • Low energy air source heat pump
  • LED lighting
  • Roof insulation
  • Internal wall cladding
  • New windows and external doors
  • Alterations to internal partitions
  • New toilets and kitchens
  • IT infrastructure cabling
  • Solar PV panels
  • Upgrade electrical supply
  • Improved disability access including 8-person/disabled access platform lift and disabled toilet

This will provide significant carbon reductions, mainly through a reduction in energy use. It is predicted that the total annual carbon reduction is 84 tonnes, with a saving of £8,260 per annum through energy use reductions.