Renfrewshire Council

Ren Zero logo on landscape

Climate Change Action Fund

The Ren Zero projects we're supporting across Renfrewshire to help combat climate change and reach our net zero target.

We committed £1million to the Climate Change Action Fund to support innovative projects and initiatives being developed by Council services in response to the climate emergency.

It provides initial funding to pilot new ideas and approaches, to support engagement and partnership working across Renfrewshire, and to accelerate the pace of change already being delivered through existing initiatives.

Below are the projects we're supporting.

Community Climate Fund (£50,000)

Community groups and organisations were encouraged to submit their ideas for funding that would improve their local environment and reduce carbon emissions.

Up to £3,000 was available for each project, take a look at the 18 successful projects.

Electric vehicle programme (£258,000)

Light commercial fleet is the largest vehicle category within our fleet so by replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with electric, we will significantly reduce our carbon emissions and air pollution while we deliver frontline services.

A total of 27 electric vehicles (EVs) have been purchased - two large 3.5tonne vans, eighteen light vans and seven cars - using the fund, as well additional funding provided by Transport Scotland.

These EVs bring the total number within the council's fleet to 127, which is around 30% of the our fleet.

Housing led Regeneration and Renewal Programme - Zero Energy Buildings (£75,000)

We're developing a collaborative and innovative partnership with a research organisation to design and deliver a social housing new build development within our Regeneration and Renewal Programme.  

The project aims to meet our climate change commitments, through delivering homes that are zero carbon, sustainable for our tenants and the environment and reduce fuel poverty.

Sustainable procurement programme (up to £40,000)

Our ambition is to ensure that the Council not only keeps abreast of best practice but has an opportunity to engage and consult with our suppliers, our colleagues and the wider public sector to help shape and form future Council policy and innovation.

Funding will help to develop initial resource to support:

  • the development of a clear framework for training and development to ensure that our processes support embedding sustainable procurement in all of our practice and we actively contribute to the Council's Net Zero goal;
  • the development of an approach to monitoring and recording climate change and circular economy initiatives throughout the life of contracts;
  • active engagement with Economic Development to help run events for local businesses about sustainable procurement and to help them become more sustainable and focused on tackling the Climate Emergency;
  • the development of cross functional roadmaps for major and targeted impact areas setting out key milestone and targets for action and implementation.

Active Travel (£75,000)

We want to make travelling on foot or bike an attractive and available proposition for people in Renfrewshire and are working to identify gaps in the network and develop local connections to offer an attractive alternatives to using a car.

We want to make progress towards delivering 20-minute neighbourhood living across Renfrewshire, leading to reduced carbon emissions from travel; healthier lifestyles; and more sustainable local economies and services.

Town Centres climate resilience programme (£75,000)

This funding is being used to develop a response to local climate change impacts for streets and public spaces across Renfrewshire. It aims to support improvements to our local centres to make them more attractive places to spend time in; make our communities more resilient; and support local centres from any additional economic impact.

A robust evidence base for Renfrewshire's Plan for Net Zero (£50,000)

In order to work collectively to reduce emissions, it is important to know where we are starting from as an evidence base. Officers worked with technical specialist consultants to calculate (for both Renfrewshire Council as an organisation and Renfrewshire area as a whole) the baseline emissions (where we started from); the current emissions (where we are now); and trajectories to 2030.

The work has also developed an emissions monitoring tool which is based on an open data platform and will be updated as projects are implemented and updated data is available.

This work was key as, in order to prioritise action, it is critical to identify key sources of emissions to be targeted and also enables us to monitor and report progress in an open and transparent way.

Community Food Growing (£50,000)

A pilot of a large-scale community food growing initiative in Johnstone. Alongside bringing land back into use, the aim of the project would be to maximise the availability of locally available and fresh food to people experiencing financial insecurity and/or health and wellbeing issues. 

Feasibility study - photovoltaic project (£30,000)

Our Energy Management Unit (EMU) has identified an opportunity to deliver large-scale renewable electricity from Photovoltaic Panels (PV) on the former landfill site at Moss Road in Linwood.

Renfrewshire Climate Panel and Business Survey (£20,000)

We want to bring everyone with us on this journey to net zero and ensure that all voices are heard in the design and delivery of the Plan for Net Zero. 

Through the Public Services Panel and other community channels, the survey of local residents took place in September 2021 and added to the creation of the Plan for Net Zero, as well as successfully recruiting members to the Renfrewshire Climate Panel.

Our Climate Panel is made up of a representative sample of Renfrewshire residents to look at climate issues, discuss how this affects people locally and help identify what interventions are needed and what actions can be taken to collectively support Renfrewshire's drive towards net zero by 2030.

Funding has also supported a survey with local businesses in partnership with the Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce which focuses on the climate emergency, green recovery, the circular economy, and aims to identify the barriers currently faced by businesses in order to find solutions and reduce their emissions.

Peatland restoration (£10,000)

There are significant peatland resources within Renfrewshire and we are investigating the feasibility of a programme of peatland restoration in discussion with owners, tenants and conservation experts.

We are identifying the benefits to Renfrewshire, including carbon storage potential, enhanced biodiversity and enhanced water/flood retention in upland catchment areas.

This will ensure we are well positioned to bid for external funding from a national programme, Peatland ACTION, which has £250m to invest over the next 10 years.

Net-zero business grants (£100,000)

This funding aims to encourage local businesses to embrace their net zero ambitions and can give businesses the support they need to cut emissions and their energy bills at the same time.

Small and medium-sized businesses in Renfrewshire can apply for up to 50% funding up to £10,000 to make changes to their business premises and/or operations which will reduce their carbon emissions.

The online application requires businesses to provide their baseline carbon footprint and a guide on how to do this is available from Scottish Enterprise, with helpful free online training from Business Energy Scotland also available to support this process.

Find out more and apply for a net-zero business grant.

Energy modelling - East Fulton Primary School (£15,000)

Undertaking a detailed energy modelling of East Fulton Primary School to facilitate design and development of enhanced and integrated energy efficient 'Enerphit' refurbishment options.

East Fulton is an archetype of a number of primary schools in the portfolio and the modelling exercise/data will inform potential options for other properties across the school estate.

Charity Shop Pilot - promoting the circular economy (£5,000)

We are working with a national organisation to develop a pilot for a charity shop gift card in Renfrewshire, which would help to support objectives in relation to the circular economy and promote the benefits of accessing and reusing good quality items within charity shops.

Programme governance (£125,000)

To support the delivery of the programme, a climate change lead officer will be appointed for a fixed-term of two years, with the funding also providing bespoke training and development for staff around new green technologies and innovations.