FUEL-saving driver training, better heating and lighting systems in the civic buildings and more efficient route planning are just a few of the initiatives that have contributed to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council exceeding its carbon reduction target.

The target of a 20 per cent carbon reduction over three years was set when the council adopted a carbon management plan in 2009. The council has exceeded the target by achieving a 21 per cent reduction overall.

And to build on this success, a new carbon management study – with a proposed carbon reduction target of a further 15 per cent by 2016 – has been announced.

Work has already started on a number of actions including a staff energy saving awareness programme, improved insulation, heating and hot water systems in sports pavilions and depots, the installation of three solar panel systems and an automated metering system for more accurate energy data collection in council buildings.

Councillor Robert Donnell, Cabinet member for the environment, said they were committed to reducing carbon emissions across the borough.

The council wants to hear from any community groups interested in starting a local awareness campaign or community centres looking to reduce their energy costs. For details, call Lucy Martins, climate change officer, on 01256 845620 or email climatechange @basingstoke.gov.uk.