Greater Brighton 10 Environmental Pledges

Date of Meeting:

20 October 2020

Report of:

Chair, Greater Brighton Infrastructure Panel

Contact Officer:


Mike Gilson, GBEB Comms Team






LA(s) affected:






1.1         At the Board Meeting on 14 July 2020, the Board agreed to the recommendations within a report from the Chair of the Greater Brighton Infrastructure Panel.  The key recommendation within the report was the approval of the Greater Brighton Energy Plan and the Greater Brighton Water Plan.  These ambitious plans set out a number of forward-thinking projects that will help ensure the security, sustainability and affordability of future energy and water demands of the region.


1.2         The Infrastructure Panel met again in early October, and October will also see the reconvening of the separate working groups responsible for the development, and now delivery of the plans.


1.3         A second agreed recommendation within the July paper was for the Board to support the Greater Brighton Environmental 10 pledges that have been developed and to commit to the signing of the pledges at this Board Meeting.


1.4         The Greater Brighton Communications Team have prepared the Greater Brighton Ten Pledges (Appendix 1) – highlighting five energy and five water plan projects which are priorities for the Board to meet the objectives set out in the plans.  Once agreed these pledges will be used to inform a communications campaign that will support the launch of the plans and showcase the City Region’s ambitions around sustainable and responsible growth.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1       That the Board sign up to the 10 Environmental Pledges at Appendix 1.


2.2       That Member organisations do all they can so support these pledges through their existing work and emerging projects within the Greater Brighton Energy and Water Plans.


2.3       That progress against the pledges is brought back to the Board.






3.1         In April 2018, the Greater Brighton Infrastructure Panel was established.  The key remit of the panel was to oversee the development of Energy and Water plans that are highly practical in application and which provide a clear indication of priorities, investment opportunities and potential financial mechanisms and sources for delivery.


3.2         The Energy Plan is practical and focused on delivery. It identifies proposals to accelerate the delivery of energy projects that will boost resilience and security and at the same time reduce carbon emissions. The plan was commissioned with a target seeking zero carbon by 2050, but things have moved on and partners have set their own dates, so the plan is led by what partners want to do in their own localities.


3.3         The Water Plan builds on work around the water environment that's already in progress across a number of organisations to set out a range of opportunities to address ongoing challenges in new, innovative ways, yielding much increased benefits for the local area, compared to current, 'conventional' approaches.


3.4         The plans are essentially a collection of key projects and deliverables and are therefore technical in nature.  Communication on both the ambitions of the Board and the potential projects arising from the Energy and Water plans is crucial to gain support to help facilitate delivery.


3.5         To that end, the Greater Brighton Comms Team have led on the development of 10 pledges that will sit above the plans.  Board Members are asked to “sign up” to these 10 environmental pledges and the Comms Team will then be able to promote this important work through various channels.  To accompany the pledges a video has been produced to help bring the pledges and plans to life.  The long version of the video has been edited down into a number of bitesize chunks that are more suitable for transmitting via the various social media outlets.


3.6         Green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is high on Government’s priority list.  The ambitious environmental pledges are very much in-line with this thinking, as they clearly demonstrate to Government and regional stakeholders the Board’s aspiration for the City Region to grow back in a sustainable and responsible way.  The 10 pledges and the underlying Energy and Water Plans are very much linked to the economic recovery and future prosperity of the City Region.


4.        GB10 Communications Campaign


4.1         The GB10 gives the Greater Brighton City Region an opportunity to position itself as a major force in the co-ordinated delivery of clean growth and action on climate change. By pledging to support it Board Members give considerable weight and commitment to projects that both create economic prosperity but also contribute to tackling climate change. It is a clear statement of intent from a powerful collection of voices. It is important that all Member organisations buy into GB10 and that their own sustainability programmes and officers both amplify the message and add to its actions as we progress. This will need internal communications support. There has been consultation and engagement with both sets of working group members and wider stakeholders from public, private and third sector organisations, gas and electricity suppliers, universities and consultancies.


4.2         The campaign itself will be directed at the media, stakeholders, potential investors, government, and residents. It will attempt to position Greater Brighton as a region of action on the environment given both the beauty of the place in which we live but the increasing pressure its infrastructure is under. We want nothing less than to send out that message that Greater Brighton’s signature action is on the environment.


4.3         An eight-minute film has been produced to showcase the 10 pledges and shorter versions of each pledge have been created for Social Media. A separate section on the Greater Brighton website has been created which contains images, the pledges themselves and the infrastructure projects on which they are based. This section will be regularly updated with news on the projects. All Social Media platforms will be utilized to spread the message, referring readers back to the website section and regular press trips to particular projects will be held.  A Social Media tool kit (including film clips) will be released shortly for all Board Members to help support this messaging.


4.4         Updates on the GB10 should be given on a regular basis and press releases issued on progress. Through the GBEB press office we will encourage GB10 expert speakers and press spokespeople from throughout GBEB membership to help promote the work on energy and water we are undertaking.


4.5         As a pledge we will have committed to taking real action and the GBEB Chair will commit to giving a comprehensive annual update on progress. This will also be filmed and shared widely via our channels.




5.1         A significant amount of officer time, both from member organisations and external partners, has gone into preparing the plans and the pledges.


5.2         There has been consultation and engagement with both sets of working group members and wider stakeholders from public, private and third sector organisations, gas and electricity suppliers, universities and consultancies.


6.            CONCLUSION


6.1         The Greater Brighton 10 Pledges are important for two reasons; firstly they bring the Energy and Water Plans, which are technical in nature, to life, and mean they can be communicated to a wider audience.  Secondly, they clearly set out the intent of the Board to be a leader in green economic recovery, which will be crucial as the City Region emerges from the COVID-19 crisis.




Financial Implications:


7.1      There are no direct financial implications arising from this report. A total of £10,000 (£5,000 for each plan) was identified in the 2018/19 Operational Arrangements Budget to support the final Water and Energy Plans. The Water and Energy Plans will explore future funding contributions which may include grants and external contributions. 


            Finance Officer Consulted: Rob Allen, Principal Accountant   

            Date: 08/10/2020


Legal Implications:


7.2      There are no legal implications arising at this stage from this report.


            Lawyer Consulted: Joanne Dougnaglo, Senior Property Lawyer      

Date:   07/10/2020


            Equalities Implications:


7.3       The Water and Energy Plans will seek to ensure that the benefits are shared across the City Region.  In addition, one of the key aims of both plans is to address inequalities by looking at how access to energy and water can be made affordable for all Greater Brighton residents.


            Sustainability Implications


7.4       Delivering sustainable growth is a priority for the Board, and this has become increasingly important as the City Region looks to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Growing economic, cultural and demographic constraints within the city region require us to be more resourceful with our amenities. To be able to meet the increased level of demand for energy and water, and benefit from technological change, the City Region needs to understand what the associated infrastructure requirements are going to be. 









Appendix 1:   Greater Brighton 10 pledges


Background Documents


Greater Brighton Infrastructure Panel Update July 2020