Zeroing in – Solihull’s Annual Report tracks net zero progress


As the Council continues to tackle climate change head on, Solihull’s first Net Zero Annual Report has been published. The report outlines the progress that Solihull has made on its journey towards becoming a carbon net zero borough since the Net Zero Action Plan was adopted in 2021.

The Net Zero Annual Report, which can be downloaded here, covers the 2021/2022 financial year. It describes Solihull’s progress in terms of the actions that have been taken and provides evidenced data on the progress made towards becoming a net zero borough by 2041. Some of the key headlines are as follows:

  • Two-thirds of the actions in the NZAP are already underway, including all the ‘immediate’ actions.
  • Solihull saw a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared with the previous year. However, this figure must be viewed with caution as it was heavily affected by the COVID pandemic which caused a sharp reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • This enormous reduction in greenhouse gas emissions meant that Solihull dipped below both the national and regional average for emissions per person with 5.2kg CO2 per person compared with 5.6 nationally.
  • The Council’s own emissions have halved since 2017/2018, demonstrating the Council’s commitment to seriously reducing emissions it has a degree of control over.
  • The Council installed 50 new electric vehicle charge points and 5% of vehicles with a licence in Solihull were Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles as a percentage of the total. This compares with 2% nationally.
  • 51,000 trees planted in the first two years of the Planting our Future programme.

Residents can find more detailed information, including plenty more statistics and comparisons by reading the full report. For those who are just looking for a quick overview, the executive summary and ‘progress in numbers’ section will get you up to speed.

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said:

“Action on climate change is critical for everyone and we need to see what action is being taken. This is our first Net Zero Annual Report, allowing residents to find out how Solihull is doing when it comes to tackling climate emissions. Building on the momentum of our climate action plans being ranked as some of the best in the UK, we know now is the time for actions, not just words. We’re already well underway in this regard, with massive tree planting schemes, an ambitious retrofit programme as well as embracing innovative vehicle technologies such as the Connected Autonomous Vehicle (CAV).

“By measuring the borough’s emissions profile annually and monitoring a suite of indicators related to our climate pledges, we can make sure our goal of becoming a net zero borough by 2041 becomes a reality. Tracking progress towards each action also helps us identify areas that require more focus or resource.”

Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Planning and Housing, said:

“Compiling Solihull’s first Net Zero Annual Report is a significant milestone and I’d like to thank all the team for their hard work producing such a comprehensive document, backed up by evidenced data. Transitioning to a low carbon economy brings huge opportunities with it, going much further than only the environmental benefits. Just last week, moving towards the next stage of our emerging low carbon energy network shows our intent in this area.

We’re still at the beginning of implementing our Net Zero Action Plan and the challenge now is to keep the momentum going over the next few years. Rest assured we’ll approach the task with diligence and attention to detail, ensuring our residents are kept updated along the way.”

If you would like to learn more about what Solihull Council is doing to combat climate change and create a more sustainable borough, sign up to receive updates or take a look at the Your Future Solihull webpages.