Chesterfield Borough Council calls on Derbyshire Pension Fund to invest sustainably


Chesterfield Borough Council is calling for Derbyshire Pension Fund to disinvest its remaining funds in fossil fuels, increase investment in renewables and improve engagement with members of the scheme.

Following the approval of a notice of motion at full council on Wednesday 15 July, Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council said: “Derbyshire Pension Fund members, many of whom are key workers undertaking vital work within our communities need to have confidence that their pension fund is well managed.

“While making sound and responsible investment decisions, additional considerations such as promoting and enabling a more sustainable future can and should be made.

“As the market develops and grows for sustainable equities, Derbyshire Pension Fund needs to be ready to not only exercise their investment power responsibly and sustainably, but also engage and be an advocate for sustainable investment with scheme members and employers.”

Chesterfield Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and in February 2020 launched an ambitious climate change action plan, which was developed in collaboration with a group of passionate local residents committed to working together for the benefit of the community and the environment.

The Council’s plan includes investing in excess of £14 million over the next three years to enable Chesterfield Borough Council to become carbon neutral by 2030 and Chesterfield borough to become low carbon and more resilient by 2040, and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, significant progress has been made on delivering the plan.

Over 1,000 trees have been planted so far this year, with further planting schemes planned for October.

A £13 million investment over three years to improve the energy efficiency of Council homes has also been agreed and is currently being delivered.

This will deliver major benefits for the Council’s tenants in terms of warmer homes and lower energy bills.

In addition, Chesterfield Borough Council is now on a fully renewable energy plan for all its electric energy needs and LED lighting is currently being installed within its buildings.

Work is continuing to transition the Council’s fleet to electric vehicles over the next three years.

There have also been a number of exciting trials taking place around the country to develop and test the technology and practices to enable the electrification of larger fleet vehicles such as bin lorries without compromising service delivery.

Alongside their waste and recycling partners, the Council have been learning from these trials and investing in a range of improvements including newer, more efficient bin lorries with electric mechanisms to lift the bins to reduce miles per gallon and have introduced a number of hybrid vehicles.

The council has also invested in in-cab technology which has reduced the number of missed collections and return visits required while calculating the most efficient collection routes.

Climate change and sustainability are also forming a key part of discussions and actions regarding the wider economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic for Chesterfield and Derbyshire as a whole.