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Bruntwood at the Greater Manchester Green Summit 2022

Blog, Greater Manchester
Bruntwood at the Greater Manchester Green Summit 2022

On 17th October 2022, Bruntwood sponsored the Greater Manchester Green Summit at the Lowry Theatre.

We heard from the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, as he opened proceedings with his take on the region’s current position in reaching net zero carbon by 2038 - 12 years ahead of the UK’s goal of 2050.

Aiming for Manchester’s public and active transport to run entirely from renewable energy

Andy’s key message was “We are optimistic”, with one intermediary aim of Manchester becoming the UK’s first city to have a fully integrated public transport system that runs from renewable energy. 

Greater Manchester trams already run on renewables - however, Andy spoke about his recent order of 50 electric buses which will be rolled out initially across Wigan and Bolton by September 2023, with full adoption across the region by February 2025. 

The buses will be the first to bear the branding of the new Bee Network – Greater Manchester’s ambition for a fully integrated, London-style transport system comprising buses, trams, walking and cycling, and eventually trains.

There was a mix of optimism and realism of Greater Manchester reaching net zero by 2038

Along with optimism, there was also a lot of realism at this year’s Green Summit. Councillor Martyn Cox, Leader of Bolton Council and lead for Greater Manchester Waste and Recycling, provided practical steps that we need to achieve net zero in the region. They were:

  • Implement the local area energy plans that have already been created

  • Introduce more low emissions buses, cycle hire and car sharing onto our streets

  • Maximise delivery of grant-funded programmes, for example retrofitting social housing

  • Greater adoption of solar PV and storage and charging on local authority assets

  • Road map to a more circular economy

  • Utilise innovative funding methods to support non-grant funded programmes (£1bn pipeline)

Carly McLachlan, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, showed that Greater Manchester will surpass its carbon budget by 2025 if we don’t reduce energy consumption. It was a stark message that we need to increase action now to combat climate change.

Here is a simple video to explain what a carbon budget is and why we have implemented it in Greater Manchester.

Bruntwood’s Director of Strategic Partnerships & Impact, Jessica Bowles, spoke on stage with Andy Burnham

In the afternoon session, our Director of Strategic Partnerships & Impact, Jessica Bowles, spoke on a panel with Andy Burnham and colleagues from across Greater Manchester to discuss what more needs to be done to accelerate environmental change in the region - stating that businesses should continue to lead the way in sustainability, despite changing UK governments.

Once the sessions came to a close for the day, Bruntwood hosted a drinks reception in our networking space, giving visitors a chance to digest the day’s content and have discussions across industries.

Find out more about how we approach sustainability at Bruntwood here.

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