Across the world, the effects of climate change are increasingly frequent and are now a regular part of life for all of us, with many countries seeing devastating effects; from the record rate of melting facing Greenland’s ice sheets through to the wildfires ripping through the lungs of the world in the Amazon rainforest.
Longer term, there will be disruption to our ecosystems, rising sea levels, a changing and diminishing wildlife landscape, and increased risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth.
The science has shown us time and time again that we cannot afford to wait for the actions needed to halt climate change to come through small scale change.
And the time to act is now; before it really is too late.
We want to play our part
With an ever increasing focus on, and an urgency to react to, the global challenge of climate change and sustainability, the role that cities play is becoming increasingly influential - as well as being part of the challenge itself.
And with a number of new innovations being made around how cities and their buildings are designed and how they function economically and socially, we are well aware that Bruntwood plays a hugely significant role in helping get this right.
Our purpose is all about ‘Creating Thriving Cities’ and that means we have a responsibility and a commitment to playing our fullest part in supporting our cities’ action on climate change and improving the environment.
The Global Climate Strike
You might already be familiar with the School Strike for Climate founded by Greta Thunberg. This international movement sees school students taking time off from classes to participate in demonstrations demanding action to prevent further climate change. The movement is gaining huge momentum not just among students but increasingly amongst businesses, communities and city stakeholders and partners.
Next Friday (20th September), the first ever Global Climate Strike will be held with the wider community, including businesses of all sizes, being encouraged to get involved. Just like the school strikes, the Global Climate Strike will see peaceful protests take place in cities and towns across the world, aimed at encouraging politicians, global leaders and businesses to take direct action on climate change and end the use of fossil fuels.
How is Bruntwood getting involved?
Bruntwood is all about creating thriving cities and at the heart of this is ensuring we play our part in shaping an environmentally sustainable world for our future generations. We have a dedicated Sustainability Steering Group in place to help drive sustainable business decision making and reduce our environmental impacts.
Initiatives like the Global Climate Strike are hugely important in amplifying the important messages around climate change and sustainability; making the momentum they create even more vital, so we're proud to be supporting the strike.
Starting on Friday 20th September, we will be supporting the strike by enabling and empowering colleagues to join the strike if business operations requirements allow for it.
We will also be hosting a series of walk-in sessions designed to engage and inform colleagues, customers and the wider community on climate change and the positive changes already taking place in their cities. The sessions will give people the opportunity to listen, question, learn and understand more about the effects of climate change, and how to help the planet by making sustainable choices.
Here’s where and when the strikes are happening across our four cities:
Manchester | Manchester Central Library / St Peter’s Square | 10am
Birmingham | Victoria Square | 11am
Leeds | Millennium Square | 11am
Liverpool | St George’s Hall | 9am
If you’re taking part in the Global Climate Strike and would like to come with us, we’ll be meeting at the following buildings at 12pm on 20th September to walk over to the strike locations together:
Leeds | 14 King Street, Leeds LS1 2HL
Liverpool | The Plaza, 100 Old Hall Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 9QJ
Manchester | Union, Albert Square, Manchester, M2 6LW
We'll be meeting at 10:20am in Birmingham:
Birmingham | Faraday Wharf, Birmingham B7 4BB
We would love for our customers and anyone from our communities to join us. Likewise, we’re looking forward to meeting other customers across our regions.
The future of sustainability at Bruntwood
Our purpose informs and drives everything we do and we can only create thriving cities if we deliver sustainable and environmentally-conscious working and living spaces that best support the wellbeing of our customers, communities and colleagues - now and in the future.
For some time now, we’ve been working on improving sustainability as a business. We’ve implemented innovative energy storage at Manchester Science Park; created more green spaces; began to retrospectively fit solar panels to our buildings. We’re also working to become a carbon neutral business, supporting Manchester’s campaign to become carbon neutral by 2038, and pledging our commitment to the UKGBC’s Net Zero programme.
We know that we still have a long way to go as a business, though. We’ll be continuing to build on the work that we’re already doing, but also introducing new programmes of work and making commitments to new targets that will help us to limit global warming and mitigate the effects of climate change.