The science tells us that we can't afford to wait for the actions needed to halt climate change to come through small scale incremental change. We must work together and act now to make them happen.
Across the world, cities are making their pledges to help reduce carbon emissions. In the UK, London is introducing a new lighting strategy and, along with Manchester, is upgrading city lighting to LED to save more than £500,000 annually and Nottingham is tackling fuel poverty through the ‘Greener Housing’ energy efficiency scheme. Further afield, Vancouver is building multi-unit low-rise housing that emit no GHGs and Milan is introducing congestion charges to help reduce over 25 million car journeys in three years.
Manchester has made it its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2038, playing its part in limiting the impacts of climate change. Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, recently launched the 5-Year Environment Plan at the region’s Green Summit, setting out the long-term environmental vision and the urgent actions that need to take place. Alongside key figures in the region, Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority encouraged people and businesses to take action and think creatively about what contributions, both big and small, can be made to ensure a more sustainable future for us all.
Manchester’s zero carbon 2038 ambition is underpinned by a carbon budget which sets out how much CO2 Manchester is allowed to emit to ensure we play our full part in achieving carbon reductions set out in the Paris Agreement, and science-based targets to help the city stick within its budget.
The necessary citywide movement for action on climate change is led by, Manchester Climate Change Board (MCCB) chaired by Gavin Elliott, Head of BDP Manchester Studio, and together the group works with partners to help Manchester to achieve its ambitions.
This work was centre stage at MIPIM 2019, with our CEO, Chris Oglesby taking part in the ‘Carbon Neutral by 2038: Manchester’s sustainable future’ panel. Showcasing Manchester’s ambition, key figures including the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, encouraged people and businesses to take action and think creatively about what contributions, both big and small, can be made to ensure a more sustainable future for us all.
The MCCB strategy aims to make Manchester a prosperous, liveable and zero carbon city for healthy residents of all ages. This includes creating a low-cost transport system that will run on renewables; waterways that contribute to our health, biodiversity and the local economy; and introducing more green space. What we know is that reducing the amount of carbon we emit has many spin off benefits - improving health, creating jobs within low carbon industries and improving air quality across the city.
As a company we are part of the leadership of the carbon neutral agenda in Manchester and have been instrumental in setting up an industry group specifically looking at the contribution that the property sector can make to creating a zero carbon city. This has a major part to play in addressing climate change.
Businesses are responsible for a vast amount of emissions across Greater Manchester. At Bruntwood, we know we have a big part to play in helping our cities to decarbonise. Already, we are helping to reduce our carbon emissions by incorporating Tesla battery storage to provide more energy to and from our buildings, with further plans to take Bright Building on Manchester Science Park completely off grid; as well retrospectively fitting solar panels to our buildings to produce more renewable energy.
Last year, Bruntwood became the first UK commercial property firm to sign the World Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Commitment. The programme is committed to creating a built environment in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement, with the UK arm working with central and local governments to foster international collaboration on achieving net zero carbon.
“Sustainability has always been a huge part of our approach and the pledge represents a step change in our efforts to reduce our environmental impact,” said Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood. “We’re hoping to inspire, encourage and support others to do the same. It’s vital that businesses come together to build a consensus on creating new building standards.”
Earlier this year (March 2019), Manchester City Council officially endorsed the Zero Carbon Framework published by Manchester Climate Change Board and Agency, proposing the approach Greater Manchester should take in order to meet these targets. Work is now underway to develop a final action plan by March next year, putting into place the resources needed to implement this framework.