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Bristol to bid for European Green Capital 2015
Release date: Thu, 26/07/2012
Bristol is to bid once again for the title of Europe’s Greenest City.
After making it to the finals of the European Green Capital Award 2014 and being pipped at the post by worthy winners Copenhagen, Bristol has voted overwhelmingly in favour of going for the title for 2015.
Chair of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Professor Martin Bigg, said: “Bristol’s achievement in the 2014 award was nothing short of phenomenal. Thanks to the fantastic help and support of the city’s businesses, the public sector, local community groups, universities and residents, we were able to show Europe that Bristol has what it takes to be a European Green Capital. We worked together to showcase our sustainability credentials and raise Bristol’s profile, enabling us to match the green giants like Copenhagen and Frankfurt. We have learnt so much over the past few years and by going for the title in 2015 we will be better able to inspire other cities and promote best practice.”
Since Bristol found out it had come second to Copenhagen on June 29th, a series of meetings have taken place to determine the city’s next course of action. Discussions have taken place within the city council, with the city’s political groups, Business West, Bristol Water and Wessex Water, the two universities and the Bristol Green Capital Momentum Group (consisting of over 200 green organisations). The result is a major consensus that the city should put in a bid for the 2015 award.
Council Leader Simon Cook said: “It’s really important that we have citywide support for this bid; there are benefits for everyone in the city by taking part and putting ourselves on the map. The strength of our 2014 bid was the fact that it was supported across the city; the European Commission told us how impressed they were by our joined-up business, community and council approach.
“We have a great shot at winning the title for 2015. Not only did we come close second this time around, we’ve already made great progress in some of the key areas and further progress is being made every day. We want to build on our success and keep the momentum going to ensure Bristol is recognised around the world as an innovative, exciting and sustainable city.”
The technical evaluation of Bristol’s bid for 2014 looked at 12 areas of work. Bristol came first in the three areas of air quality, noise pollution and climate change. According to the technical assessors, the areas that needed improvement included water consumption, waste production and management, waste water treatment, eco-innovation and sustainable employment. Commitments have already been made in these areas, and a number of improvements have been made in some:
- Waste production & management - we have increased our recycling rate to 50% and by next year, Bristol will be sending zero untreated waste to landfill, and using innovative waste treatment facilities to recover energy from waste, meaning it is actually ahead of most European cities in the way it deals with its waste.
- Eco-innovation and sustainable employment - the Environmental Innovation Network (iNet), City Council, Low Carbon SW and the West of England Enterprise Partnership are working together to support the development of skills and small innovative environmental businesses.
- Waste water treatment - a waste processing facility with the capacity to handle 40,000 tonnes of food waste per year is under construction at the Bristol Sewage Treatment works in Avonmouth. When completed this autumn it should be capable of supplying the energy needs for around 3,000 homes.
- Water consumption - Bristol water is investing in the distribution network including major infrastructure works in the city and has been running awareness raising campaigns to help people reduce their water use.
Cabinet member for Communities, Cllr Guy Poultney, said: “We have huge levels of green activity and innovation going on around this city, from school children to businesses and the community. We had so much support for our 2014 bid and it’s fantastic to see people championing it again. We’re looking forward to showing Europe what Bristol can offer and why it should be European Green Capital 2015.”
The bid has the support of all four political parties represented on the Council - Liberal Democrats, Labour, Conservatives and Greens.
Colin Skellett, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Bristol is emerging as a clear leader in the UK for innovation and sustainable business. Our ambitious green agenda, dynamic workforce and enterprising communities are ensuring we are on the road to becoming the first choice for green business investment. Doing so well in the European Green Capital 2014 award was great for raising our profile in Europe and I’m sure there will be a lot of people watching our 2015 bid with anticipation.”
The competition for European Green Capital 2015 is already open and entries must be submitted by October 15th 2012.
Bristol will now work on its bid to be submitted before that date. An event to involve partners and key organisations in the city will take place in September.
For more information, visit www.bristolgreencapital.org.