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Experts praise city’s strong green performance
Release date: Thu, 12/04/2012
Bristol’s strong performance in reaching the last three for the next European Green Capital Award was highlighted today by the European Commission.
Publishing their independent technical evaluation of all 18 European cities taking part, the Commission’s experts ranked Bristol second overall, and number one in three areas: climate change, air quality and noise pollution.
The experts’ report highlighted several achievements and plans for Bristol including:
· Good progress with our action on climate change. The Council has been investing in energy efficiency in thousands of homes and many public buildings and this has helped reduce emissions by 20% person since 2005. The experts also highlighted our clear plans to invest in transport and energy efficiency to reduce emissions further.
· The improvements being made to transport through cycling city and investment in public transport. They particularly commented on the improvements to road safety in recent years.
· The importance of green business to the city and the improvements that businesses overall have made to their energy and carbon efficiency.
· The excellent reduction in the amount of waste produced by residents over the past 5 years and the recycling improvements which have been implemented in recent years. Since the Technical Bid was submitted in October the new waste arrangements are now resulting in even less waste going to landfill.
· The improvements to parks and the urban environment and the concentration of development on “brownfield” sites.
· The Council’s work to green its own operations and those of its contractors for example the action taken to increase the supply of local food in council catering. They highlighted the work the council is doing with schools to reduce energy use and increase environmental awareness.
· The good work done by local water companies in ensuring that we have a secure, high quality supply of water and the investment being made to improve infrastructure to protect the environment
· The good work in our energy planning, in particular the Judge commented “Bristol is likely to lead the development in Britain over the coming decades”.
For the second time, Bristol is the only city in the UK to have the reached the shortlist for this coveted award.
Alongside the other short-listed cities - Copenhagen and Frankfurt - Bristol will now present its case to a jury of experts in Brussels on 8th June. It will then receive the final verdict on 29 June.
Bristol citizens and businesses are able to show their support for the Bristol Bid through the Green Capital Partnership website: www.bristolgreencapital.org
The news that Bristol has been short-listed has been widely welcomed by businesses and organisations across the city.
Council Leader Barbara Janke said: “To have got this far in this prestigious competition against strong competition from capital cities such as Paris and Vienna is a real achievement for Bristol.
“The fact that the technical expert assessment ranks us second overall shows that we are entering the final in a very strong position. In June we will go to Brussels with a really excellent story to tell about our successes on the environmental agenda over a number of years through the actions of the council, green groups and the city’s residents. We shall definitely go with a view to winning.”
Professor Martin Bigg, Chair of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, said: “Bristol has many strengths, including its sense of community, its ability to innovate and its decades of grass roots commitment to the environment. Businesses, organisations and community groups have worked successfully together across the city to make Bristol the Green Capital in the UK. I hope everyone will now show their support for the bid through our website www.bristolgreencapital.org.
“Reaching the final shortlist is a reflection of the City Council’s and its partner organisations’ commitment to greening the city. Improving the quality of life and management of resources and reducing energy consumption and waste all contribute to a better environment for all and helps create and protect jobs, supporting the economy of the region.”
Notes to editors
- Anyone wishing to find out more about the bid or how they can become involved please see http://www.bristolgreencapital.org/european-green-capital-award-2014
- For a copy of the Commission’s announcement please see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/shortlist/
- For further welcoming quotes from organisations and businesses please see below:
Amy Robinson, Vice Chair of the Partnership and Network Director of Low Carbon South West said: “We at Bristol Green Capital believe that winning the title in 2014 will be great for the city - and will offer great opportunities to our communities and businesses. Other cities that have won the award have benefited from significant inward investment, and in turn a boost in prosperity and employment. We look forward to this acknowledgement of our green credentials having the same impact here.”
Dr Andrew Garrad, President of GL Garrad Hassan said: “We are the world’s biggest renewable energy consultancy with offices in 25 countries and we employ about 1000 people -so I see a lot of greenery at industrial scale! Bristol is the natural base for us because Bristol is the centre of green industry in the UK - in a way it is already the Green Capital. On a smaller scale we are the proud owners of Bristol’s Biggest Bike Shed with room for 200 cycles. “75% of our staff come to work either by foot, bike or public transport. The Green Capital should consider its behaviour and its initiatives at all scales: industrial, public and private. Although there is of course a lot more to do Bristol seems to have all three qualifications and I very much hope our bid is successful.”
Colin Skellett, Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership said: "This is very good news for the city and is a clear signal of Bristol's standing as a great place to do business. Winning the title of European Green Capital would provide an excellent platform for local businesses to market themselves on the national and international stage, and help attract new investment to the West of England."
Luis Garcia, Chief Executive of Bristol Water said: “Bristol Water was delighted to support Bristol's bid to become European Green Capital, and it is great news that the city has been shortlisted for this international award. We believe that Bristol would be a deserving winner and we look forward to working with the Green Capital team on the next stages of the competition."
Alastair Sawday, publisher and former Chair of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership said: “This is terrific news for Bristol, a city bursting with energy and new ideas - as it always has been. If the jury can see only the tip of the iceberg of our enterprise and energy we will surely carry the day! But if there is one aspect of our green enterprise of which I am most proud it is the sheer number of small, community-based and business initiatives. Bristol is fast learning how to link them together to create a choir rather than a collection of voices. Together, and with the bigger and better-known green companies and media communities, we make a wonderful sound.”
James Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England said: "This is very exciting news for Bristol and congratulations to the bidding team on their success thus far. The University of the West of England looks forward to supporting Bristol's bid in the next stage of the competition."
David Alder, Director of Communications and Marketing at the University of Bristol said: "This is great news and is testament to Bristol's first rate green credentials. To be the only UK city to have reached this stage is both exciting and unsurprising. This is something for everyone to be proud of."