Mixed Findings As South Outperforms Other Locations In The Midlands On Environmental Sustainability
A new economic report has revealed a growing divide between UK cities when it comes to environmental sustainability - with Stoke being beaten by locations in the South in terms of lower CO2 emissions per person and zero-emission commuting.
According to UK Powerhouse, a report by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic & Business Research (Cebr), cities in the South have the strongest economies in terms of GVA* and dominate in a number of key indicators relating to sustainability.
The report says Stoke-on-Trent will be 2nd for job creation in Q1 2021 – the quarter when the transition period in the UK’s current EU Withdrawal agreement is set to have ended.
It says there are several factors contributing to Stoke’s strong performance, including good availability of affordable office space. Additionally, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire region has seen significant investment from some of the world’s biggest companies such as JCB, Jaguar Land Rover and Amazon, spending millions locally as well as hiring significant numbers of people.
UK Powerhouse reveals a different picture in terms of its environmental credentials. It is ranked 33rd when it comes to the lowest carbon dioxide emissions per capita, however the 4.4 kt CO2 per person figure reflected a 19.4% decrease from the year before – the highest recorded in the list of Powerhouse locations.
There were no locations in the Midlands in the top 10 for the lowest CO2 per person.
Stoke appears 4th from bottom for the share of low emission transport** at 4%, and came 33rd for share of population using zero emission transport***.
Out of all the English Powerhouse cities in the report, Stoke was also ranked 26th for waste recycling.
Expert Opinion“This latest report paints a mixed picture for Stoke. It is expected to be one of the fastest growing city for employment grow that the start of 2021 with a 1.9% year on year increase, taking headcount to 124,600.
“What is clear is that there is much more to do in terms of environmental sustainability. In June, the UK has announced its ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the first major economy to do so. The ever-more urgent topic of climate change and sustainability has reached the highest level of government and it’s important that business recognise not only the important role they have to play, but also the opportunities that exist.”
Victoria Brackett - Group Chief Commercial Officer
All forecasts in this report utilise Cebr’s central scenario. Cebr’s central forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. We further assume that a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021. On the immigration policy, we rely on the lower immigration population estimates assuming that a visa system will be implemented for EU nationals, but that the requirements (e.g. the minimum salary, the NHS surcharge payment, the application fees, etc.) would be more relaxed than they currently are for non-EU nationals requiring a visa.
*Gross value added
**Low emission transport include travels by bus/coach, national rail and underground
***Zero emission transport includes travel by walking or cycling