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Sheffield's Environmental Credentials Revealed In Sustainable City Report

Mixed Findings For Sheffield As South Outperforms North On Environmental Sustainability


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

A new economic report has revealed a growing North-South divide between UK cities when it comes to environmental sustainability - with Sheffield being outperformed 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 Sheffield is in the top 10 for job creation in Q1 2021 - the quarter when the transition period in the UK’s current EU Withdrawal agreement is set to end.

The report however reveals a mixed picture in terms of Sheffield’s environmental credentials.  

When it comes to carbon dioxide per capita, the latest figures reveal Sheffield had reduced its year-on-year figure by 7%, putting it in 21st place with 3.9 kt CO2 per person.

There were no locations in the North or the Midlands in the top 10 for the lowest CO2 per person.

Sheffield appears 10th for the share of low emission transport** at 9%, however falls to 25th place for share of population using zero emission transport***.  

The report looked at the areas with the highest number of solar panel installations. Sheffield is positioned 29th with 5,400 installations equating to a 2% share of the population. 

Out of all the English Powerhouse cities in the report, Sheffield is ranked 29th for waste recycling. 

Dorrien Peters, partner at Irwin Mitchell and Head of Business Legal Services in Sheffield said: 

Expert Opinion
“This latest report paints a mixed picture for Sheffield. Whilst it performed well at the start of the year in terms of employment growth, with the first three months of 2021 expected to do well too, our Co2 per capita is disappointing.

“There are plans to tackle pollution and as part of Sheffield’s Clean Air Strategy, Sheffield City Council is proposing to introduce a clean air zone within some areas of the city. This would mean that buses, taxis, vans and lorries that do not meet emissions standards will have to pay to drive in and around the zone.

“The city is also set to see growth supported in the years to come by a £21m energy research centre built at the University of Sheffield. Not only will the centre provide a GVA and employment boost for the science and research sector, it will help put the city at the heart of supporting the UK’s transition to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.”
Dorrien Peters, Partner

To download the report, click here

Methodology Note

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