The importance of sustainability can no longer be denied. With the UK government seeking to become carbon neutral by 2050, 78% of the UK’s emissions need to be slashed by 2035. Sustainability is thus a key topic affecting many cities across the world, with those in power committed to making changes to benefit future generations.
So which cities are making the biggest steps forward in sustainability? On World Cities Day, we focus on three cities that are making huge strides on the road to global net zero.
Brighton is arguably at the forefront of the UK’s sustainability efforts. As the only city with a Green Party MP, Brighton and Hove City Council is very eco-conscious and always looking for ways to improve the city’s green credentials.
One visible way in which Brighton is lowering its carbon footprint is by enabling numerous modes of eco-friendly transport. Brighton even has its own version of London’s Santander Cycles – or Boris Bikes as you may know them.
Brighton and Hove Buses also has a fleet of 54 ‘Enviro400 ER’ hybrid electric buses. These zero-emission buses operate in the city’s ‘Low Emission Zone’, serving 3,000,000 passengers and covering 244,000 zero emission miles every year. This has led to a reduction in fuel consumption of 1,000,000 litres and 16% lower CO2 emissions.
Brighton also has a plethora of vintage and second-hand stores in The Lanes and North Laine, combatting overconsumption whilst also helping residents stay afloat. Brighton has a vibrant trend in eco-friendly shops and restaurants. Already back in 2014, the ‘Silo’ restaurant opened in Brighton as the UK’s first-ever ‘Zero Waste’ restaurant.
The University of Brighton built The Brighton Waste House, Europe’s first permanent building that uses over 85% waste material. The Brighton Waste House is an EPC A-rated low-energy building that aims to show how undervalued waste materials have the potential to play an integral role in modern construction work. After all, there is no such thing as waste, just things in the wrong place!
The city’s efforts to be green aren’t just to be found on land. In 2016, Brighton declared nearly 900km² of offshore water a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), which means that it’s monitored for quality and cleanliness to ensure the sea thrives.
Brighton’s Sustainable Business Network connects up like-minded, environmentally committed businesses – in all sectors and of all sizes – to share ideas and develop working relationships. As a city, Brighton is dedicated to improving its environmental performance and cutting business costs.
Amsterdam is a key launchpad for the European market, with a stable business environment, diverse talent pool, entrepreneurial mindset and exceptional work-life balance.
Amsterdam is making considerable moves towards achieving sustainability. Ranked as one of the world’s most eco-friendly cities for workers, Amsterdam aims to reduce CO2 emissions by more than half by 2030. The city will also stop using natural gas by 2040 and, within the next ten years, will run solely emission-free transport on road and water. It also aims to power at least 80% of the city’s homes with sustainable energy by 2030.
Amsterdam has the second-highest percentage of people walking and cycling to work, with 58% of residents choosing these ways to commute every day. At the same time, Amsterdam’s main airport, Schiphol, uses electric buses to transport passengers. The Dutch national airline, KLM, has committed itself to using over 75,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel each year to reduce emissions.
The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area aspires to be a sustainable area. Given the increasing number of foreign companies investing and locating in the region, the challenge is to ensure that these companies are considering and actively implementing Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.
This is where the foreign investment agency, Amsterdam inbusiness, comes in. It assists foreign companies in establishing and expanding their operations in Amsterdam and beyond, helping them make an impact at local level in terms of people, the environment and society.
Named the European Green Capital back in 2019, Oslo’s aim is plain and simple: it wants to be the most sustainable city in the world.
The capital of Norway has introduced some of the most effective environmental measures in Europe and beyond. In 2016, Oslo set itself the target of reducing the city’s emissions by a massive 95% by 2030. In the 12 months from 2016 to 2017 alone, Oslo managed to cut emissions by a staggering 9%, setting them firmly on course to hit their target.
According to a study by British Business Energy, Oslo uses the most renewable energy in the world, accounting for 97.2% of total energy. In 2017, Oslo introduced the Climate Budget. This budget essentially makes the city ‘count carbon the way we count money’, which gives it a clear indication of where emission cuts need to be made.
In 2020, Oslo opened the Climate House as part of the Natural History Museum. The Climate House aims to educate the next generation on how we need to take care of the planet and embrace the city’s approach to climate change and emission reduction.
With the highest number of electric vehicles in the world per capita, Oslo claims to be the electric car capital of the world. The Norwegian government offers purchase tax and VAT exemptions on all-electric cars, while Oslo itself has electric car incentives such as free parking, access to taxi lanes and reduced toll charges.
Cyclists and pedestrians have priority over private cars In Oslo, giving yet another reason for residents to take the green plunge. Accordingly, they introduced the Car-free Liveability Programme, which aims to repurpose car parking spaces into alternatives that benefit the green community, such as bike lanes.
How Albion Languages can help
While countries around the world are working towards the same goal of sustainability, language barriers can often hinder global communication in these efforts. At Albion Languages, we understand how language can be harnessed to meet your goals. We can also help you with in-depth market research, empowering you in choosing partners whose sustainable ethos matches your own. Get in touch today to find out more.