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Manchester's Sustainability Efforts: One Of UK's Greenest Cities

11/04/2023

Greater Manchester's sustainable development has been steadily increasing since the early 2010s. Between 2010 and 2020, for example, Greater Manchester City Council's direct carbon emissions have reduced by 54.7% (intending to halve the emissions again by 2025). 

Various features including alternative transport, green space development and low-energy lighting solutions are also some of the more notable developments made by Manchester to increase its eco-friendly attempts.

We want to discuss the city's journey into becoming one of the UK's (if not, arguably THE most) sustainable cities, and our contribution to Manchester's environmental achievements. 

Manchester's Sustainability Efforts

Provide an overview of Manchester's commitment to sustainability, including its carbon-neutral goal and efforts to reduce waste, promote renewable energy, and support sustainable transportation.

Since 2010 - until recent years - Manchester's commitment to sustainability has been defined into diverse goals and accomplishments. 

Becoming a zero-carbon city by 2038

According to Manchester City Council, they've underlined a mission to make Manchester a zero-carbon city by 2038 at the latest (12 years ahead of the Government's target of 2050 for the entire UK). 

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Since declaring a climate emergency in July 2019, the Council has initiated a plan to half their carbon emissions by 2025 as part of a grand blueprint for becoming a zero-carbon city by 2038. 

While supporting other businesses and residents: leading by example, improving air quality, planting more trees and ending fuel poverty, Manchester is on track with creating a better city - hence a better quality of life for all residents. 

Low-energy lighting solutions

Back in 2017, September, Manchester City Council made a goal of replacing 56,000 streetlights with energy-saving LED lights.

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Fast forward to the 2020s, Manchester has made exclusive strategies to ensure that energy-saving lights are utilised properly across both residential and business properties. 

Manchester has continuously implemented this initiative, even renewing the programme as the "LED Retrofit Programme", aiming to replace all of the remaining high-energy street lights with energy-saving alternatives. This is expected to reduce the city's carbon footprint by around 2,000 annually.

Quality insulation

MCC has offered a service called "Warm Homes" which gives advice, grants and support to residents in terms of improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

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The support delivered by this service includes implementing natural or greener insulations (such as loft and solid wall insulation), which helps reduce heating bills while providing quality insulation for any home. 

MCC has also delivered the "Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme", which provides eligible homeowners with a grant of up to £10,000. This funding is used to make more energy-efficiency improvements to their homes - including insulation, heating upgrades, and more.

Green transportations

From electric buses to pushed initiatives for cycling, Manchester has created a strong focus on making transportation accessible and green for residents. 

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Electric buses were first introduced in September 2022, and are set to be rolled throughout the region by December 2024 approximately. 

E-scooters were launched in the city as a trial in September 2020, with full succession as green E-scooters can be found within and around Manchester!

A guide to Manchester's transport system is available in our own blog space.

Green spaces

Since 2022, Manchester has announced 21 community projects concerning green spaces within the city and areas surrounding it. 

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These projects aim to increase the quality and number of accessible, nature-heavy spaces within Greater Manchester. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester has even acknowledged the development of these green spaces. "Everyone should have access to some kind of green space, whether it's a place to grow fresh food, plant trees, meet new people..."

Adding his feelings of pride for everyone involved: "I'm really proud to see local people taking ownership of such fantastic projects that add value to their community". 

Green Spaces in Manchester: A Guide to Parks and Nature Reserves

Manchester has developed a variety of green parks and nature reserves in areas surrounding the city. With rich waterways and full biodiversity, Manchester has become a valuable natural capital that enhanced its wildlife and environment - resulting in happier people! 

Some notable parks that have been developed (and are in development) are: 

Rochdale's Green Recovery Project 

Rochdale's Green Recovery Project will manage complex habitats for local wildlife and rejuvenate the quality of the canal's waterline. Due to the concerns of the local community, and the degradation of the canal's water quality, this project has allowed new habitats to be created through various methods, while also engaging local people in the canal's wildlife. 

Bolton's Houses to Habitats

Bolton NEWT is looking to enhance Leverhulme Park's biodiversity through 24 conservation volunteer sessions, well-being walks, educational videos, and other features that will involve the large community. Houses to Habitats is an enormous development that will engage the local community in Bolton.

Salford's Green Fingers Project

Ordsall Park has diversified their green space, creating habitats for wildlife and opportunities for local residents to volunteer. With wildflower meadows, accessible tree trails, bird and bat boxes and a mini orchard around the current sensory plants, The Green Fingers Project will see more wildlife, planted trees and engagement with the local community. 

You can explore more of Manchester's green space through our exclusive post on Manchester's best scenic walks and spots!

Manchester's Waste Management System

The City Council is responsible for managing both residential and commercial wastes found in Manchester. 

MCC conducts a weekly collection service for household waste and recycling, including rented flats and houseshares, while the Council provides numerous services for commercial waste and recycling management. 

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In 2019, the household recycling rate had increased to 44%, from 39% in the previous year.

In 2020 itself, Manchester produced around 365,000 tonnes of waste - however, the turnover from the waste management services that the Council provided resulted in a recycling rate for household waste at 42.5%, collecting 31,688 tonnes of dry-mixed recycling at the same time as the recycling rate for dry mixed recycling increased to 23.4% (20.3% in the previous year).

Manchester's Use of Renewable Energy

In terms of renewable energy, Manchester also has the Civic Quarter Heat Network (CQHN) which is an innovative £20m energy source located in the city centre, providing heat and power to Manchester's well-known buildings - such as Manchester Central Convention Centre, Manchester's Art Gallery, and so on.

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Wind energy is also a priority for the city. In 2022, an ambitious new project will have thousands of small wind turbines installed across Manchester and beyond, providing more affordable and "natural" energy for buildings surrounding the area. 

Sustainable Events in Manchester

Manchester is full of residents dedicated to the city's environmental status. 

Manchester Friends of the Earth (MFOE), an organisation focused on environmental friendliness that campaigns on local, national, and international issues. They also have a list of events regarding campaigns, monthly meetings, social gatherings and conversations with high-profile guests to further educate their followers. 

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Events regarding sustainability overall are also presented in Manchester through various event directories, such as Eventbrite. 

Some notable ones include: 

Our Commitment to Sustainability

We stand with Manchester as an incredibly green and sustainable city, and at CitySuites, we make sure that we contribute well to the environmental developments in the city itself. 

We aim to be the leading business for sustainability in the hotel industry. In 2021, we achieved a diverse range of environmental goals that we set ourselves as a central aparthotel, including: 

  • Achieving a carbon-neutral status
  • Donated £4,000+ to charitable green initiatives
  • Formed an ESG Committee to drive our ESG agenda

We've implemented different policies and management systems to improve our carbon footprint. This includes a Switch-Off policy, reduce water usage, optimised waste output and more. 

You can read more about CitySuites' environmental commitment on our page. 

 

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