Birmingham is making greater progress than some of its biggest rivals in the environmental stakes, according to encouraging new research from property firm GVA Grimley.
With the announcement of the Climate Change Bill next month, GVA Grimley has published new research that details the relationship between Co2 emission levels and total commercial property floor space and ranks the overall carbon footprint impact of 10 top UK business centres.
According to the research, Birmingham is making better progress than some rivals, appearing midway up the green league and ahead of both Manchester and Liverpool, with its overall carbon footprint impact reaching 67 out of 100. However, the research also shows that Birmingham emits the highest levels of Co2 outside London, but has the largest population.
The report How Green is My City looks at the relationship between Co2 emission levels and commercial property floor space, ranking the overall impact of the carbon footprint for the top 10 cities.
Sheffield has the biggest overall carbon footprint impact (82 out of 100) while Edinburgh is the lowest (61 out of 100). Overall the combined Co2 levels of all the top 10 cities is 36 million tonnes of carbon - equivalent to nine Wembley stadiums.
As Birmingham has a long-standing industrial heritage, it is also the biggest producer of Co2 levels, generating 6.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
However, as the city is also the most densely populated, this brings down the average pollution levels in the city. In terms of commercial property, Birmingham emits just 0.23 tonnes of carbon dioxide per sq m, one of the lowest in the league.
However, it could still improve levels further by using commercial floor space more intensely, which would help improve its ranking relative to other cities.
The report also shows that per employee, Birmingham is producing above the average carbon pollution per head, a stark contrast to the domestic and transport Co2 emissions which are below average.
The current level of recycling in Birmingham is also below average at 17 per cent. This means in order to achieve the national target set by Government of 50 per cent recycling by 2020, the city needs to improve its recycling rate by almost 20 per cent a year.
Carl Potter, national head of offices at GVA Grimley, said: "These are mixed results for Birmingham, but it does highlight the positive progress we are making in the property sector.
"The quality of new builds in Birmingham is very high, with BREEAM ratings on new developments increasing - resulting in almost 20 per cent of the total for all 10 cities combined coming from Birmingham. In addition, schemes like the Birmingham Strategic Part-nership will play a fundamental role ensuring businesses continue to work towards realistic, sustainable targets."
Mr Potter added: "To help reach the Government's energy efficiency targets, the city council has also committed to reducing its energy consumption by 30 per cent by 2010. This is being achieved through initiatives such as the Broad Street CHP Scheme to supply energy to council buildings as well as to commercial properties."