Issue date: 27 February 2013
Bristol Mayor George Ferguson outlined his vision for the city as Europe's green capital at a business breakfast for 60 leading Bristol Businesses hosted by Clarke Wilmott on Wednesday 27 February.
Mayor Ferguson announced that UWE Bristol, (the University of the West of England, Bristol) had generously come forward as the premier sponsor of the Bristol bid. He said that this was a great example of partnership working between the city and the University. He encouraged businesses to join with the University to back the Bristol bid to become the European Green Capital in 2015, to contribute to the ideas and activities for 2015 and to pledge their support.
Mayor Ferguson said, “We came close to winning the title in 2014, and a win for 2015 would attract investment to the city. My vision for the city includes significant improvements to transport, a reduction in congestion and substantial support for green/low carbon investment and businesses. This bid is an important aspect of delivering our vision for the city.”
The chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Colin Skellett thanked the University and identified the contributions that businesses were making and could make in the future.
Martin Bigg, Chair of Bristol Green Capital, said, “ Competing for the title of European Green Capital had helped organisations including the universities, businesses and community groups across the city and beyond work to together for a low carbon sustainable future. They can make a significant contribution to improving the environment and benefit from the jobs and economic opportunities associated with environmental goods and services. He identified the benefits to Bristol of inward investment and raising the profile of the city and region as the place in Europe for green businesses.”
Professor James Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Environment and Sustainability, UWE Bristol, said, “ In addition to making a major contribution to learning and research on sustainability, as the largest University in the South West, we want to work with businesses and councils to improve the environment for everyone.”
The European Green Capital Award is given to a city which can act as a role model to inspire other cities and share best practices. Bristol came second to Copenhagen last year and is confident that it can win this time.
If successful, the award would help to reinforce Bristol's reputation as the UK's most sustainable city and help make the case to Government for using Bristol as a test-bed for new ideas. It would also give the city a platform from which to lobby hard on behalf of businesses for more freedom to explore opportunities for low carbon jobs.