Newcastle has made eighth place in a leaderboard of the UK’s top greenest cities.
Scores were calculated for UK cities based on four categories – nature, transport, emissions and sustainability.
London scored highest as investment in solar outshone the rest of the cities at £149,126 per million pounds of council budget. The high ratio of green spaces per 10,000 of the population, and availability of EV charging stations also contributed to securing its place at the top of the leaderboard.
Bristol was not far behind, with the most EV charging points for drivers, at only 914 drivers per charger. To give a comparison, Birmingham EV drivers have to battle it out, with 6,997 of them per charging station. The high percentage of household recycling and substantial investment in solar also made it a top contender in our list.
Rounding out the top three is Manchester, with a household recycling percentage at 38.60%, and considerable solar investment at £2914.00 per million pounds of the council budget.
The Nature scoring criteria comprised green spaces available, analysing parks per 10,000 of the population. The number of parks was taken from each local authority website.
Transport assessed EV charging provisions, analysing the number of EVs per charging point with the lower the figure representing the better the provision. The data was sourced from Uswitch. The Emissions criteria analysed levels of air pollution, with the lower the figure the lower the level of pollution. This data was sourced by IQAir. Finally, the Sustainability criteria focussed on investment into solar energy, judged by the investment per million pounds of council budget. The investment includes any expenditure on construction or maintenance of any new or existing solar energy projects. All information for investment, the energy produced, and a number of PV fitted buildings was received by FOI request to city/borough councils carried out by thesolarcentre.
In addition to the four main criteria, attention was paid to household recycling efforts: the percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling, or composting for each city. This data was sourced from Waste Data Flow.
Simon Peat, CEO of Project Solar UK who commissioned the research, commented, “While this research highlights that Local Authorities are working hard to fulfil their commitments around moving towards netzero, we also note that individuals and communities are taking critical steps towards carbon zero. From planting trees and setting up communal composting areas to installing solar panels and purchasing electric vehicles, our communities are addressing environmental problems in their local areas. Together with their proactive moves, such as choosing renewable energy sources and tackling waste, alongside those of Local Authorities, all help in addressing the climate emergency.”