Public-private partnerships to lead to more sustainable cities

According to a new report by accountancy firm Grant Thornton stronger partnerships and greater collaboration could help the country to achieve its environmentally friendly goals.

The report also stresses the importance of the public and private sectors working together to achieve these goals, as isolated endeavours are predicted to be wasteful in their solitary attempts to, “reinvent the wheel.”

In its analysis of regional sustainability initiatives that have been successful, the report identifies barriers preventing cities in the UK from reaching their sustainability goals.

“Despite the popularity of encouraging sustainability, UK cities are faced with tough challenges in its implementation,” Nathan Goode, head of Energy, Environment and Sustainability said. “Balancing the efficient use of resources, addressing climate change targets and facilitating sustainable economic growth means many cities are forced to rethink how they invest for the future.”

The report found that these challenges to sustainability come by way of factors such as governance and current ‘Green Book’ guidelines that create a tendency towards projects that are cheap and short-term as opposed to those with strong, long-term sustainability focuses.

It offers a number of recommendations including the creation of city-based ‘Infrastructure Investment Boards’ that exist separately from national and local political cycles, the creation of city-based ‘City Investment Funds’ to attract a wide variety of finance into a city-focused vehicle and reforming Green Books to better encourage long-term sustainability projects.

Opportunities for cities to move forward with eco-friendly goals have emerged, the report says, citing supply side policy developments such as Feed-in Tariffs and funding mechanisms that UK cities are considering, such as the JESSICA and ELENA systems.

Stressing the importance of cities remaining transparent and honest in the creation of their sustainability strategies so as to not damage their credibility, the report addresses growing commercial opportunities related to businesses taking sustainability more seriously. As this is the case, it suggests finding models of engagement that will suit both the private and public sectors, which are facing many of the same challenges in reaching green goals.

Other trends the report identifies through its case studies of UK cities include the growing importance of communities in developing sustainable outcomes, the increasing focus on economic outcomes from sustainability projects and the currently limited collaboration between UK cities regarding sustainability.

As this report suggests, the importance of private-public collaboration for sustainability needs further emphasis. The office supplies industry and Wiles Greenworld in particular have taken significant steps in this direction by working with public institutions to provide environmental consultancy, recycled paper and office supplies products and encouraging recycling at work. By collaborating with both government institutions London office supplies distributors can encourage sustainability and waste reduction policies.

This entry was posted in Environmental Consultancy, News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.