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Duncan Phillpott (pic)
The new five point sustainability plan has been launched

New city sustainability vision given the green light

17 March 2017

Council leaders will develop a new green vision for Sheffield highlighting five new key priorities.

The new five-point sustainability plan was given the green light by councillors at a cabinet committee meeting on Wednesday and focuses on five priorities with an aim to make the city a leading centre for sustainability.

The strategy will set out a vision for how, working in partnership, Sheffield will become a smarter, more sustainable and competitive place to live, work and do business in, and builds on the work of the Sheffield Green Commission, which published its final report, Sheffield Green Commitment, last year.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said: “This is a great step forward for Sheffield and gives us the opportunity to work towards a smarter, more sustainable future, and I would like to acknowledge the work of the Green Commission and thank it for its dedication and commitment.

“There’s already lots of innovative work going on across our city but there is real need to bring this all together, built around five clear priorities.

“We understand the vital contributions the Council can make in creating a sustainable future, and by identifying our five priority themes we are providing a bold message of our commitment to take this forward.

The findings of the Green Commission have now been developed into five new priorities:

Sustainable and affordable energy for homes and businesses

A thriving transport network that encourages people to use public transport and meets the future demands of Sheffield

Air quality – with air pollution reduced to a point well below the European Health Limit maximum values

A green and innovative economy creating opportunities and working with partners to help us adapt to climate change and improve air quality

Climate change mitigation and adaptation – taking a leading role to implementing solutions to climate change

The growth of cities such as Sheffield brings major social, economic and cultural opportunities for people and businesses but also challenges.

Cllr Iqbal added: “The Green Commission set out an ambitious vision to make Sheffield a more productive and sustainable city. We know that cities can be dynamic places at the forefront of progress, but a city needs strong leadership and a clear strategy by which all action is shaped.

“This is an opportunity to join-up all decision making in the city. We have seen how effective such an approach can be with the sustainable proposals for the Sheffield Retail Quarter and the district energy networks.

“However we know, for example, that much more needs to be done to improve air quality levels in the city, and the Council recognises that any attempts to tackle this must be done reflecting our ambitions for the growth of Sheffield’s economy. I am confident our bold plan for a sustainable Sheffield will be a success, and over the next few months and years we will see significant work undertaken to improve the lives and health of people in Sheffield.”

John Mothersole, chief executive of Sheffield City Council added:  “Cities across the world are leading a global response to climate change and improving air quality and these issues are closely associated with our city.

“We must continue to work together with partners to explore practical ways in which we can contribute to Sheffield’s long-term economy and growth in a sustainable and innovative way – and build a city which makes our future generations proud.”

The council will now undertake a comprehensive gap analysis over the next three months to develop an action Plan that is consistent with the principles set out for the following five priorities


Sustainable and affordable energy for homes and businesses

Supporting Sheffield’s businesses to harness low-carbon, locally generated energy sources, potentially unlocking competitive advantage and reliable, sustainable energy to support their growth. The council will work with partners to expand its energy networks, with the ambition of increasing access to businesses and residents.  It will continue to explore the opportunities to establish an Energy Supply Company and give residents access to stable, long-term energy pricing and supplies which will also help those suffering with fuel poverty and can provide wider health-related benefits.

 

A thriving transport network that encourages people to use public transport and meets the future demands of Sheffield

 

The strategy will help develop an ambitious, multi-modal transport plan for Sheffield including delivery of the UK’s first tram-train providing fast, lower emission connectivity between Rotherham and Sheffield city centre, as well as exploring the potential to develop alternative and low emission fuels and technologies in the city.

 

Air quality – with air pollution reduced to a point well below the European Health Limit maximum values

 

The strategy will work to implement the recommendations of the DEFRA funded 2013 Sheffield Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study which indicated that diesel vehicles, particularly buses, taxis and goods vehicles, need to be retrofitted or be a minimum Euro VI / 6 standard and, in the longer term, there needs to be a shift away from diesel fuel to alternative low emission fuels (electric, gas / biogas, hybrid, hydrogen). The Council also launched its DEFRA funded ‘AirAware in Sheffield’ campaign in October 2014, which continues to encourage everyone to do their bit to help reduce pollution and protect themselves from the health risks.

 

A green and innovative economy creating opportunities and working with partners to help us adapt to climate change and improve air quality

 

The council will explore further opportunities for working with public and private sector partners in the city to pool resources and to attract external funding to allow us to develop and test innovative solutions to reduce carbon, mitigate/adapt to climate change and to improve air quality. It will also aim to build on the successful Smart Lab Sheffield approach to enable and support the start-up and incubation of innovative new businesses.

 

Climate change mitigation and adaptation – taking a leading role to implementing solutions to climate change

The council will explore further opportunities to mitigate its impact on the climate, and establish a carbon reduction programme with partners in the city. It will explore the opportunity for the City to participate in national, European or global climate change programmes to work collaboratively with the best cities in supporting sustainable city economies.

The Sheffield Green Commission was initiated and launched in May 2014 by Councillor Jack Scott and was subsequently carried forward and chaired by Councillor Jayne Dunn, in both cases as the relevant Cabinet Member.