06 November 2019 | Prithvi Pandya
British workers are starting to realise the importance of greener habits, as nearly half admit to being greener at home, according to research by Instant Offices.
Supporting studies show that cities with greener designs could save the UK economy an estimated £15.3 billion by 2050.
A UK Green Building Council report explored the benefits for businesses taking steps towards becoming greener:
- Businesses that actively manage their carbon emissions enjoy 18 per cent higher return on investment than companies that are not doing so;
- Businesses that take steps to promote employee wellness can improve their financial performance by up to 10 per cent and reduce sick days by 27 per cent; and
- Increasing natural spaces can increase property and land values by as much as 25 per cent.
Instant Offices looked at five of the greenest cities in the world and how UK cities can learn from them.
Copenhagen aims to become the world's first carbon-neutral city by 2025:
- Green roofing has been integrated into urban developments since 2010;
- All public transport to shift from diesel to electric engines by the end of 2019; and
- Plant 10,0000 trees by the end of 2025.
Vancouver is one of the lowest-emission cities in North America:
- Ecological footprint has been reduced by 20 per cent since 2006;
- Aiming to become the world's greenest city by 2020, through the work of the Green;
- City Action Team (GCAT); and
- Aims to get 100 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.
San Francisco is the first US city to ban the sale of plastic shopping bags and plastic water bottles:
- Currently diverting 80 per cent of waste away from landfill, with plans to increase this to 100 per cent by 2020;
- More than half the city's buses and light rails are zero-emission; and
- Aiming to go waste-free by the end of 2020.
Singapore is approximately 47 per cent green cover:
- Incorporates green roofs and gardens into architecture across the city;
- NEWater purification process meets up to 40 per cent of water demand, with aims to meet 85 per cent by 2060;
- Has mandated green buildings since 2008; and
- Home to the world's largest vertical garden.
Stockholm is the first city to be named European Green Capital by the EU Commission (in 2010):
- 83 per cent of hotels are eco-certified;
- The airport is entirely carbon neutral; and
- Aims to be completely fossil fuel-free by 2050.