Global recognition for city’s green efforts

By on 05/12/2011 in News

A prestigious international honour has been awarded to Birmingham City Council for its Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) programme.

The scheme was today (December 5) named as winner of the Urban Retrofit Award, one of just six Government Leadership Awards presented by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) during the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

BES is set to lead to £1.5billion of green retrofit work for nearly 200,000 buildings in Birmingham and across the West Midlands over the next 15 years.

During the £100million pathfinder phase (2012 to 2015) the programme will deliver energy efficiency improvements along with renewable energy and heat technologies where appropriate for 15,000 houses and 40 public buildings.

This will lay the foundation for a wider £1.4billion scheme that by 2026 will see 60,000 houses and 1,000 non-domestic buildings retrofitted in Birmingham and a further 100,000 houses and 1,500 non-domestic buildings retrofitted across the West Midlands.

As well as helping citizens, the programme will help local businesses take forward new technologies and will create conditions for their engagement in the Government’s ‘Green Deal’ scheme which will be launched in the autumn of 2012.

The scale of the initiative is also sufficient to have a significant impact on the construction industry, as the project is expected to create and safeguard 60,000 'green' jobs, from installation engineers, to designers.

By 2020, a 4.3 per cent reduction on current CO2 emission figures is expected from domestic retrofits performed under the programme. For non-domestic buildings, the scheme is expected to cut emissions by 7.8 per cent over the same period, with further CO2 saving are expected as the programme progresses.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “For Birmingham Energy Savers to be named as the best initiative of its type in the world is a stunning success for the city and the UK.

“This award validates and acknowledges years of effort we have put in as a council to ensure that we tackle the challenges of climate change and fuel poverty. To be named on a list of winners including the likes of New York, Tokyo and Singapore is remarkable.

“I would like to thank every member of staff and all the partner organisations that have played a part in this win - the award is very much their prize.”

In total 22 cities were nominated across six award categories and the win also means Birmingham will be featured prominently in an upcoming WorldGBC publication showcasing the best policies for green building from around the world.

Paul King, CEO of the UK Green Building Council and chair of the WorldGBC Policy Task Force, said: “Birmingham's leadership in urban retrofit is trailblazing, and highlights the critical role local authorities can and should play as a trusted partner in rolling out the Green Deal nationally.

“The scale of Birmingham's ambition reflects the urgency and size of the task we face, and that represents a tremendous opportunity for green growth and jobs if the public and private sectors work effectively together.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Cllr Paul Tilsley accepted the award on the city's behalf via videolink from Birmingham.

2. Awards were submitted in a total of six categories during the ceremony in Durban. They included:

– Best Green Building Policy Award: San Francisco
– Local Climate Action Leadership Award: Mexico City
– Urban Retrofit Award: Birmingham
– Regional Leadership Award: Singapore
– Industry Transformation Award: New York
– Most Groundbreaking Policy: Tokyo

For more information please contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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  1. Dennis W says:

    Thought you would be interested in the following coverage from the UK Green Building Council:

    http://www.ukgbc.org/site/news/show-news-details?id=461

    Birmingham recognised for excellence in green building city policy alongside San Francisco, New York, Mexico City, Tokyo and Singapore

    In an effort to highlight exceptional local policies that are accelerating green building around the world, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has today announced the winners of the 2011 Government Leadership Awards for Excellence in City Policy for Green Building at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. Birmingham won in the Urban Retrofit Award Category for its Energy Savers Programme, which will work under the umbrella of the Green Deal initiative to refurbish nearly 200,000 buildings. The programme is expected to lead to £1.5 billion of green retrofit work.

    Paul King, CEO of the UK Green Building Council and Chair of the WorldGBC Policy Task Force commented:

    “Birmingham’s leadership in urban retrofit is trailblazing, and highlights the critical role local authorities can and should play as a trusted partner in rolling out the Green Deal nationally. The scale of Birmingham’s ambition reflects the urgency and size of the task we face, and that represents a tremendous opportunity for green growth and jobs if the public and private sectors work effectively together.”

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