Tuesday 25th October 2016                 Change text size:

The battle for the Green Investment Bank location: round three

The battle for the Green Investment Bank location: round three

We’re down to the last eight in Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Green Investment Bank location recommendation, and in round three of the series, we’re narrowing it down to four cities.

We’re right in the thick of our search to find the perfect location for the Government’s proposed £3 billion Green Investment Bank (GIB).

In short, this is Blue & Green Tomorrow’s thorough and impartial recommendation to business secretary Vince Cable, who is expected to announce the location later this month.

The final eight bidding cities after two rounds of Blue & Green’s examination are:

Brighton, Hull, Ipswich, Leicester, Nottingham, Southampton, Sunderland and Torbay.

So, let’s just recap how we got to this stage.

Firstly, we shaved the original 32 bidders down by half by plucking the 16 that had either the lowest carbon emissions or significantly improving levels – therefore ensuring our eventual chosen city was actually green.

And as we said, ‘Mucky Grey Investment Bank’ isn’t quite as catchy.

We then went from 16 to eight by analysing the financial services industries in each, working on the basis that a perfect location for the GIB would be somewhere with a small pool of employees in this sector.

This way, the benefits reaped from the GIB would be far greater.

Moving onto round three, this time we’re looking at each city’s higher education (HE) performance and sustainability.

The reason for this is simple. The GIB will immediately create around 100 jobs. But as a result of its green investments, many more positions will be created in the surrounding area.

So in the future, having young, bright, enthusiastic minds to mould is essential in filling these vital roles. After all, as Whitney Houston so elegantly put it, “children are our future”.

Therefore, having a HE institution that was both ranked highly for its performance and its sustainability, is a massive step forward in the UK’s attempt to realise a green economy.

We’ve talked about sustainable education before at Blue & Green Tomorrow, in a feature about how ethical the UK’s universities are.

Using the same data from that feature – People & Planet’s Green League 2011 – as well as the Guardian’s University Guide 2012, we looked at the 11 institutions located in the final eight cities.

Of the eight, Nottingham, Leicester, Brighton and Southampton are all home to two HE institutions. The rest have one, except for Torbay, which doesn’t have any.

Splitting each category into four quadrants, we gave each institution a rank from one to four – the higher the better – and added the two scores together.

So, for example, the University of Leicester was 17th on the Guardian’s University Guide, giving it four points, and it was 83rd on the People & Planet Green League 2012, giving it two points and a grand total of six.

Where there were two institutions from a single city, we took an average, but weighted the total depending on the size of each institution. This is because it’d be unfair to give the same weight to a university with 40,000 students as one with 25,000.

Now that’s all clear with everyone, let’s get onto the eagerly awaited results.

Click to enlarge.There you have it. Brighton, Nottingham, Sunderland and Leicester progress to the fourth round.

For the first three, their advancement was comfortable. Leicester, however, scraped through by the skin of its teeth, beating fifth-placed Southampton by just 0.06 points.

Hull screamed averageness, meaning its four point total wasn’t enough, whilst Green League data for Ipswich’s University Campus Suffolk wasn’t available, but its poor showing in the Guardian’s University Guide meant this was irrelevant anyway.

As mentioned, Torbay’s lack of HE institution meant it didn’t score at all.

At the end of round three, the four contenders still in the hat literally make up the backbone of England. We couldn’t make it up.

A drive from Brighton to Sunderland via the East Midlands duo, Leicester and Nottingham, would dissect the country right through the middle, via the M23, M25 and for the most part, the M1.

Maybe Vince Cable should make that drive in order to fully appreciate the wonder of each of Blue & Green’s top four possible GIB locations? That’s a documentary idea for you.

Cable’s Car”, perhaps? Sorry.

Moving swiftly on, come back tomorrow for round four, where we’ll be placing the remaining four under another microscope – this time, economic development.

Until then, why not have a read up about the GIB on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) website?

And if you’re interested in contributing to the prospect of a green economy, you can. Ask your financial adviser about the best ways to invest your money sustainably, or alternatively, fill in our online form and we’ll show you how.

We’d also love to hear from you about why your city should be home to the GIB. Comment on this article, or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter to voice your opinions.

Here’s a round-up of Blue & Green’s GIB location battle after round three.

Click to enlarge.Infographics: Ben Willers. Picture source: Ryan Hyde.

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