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Economy

The battle for the Green Investment Bank location: round one

The Government is expected to announce the location of the Green Investment Bank later this month. But where should it be? Blue & Green Tomorrow whittles the initial 32 bidding places down to 16, in round one of our recommendation series.

A lot of hope is placed on the shoulders of the Green Investment Bank (GIB). It is widely regarded as the ignition needed to transcend the UK economy towards a green and low-carbon future. However, its location is yet to be decided.  

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The Government is expected to announce the location of the Green Investment Bank later this month. But where should it be? Blue & Green Tomorrow whittles the initial 32 bidding places down to 16, in round one of our recommendation series.

A lot of hope is placed on the shoulders of the Green Investment Bank (GIB). It is widely regarded as the ignition needed to transcend the UK economy towards a green and low-carbon future. However, its location is yet to be decided.  

A total of 32 towns and cities across the UK have bid to host the innovative project, but how is the Government meant to choose?

Whilst it’s likely that the city with the best PR campaign will get the nod, or which place business secretary Vince Cable most likes to visit, at Blue & Green Tomorrow, we’ve recognised the opportunity that the GIB brings with it.

Not only will it be the first step in securing a more sustainable economy, but the positive impact it will have on its eventual location cannot be stressed enough.

Therefore, we’ve hatched a cunning plan to recommend which city should be chosen, based on several key criteria.

In this introductory article, we’ll be shaving the 32 down to 16 by looking at each city’s carbon emissions. Let’s face it; it’d be rather contradictory to have a Green Investment Bank in a place that spewed excessive greenhouse gases.

But before we get into that, here are the 32 contenders:

Bicester, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Chester, Cornwall, Coventry and Warwickshire, Derby, Durham, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Peterborough, Renfrewshire, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Tees Valley, Torbay and Warrington.

As you can see, it’s quite a wide-ranging list. The heavyweights of London, Birmingham and Leeds find themselves up against smaller areas such as Bicester, Durham and Gloucester, whilst over 500 miles separates Cornwall and Renfrewshire – the furthest apart bidders.

We looked at how much carbon emissions each of the 32 bidding places produced in both 2005 and 2009. The results are per capita, which is the total amount divided by the population. This is what we found.

Click to enlarge.Leeds came out as the undoubted frontrunner, as it was the lowest emitter in both 2005 and 2009. At the other end, Tees Valley, an amalgamation of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-On-Tees, was clearly the highest.  

In order to give improving areas a chance, we collated a second set of data at this stage, detailing which of the 32 places had improved their per capita carbon emissions level the most.

After all, the whole ethos behind our final decision was to recommend an emerging economy that would ultimately benefit from hosting the GIB.

Although the highest emitter in the previous chart, Tees Valley, had the second best reduction percentage behind first placed Norwich (24.6% reduction), with its emissions plummeting by an admirable 23.6%.

Click to enlarge.Chester (5.8%), Stoke-on-Trent (11%) and Renfrewshire (11.6%) had improved the least out of the 32, but this didn’t mean they were automatically ruled out. Leeds for example, whilst the lowest emitter in both 2005 and 2009, had only improved by 13%.

In order to get a true reflection of the best 16 candidates, we merged the two sets of figures onto one chart, and included a knockout zone for the cities that didn’t quite make the cut.

At this point, it’d be helpful if you imagined an X Factor-style situation, complete with tense music and a screaming audience, with each of the 32 contenders lined up nervously on stage.

Handing over to Dermot O’Leary, areas that make it through to round two are…

Click to enlarge.Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Sunderland and Torbay.

Congratulations to them, and commiserations to the unfortunate half that didn’t make it through. London, Edinburgh, Durham and, in particular, Newcastle were very close to progressing to the next stage, but ultimately missed out.

The lucky 16 advance to round two, where they will be again halved, but this time based on the size and development of their finance and insurance sectors.

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.

Why should your city be home to the GIB? Comment on this article, or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear from you.

Here’s a round-up of Blue & Green’s GIB location battle so far.

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

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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