Page 1

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 2

Sustainable Futures Investing in sustainable development as an economic advantage for England’s Northwest

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 3



Introduction THE NORTHWEST REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NWDA) IS COMMITTED TO DELIVERING SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ACHIEVING IT IS AT THE HEART OF THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC STRATEGY (RES). Our thinking mirrors that of government as we seek to enable people to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future generations. This report covers those strategic programmes of environmental investment, protection and innovation that are securing economic growth and increased competitiveness for the Northwest. It also shows how these policies are impacting on the region, requiring us to change the ways in which we act and think both at work and at home. Highlights include an assessment of the region’s progress towards meeting new targets for sustainable production. Waste is a key area that the NWDA is seeking to tackle, with new domestic and industrial recycling targets that will not only cut the amount of waste sent to landfill but also encourage greater use of recycled goods through sustainable procurement. Another area of significant progress is environmental protection and enhancement where we are winning the battle to reclaim derelict and underused land. It is a long process but groundbreaking initiatives such as Newlands are giving parts of our landscape back to local people, improving their quality of life and the image of the region. Of course, we are now working in the context of a rapidly changing global environment where energy supply and climate change are significant concerns, hence the introduction of a regional Climate Change Action Plan. Part of this plan sets out ways in which the Northwest can – and must – reduce its energy use, particularly of fossil fuels. To support this major studies have looked at renewable alternatives, including the potential of the region’s coastline for tidal power. This publication also considers the great strides being made to create more sustainable communities across the Northwest. Programmes such as Elevate and RENEW Northwest are helping to transform areas where housing stock has failed. But crucially these initiatives are looking beyond just bricks and mortar to assess a much bigger picture where skills, business activity, health and faith have an equally important part to play in maintaining cohesion within a community. Much has happened in the two years since our first report, Nature’s Edge, was published. Partnerships have flourished, expertise has blossomed and programmes have matured, ensuring that the region’s prosperity, and the quality of life of its citizens, has also continued to grow. Working in partnership, we will continue to ensure the Northwest is a leader for sustainable development.

Steven Broomhead Chief Executive, NWDA

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 5




The Northwest Waste Project

According to the Carbon Trust, poor energy efficiency costs British firms a £1 billion a year, while disposing of waste costs them £15 billion, a big hit to the profit line.

Each year the Northwest produces more than 24 million tonnes of waste but as landfill becomes an unviable and uneconomical option, alternatives must be developed.

Yet look at the other side of the coin and companies that have already adopted high environmental standards can financially out-perform those which haven’t by up to 43%. With over 1,300 pieces of environmental legislation now affecting UK business and utility costs increasing dramatically, the environment has moved rapidly onto the business agenda, with re-use, reprocessing, recovery and treatment of waste set to become the preferred management routes of the future.

The BREW Programme

Environment Connect

To help address some of these issues, the Government is redirecting £284 million of landfill tax back into business. It has set up a series of delivery programmes to help businesses reduce waste at every stage of the business cycle and manage their resources more efficiently.

Funded through the BREW programme, Environment Connect is a pilot signposting service designed to reduce the confusion and complexity of environmental support services available to businesses in the region.

The Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) programme was launched in 2005 across England. Coordinated regionally by the NWDA alongside both regional and national BREW partners, the programme has provided an opportunity for businesses in the Northwest to gain advice and support on resource efficiency and to improve their commercial success through the implementation of environmental good practice. The programme is aimed particularly at those businesses most affected by growing landfill tax, with an emphasis on increasing resource efficiency, reducing waste that is sent to landfill and developing new and innovative technologies.

In its first eight months well over 700 companies contacted the service for advice on a range of issues from legal requirements, to specialist packaging design and, of course, waste disposal and minimisation, and energy efficiency.

Environment Connect is a single point of contact that can ultimately help companies to boost efficiency and profitability. The service they provide enables Northwest businesses to access organisations providing resource efficiency and waste management services under the BREW progamme. Signposting to business support organisations through Environment Connect provides opportunities for businesses to gain commercial success through environmental good practice and deliver bottom-line business benefits by improving their environmental performance.

More information is available at

The Northwest’s recycling sector is already worth more than £1 billion a year, although the region only recycles around 15% of household waste, and 35% of commercial and industrial waste. Yet recycling targets set by the government - and adopted in the Northwest Regional Waste Strategy - require a three-fold

increase in the quantity of recycled household waste alone by 2015. With waste treatment and recycling infrastructure estimated to be worth more than £3 billion over the next 10 years, Envirolink Northwest’s Recycling and Waste team is working with regional companies to secure this business, and support the environmental improvements that a new emphasis on recycling will bring. The team is active in four key areas. In Research and Development there

is an emphasis on facilitating greater collaboration and co-operation and building on the region’s long history of invention in recycling and waste treatment. The team has already worked closely with a Northwest university that has produced a new technology that applies microwave and plasma technology to waste treatment, a project carried out in close collaboration with several commercial companies and local authorities.

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 7



Sustainable Production Technology Commercialisation involves demonstrating the capabilities of new technologies, and the potential for this has already been borne out on Merseyside, with work on the Mechanical Heat Treatment Demonstrator. A flagship project, it could save up to 30,000 tonnes of waste each year from landfill – and create a valuable fuel in the process

Case Study

Supporting the Northwest region to become the premier business hub for waste-related operations throughout the UK and worldwide, is the ambitious aim of Sector Development. Current work includes a campaign across northern England to encourage the hospitality sector to recycle their glass more effectively. The team has also helped businesses involved in waste to expand and relocate to the region, providing help with finding potential sites and accessing funding. The final area is Market Development which focuses on ensuring that highvalue and practical uses are developed for materials produced by waste treatment and recycling. These range from compost to glass, aggregates to paper and card. The work is backed up by a procurement initiative, which aims to close the recycling loop by supporting organisations across the region to source and use recycled products made from these materials.

Innovative solutions for the future It is estimated that over the next decade the Northwest’s environmental technologies and services sector (ETS) will be worth in excess of £46 billion. Yet ten years ago few people had even heard of it. Envirolink Northwest was formed with funding from the NWDA to support the growth of the sector, which has now matured to around 1,500 companies employing more 60,000 people and with an annual turnover of £2.8 billion. The sector is producing innovative products that are making a real difference - true end of pipe solutions. But many of these have only come to fruition thanks to the introductions and the exposure that Envirolink Northwest has been able to provide.

Attending events can be expensive and beyond the reach of many small, start-up businesses but Envirolink Northwest has supported business such as solar and wind power specialist Sundog, and lubricant manufacturers Lofrix, helping them to demonstrate their technologies to key industries and win contracts as a result. Envirolink is also helping Northwest businesses to take their technologies to foreign markets, while closer to home its recycling initiatives are diverting tonnes of materials from landfill to new uses, from hardcore for road building to treatments for contaminated soil.

For further information:

Tullis Russell Coaters Ltd

Cheshire-based paper product manufacturers Tullis Russell Coaters (TRC) is a perfect example of how a forward thinking company can make significant cost savings by thinking about its environmental impact.

consider installing a biomass incinerator so they could mix PSA with other waste streams and use it as a fuel. This could save the company money twice over, by reducing materials sent to landfill and energy bills.

The company is already accredited to ISO14001, but still contacted Environment Connect for advice on how to further cut their landfill costs.

TRC are now working with specialist advisors ,who are assessing the potential emissions, before taking the project further and investing in an incinerator.

One of the company’s main products is paper for postage stamps, both traditional gummed “lick and stick” stamps and adhesive coated sticky-back ones. The waste paper from the sticky-back stamps is coated with a pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA), which makes it much harder to recycle. Initially, TRC were able to blend the small amount of waste PSA material with their other waste paper grades but occasionally the PSA level was too high for their recycler to take, and instead all the un-segregated paper was sent to landfill. Environment Connect made two key suggestions – firstly to separate waste at source, which would half the container loads sent to landfill in one stroke. Secondly, to

Potential cost savings identified by Environment Connect have amounted to £15,000 p.a. waste minimisation (after an initial one-off annual saving of £30,000); £33,300 p.a. on sending waste paper to a landfill site and £25,000 p.a. on sending effluent waste to a landfill site.

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 9



Environmental Protection and Enhancement FROM THE PLAINS OF CHESHIRE TO THE CRAGGED FELLS OF CUMBRIA AND THE STUNNING BEACHES OF THE WEST COAST, THE NORTHWEST HAS A LANDSCAPE OF GREAT DIVERSITY. However it’s also a landscape that still bears the scars of an industrial past, when the region was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It is now well documented that the Northwest has the lowest tree cover in the whole of the UK, as well as over 20% of all its derelict land. But slowly these statistics are changing and the Northwest is turning green. With the help of the NWDA and a host of partners these damaged and fragmented landscapes are being pieced back together, biodiversity is being rebuilt and land reclaimed for the good of people, businesses and nature.

Harnessing the region’s natural assets The NWDA’s partnership project with Natural England and others was formed to help maximise the economic contribution made by the Northwest’s natural assets. Natural Economy Northwest has been established to develop, understand and promote the links between the region’s natural assets and its economy.

The work of the project will be delivered through a partnership of public, private and voluntary organisations. The project will concentrate its work through the themes of wetland, coastal, tourism and green infrastructure, undertaking research and practical projects as well as skills development and innovation.

The Natural Economy Project has also entered into a partnership with the SITA Trust which distributes funding through the Landfill Communities Fund (formerly the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme). Over £50,000 has already been allocated to biodiversity projects in the Northwest, from Geltsdale in Cumbra to Gowy Meadows in Cheshire.

A new green infrastucture Projects in urban settings are also being supported, including a grant for the Unicorn Grocery in Manchester to develop a ‘brown roof’ habitat for black redstarts. The roof actually recreates the conditions of reclaimed brownfield sites, where the birds once thrived. Launched in 2003, the Newlands programme has been lauded as the 21st Century face of land regeneration: carefully planned; intelligence-led; and delivering widespread public benefits as well as enhancing the environment. Funded by the NWDA and managed by the Forestry Commission, the first £23 million phase of the programme is set to reclaim over 435 hectares of brownfield or previously developed land across the Northwest, transforming it into thriving, durable, community woodlands. Recently approved, the second £36 million phase will seek to tackle a further 520 hectares of brownfield land across the region, up to 2015. With sites chosen following a ground-breaking survey that assessed social and economic as well as environmental factors, phase one is nearing completion, having produced some remarkable successes. Nearly £3 million has been invested into the former landfill site at Bidston Moss in North Wirral, helping to transform 68 hectares of brownfield land into new community woodland and much needed recreation space for local people. This in turn has added value to the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder on its doorstep, while improvements to the site have

turned it into a key gateway into Liverpool along the M53 corridor. Perceptions have also been changed at the Lower Irwell Valley Improvement Area (LIVIA) in Salford, which has received £4 million from Newlands. Situated in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, greening this huge 96 hectare site is already encouraging new companies to move into nearby business parks. But most importantly this new parkland is now the centre for a series of recreational initiatives put forward by local people, who have the opportunity to enjoy healthier lifestyles as a result. Moston Vale (see case study) has also been transformed while Newlands has invested nearly £1.8 million in Brickfields, at the heart of St. Helens’ post-industrial landscape. This will help link the jigsaw of other community woodlands, as well as supporting the economic and social transformation of another deprived area. Crucially Newlands has also helped secure the long term future of these sites, with funding that will ensure a

robust management plan is in place to prevent them returning to wasteland as soon as the last tree is planted. An £800,000 investment by Newlands at Brockholes Woodland and Wetland Reserve, a former gravel pit near Preston, will have a significant impact on the site’s biodiversity credentials. The development will also make an economic impact at both a local and regional level – dramatically enhancing a key gateway into the region along the M6, driving increased investment into the area through new and extensive visitor and tourism facilities and providing an attractive and well managed area of green space for local people. Brockholes is a mosaic of lakes, reed beds, flower-rich grassland and woodland, encircled by the River Ribble, one of a number of Northwest Rivers where otters are returning and bordered by the largest ancient woodland in Lancashire. A national competition for the new visitor facilities is underway, organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects and this will form part of a wider business strategy for the site.

Bidston Moss

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 11



Environmental Protection and Enhancement Case Study

Moston Vale

The NWDA has committed over £1.5 million of Newlands funding to the 21-hectare Moston Vale project in North Manchester. It is transforming wasteland into a new ‘urban countryside’. A former landfill site, Moston Vale is now a significant contributor to the area’s economic regeneration and a quality setting for inward investment which is significantly contributing to the Manchester City Region plan to create better living environments with an enhanced economic value. As well as repairing the damaged biodiversity of the site, the land’s regeneration will also serve local communities, improving their physical environment

with new family-friendly spaces, a new sports pitch, wildflower area, solar-powered lighting and a recycled gravel footpath. Moston Vale will also support the wider Irk Valley Project – a public and private partnership to establish a green corridor through the heart of North Manchester. And a large portion of Newlands cash injection will secure a 99-year programme of site management at Moston Vale, ensuring that the scheme’s initial benefits are sustained.

Antony Gormley’s Another Place

Regional Parks While most UK regions boast one regional park, the Northwest is now developing six, with three more at the planning stage. The concept of the regional park is enshrined within the Regional Economic Strategy and seen as an effective way of combining social, economic and environmental initiatives in one place. The Mersey Waterfront was launched in 2003 to spearhead the regeneration of 135km of coastline as a new regional park.

The whole scope of the Mersey Waterfront is designed to allow investment on several levels, transforming the waterfront into a world-class visitor destination and desirable place to live at the same time. Phase one, to which the NWDA contributed £8.8 million, delivered a range of initiatives from major infrastructure improvements such as the Marine Way Bridge in Southport to the regeneration of Otterspool promenade and those 100 iconic iron men at Crosby Beach, that make up Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’.

Phase two is now underway, with further NWDA investment of £10.9 million. Ambitious plans include Liverpool Riverlands, which will transform the site of the 1984 International Garden Festival into a new urban park; Sefton Water Centre, a new £7 million facility at Crosby Marina, a comprehensive resort redevelopment at New Brighton and a new terminal for Mersey Ferries on Pier Head.

Moston Vale For further information:

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 13



Climate Change and Energy SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE LIVE AND WORK IN ENGLAND’S NORTHWEST AND EACH ONE, IN SOME WAY, CONTRIBUTES TO THE REGION’S C02 EMISSIONS. The NWDA is working with a range of partners to bring about a major shift in the behaviour of people and businesses of the Northwest, by providing the information and incentives they need to start reducing their carbon emissions. At the same time the Agency also acknowledges that there are huge potential economic drivers to this change as well.

Taking action Central to the Agency’s commitment to tackling global warming is ‘Rising to the Challenge: A Climate Change Action Plan for England’s Northwest’. Launched in November 2006, it is one of the transformational activities identified in the Regional Economic Strategy.

Crucially the Action Plan is also based on the premise that investment and innovation now will lead to economic and environmental returns in the future. To drive these aims forward the NWDA has

The Northwest Climate Change Perceptions Study is a snapshot of where we are now; an insight into what people think and how businesses operate. Commissioned by the NWDA, the report not only draws upon existing information about our perceptions of global warming but also uses specific findings from its own regional research. Together this now forms an important benchmark and a way in which the success of the Action Plan, along with changes in attitudes and levels of awareness, can be measured.

A crucial part of bringing about these changes is providing individuals and businesses with the information they need to cut their carbon use. The Climate Change Northwest website is the online home of the Action Plan and a means of showcasing and inspiring climate change activities in the Northwest. It will also be a first port of call for those looking for new thinking on global warming and a welcome signpost to existing sources of information. The North West Regional Assembly is one of a number of key partners in the action plan, and vociferous

champions of the Northwest taking a lead in climate change and sustainable development. With a remit to improve the quality of life for people across the Northwest, the Assembly has commissioned an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy generation in the region. This in turn will be used to develop emissions reduction targets for different sectors such as housing, transport and industry, as well as targets for increased renewable energy generation.

Let it flow

The three-year plan is deliberately ambitious and aims to stimulate the progress of England’s Northwest towards a low carbon economy by influencing attitudes and behavioural change, by increasing energy efficiency, reducing energy demand and promoting low-carbon technologies. It will also ensure the region can adapt to the impact of unavoidable climate change. The government has set targets for reductions in carbon emissions, in particular an aspirational target of 60% by 2050. The Action Plan aims to either meet or exceed this target, and turn the Northwest into the UK’s most proactive region when it comes to tackling climate change.

Time to make the change

The best locations for harnessing tidal power are estuaries, and the Northwest is well provided for, with the rivers Dee, Ribble and of course the Mersey flowing out into the sea along the Northwest coast. The potential of the Mersey to produce marine renewable energy

allocated investment of £23.5 million over three years to implement key activities within the Plan.

burgeoning environmental technologies and services sector, with over 64,000 employees.

It is estimated that recent energy price rises have cost Northwest businesses in excess of £0.6 billion. By taking the lead nationally in establishing a sustainable, lowcarbon economy, not only can the Northwest cut these costs but it can gain a competitive advantage in a market worth over £30 billion over the next ten years. After all, the Northwest is already home to a

However, a regional Action Plan on its own is not enough to make these changes happen and a series of initiatives have been developed to help implement its key points. For further information:

has been assessed in The Mersey Study, which has been supported by key partner Peel Holdings.

new schemes has been paramount in drawing up a shortlist of possible sites and promising technologies.

This major feasibility study has evaluated the opportunities for large scale tidal and wave power projects along the Mersey but crucially the potential environmental impact of any

This long-sighted vision will help ensure the sustainability – and ultimate success – of the project.

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 15



Climate Change and Energy Renewables The Northwest already has tough targets to increase the proportion of electricity supplied in the region from renewable sources. For example, by 2020 wind and solar power should be providing 20% of our energy needs. To take this further, the NWDA is supporting a series of projects that are looking to harness the region’s natural assets to generate sustainable energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Case Study The Joule Centre for energy research and development is a partnership of Northwest Universities, partly funded by the NWDA. Much of the Centre’s work is focused on energy supply and conservation and among a number of current projects underway is one into “wet renewables”. These projects include an investigation into the tidal power potential of the

Eastern Irish Sea, the development of a Northwest Hydro Resource Model and a combined wide wave/current flume that will be used for research into offshore renewable energy devices.


Not long ago a collaboration between an avante garde urban musical festival and climate change scientists would have been unlikely at best. But now FutureEverything, organisers of Manchester’s annual Futuresonic festival, and the Tyndall Centre Manchester, have produced a pioneering study into the carbon footprint that the festival leaves each year. With NWDA support, the venture is the first step in an on-going programme of climate change action and communication in the cultural sector, which is a major contributor to the regional economy. The study broke the festival down into parts rather than simply coming up with a headline figure for emissions. And while it is impossible to identify all carbon emissions, measuring the major polluting

components in a consistent way has created a workable benchmark. The findings showed that the bulk of the CO2 was generated by travel of both artists and visitors to the festival. This has allowed organisers to implement a number of changes, from simply encouraging greater use of public transport, to ‘virtual’ appearances by international artists who can harness modern media technology and cut out the need for CO2 producing airline flights. The report is also being developed into a user-friendly guide to measuring carbon emissions and a way in which organisers can quickly and cheaply monitor the emissions from their own events and begin to take steps to reduce them.

For further information:

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 17



Sustainable Communities WITH AROUND 6.8 MILLION PEOPLE LIVING IN THE NORTHWEST, ONE OF THE GREAT STRENGTHS OF THE REGION IS ITS DIVERSITY, BOTH OF ITS PEOPLE AND THE COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY LIVE. BUT THESE COMMUNITIES OFTEN NEED SUPPORT AND SOMETIMES EVEN RE-BUILDING IF THEY ARE TO ACHIEVE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL VIBRANCY. The NWDA has an active programme covering all the aspects which are essential to making communities sustainable, from housing renewal to the way in which people live together as neighbours; from the design quality of our cities and public spaces, to how we then look after them and encourage people to use them.

Elevation for the Housing Market Elevate is a government-funded Housing Market Renewal pathfinder, working on solutions to the problem of low demand and housing market failure in urban areas across Pennine Lancashire. It’s a project that is bringing innovation and real choice back to the housing market, by improving existing homes and stabilising neighbourhoods that have been hit by abandonment. It is also raising standards in the private rented sector and involving residents in developing local strategies. But these actions can only solve part of the problem. The NWDA has allocated £17 million over the next five years to enable Elevate to support the development

of businesses, alongside its direct investment in housing market renewal.

A new look at skills As the work of Elevate shows, sustainable communities are about more than bricks and mortar. As well as high quality design, they also need good governance, strong partnerships and excellent public services and delivering this requires professional and leadership skills. RENEW Northwest is the Northwest's Regional Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Communities, established by the NWDA to develop these very skills among the region's regeneration professionals – from highways engineers to youth workers, from community leaders to property developers. Central to this is developing learning opportunities to meet the 'on the ground' challenges that arise from delivering sustainable communities. An example of this would be Fusion the Pennine Lancashire Learning Laboratory, established jointly with Elevate and local partners in regeneration. Established to meet identified skills gaps, Fusion is part of a national programme supported by the Academy for Sustainable Communities.

In this way partnerships with public and private sector partners can help to improve economic prosperity, which can then continue to improve the environment, community safety, cohesion, educational attainment and health, making Lancashire a place where people choose to live, work, visit and relax. The NWDA is also contributing to ‘Dreaming of Pennine Lancashire’, a new image and branding initiative coordinated by Elevate. The project will see the creation of a new Pennine Lancashire brand and a number of signature projects, including a major visitor attraction dedicated to fashion and a series of new public open spaces.

Other recent successes include the delivery of a customised Common Purpose programme for emerging leaders from all sectors in the Northwest. The aim was to educate them about regeneration and developing sustainable communities, so they could play a more active part in leading and implementing change in the region. For further information:

At the start of the programme participants were asked to evaluate their own influencing skills - 53%

rated these as good; by the end of the programme this had risen to 91%. RENEW have also worked to bring together eight professional institutions involved with sustainable communities to deliver panprofessional Continued Professional Development (CPD). A national first, the programme is helping to ensure a more joined-up approach to delivering sustainable communities.

And finally, the Exemplar Learning Programme showcases projects that have made a positive contribution to the regeneration of an area, harnessing this expertise to spread good practice across the region.

For further information:

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 19



Sustainable Communities Sustainable Building Policy The Agency has adopted a Sustainability Standards for Buildings policy to increase the environmental and social benefits accrued through NWDA investment in the region’s built infrastructure.

Adoption of these standards will position the Agency as a leader in the sustainable procurement of buildings and infrastructure, thus helping the region to respond effectively to climate change and increase the sustainable use of resources.

The policy will stimulate innovation and improved performance in the region’s Construction and Environmental Technologies sectors.

The pilot has proved the impetus for a range of partners from housing associations, local authorities and bodies such as ENCAMS, with funding from the NWDA, to drive up standards in the region.

This was recognised in the Operation Eden pilot project, launched across Merseyside in 2004, which involved over 1,100 volunteers working on nearly 50 different projects, from allotment regeneration carried out by the Muslim-led Al-Ghazali Centre, to a stunning canal mural created by local churches in Bootle. Operation Eden is a communitybased environmental programme that works to improve local neighbourhoods by bringing together people who care about the social, economic, environmental and

spiritual welfare of the planet. It aims to demonstrate the role of faith communities as significant partners towards the development of sustainable environments to create areas where there is greater understanding and tolerance of diversity. A cleaner, safer, greener agenda ENCAMS’ North West Liveability Foundation pilot programme has a simple if ambitious aim - to begin the process that by 2012 will see the Northwest become the cleanest, safest and greenest region in England. The pilot runs until October 2007 and was developed after the region received repeatedly poor ratings in ENCAMS’ Local Environmental Survey of England, which, among other aspects, looks at the level of litter and grime on our streets.

Places Matter!

Places Matter! is a major new initiative from RENEW Northwest that is set to galvanise the quality of the region’s built environment and ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.

Operation Eden

Faith is an important part of many communities and in some cases the only source of social cohesion. The role faith can play in creating sustainable communities is highlighted in the Regional Economic Strategy, while the NWDA’s own research shows that faith communities are strongest in areas of highest social need.

Case Study

Aimed at the public, the campaigns include asking smokers to stub their cigarette ends and bin them, targeting irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pet, tackling the sticky issue of chewing gum and reminding fast food fans to bin their leftovers. Additionally street lighting in some of the pilot areas will be improved, street alcohol bans will be introduced and anti-social behaviour will be tackled. As part of the pilot, each local authority will be tackling separate issues before coming together to share ideas and resources as well as training their workforce to improve the cleanliness and safety of their areas. For further information:

Places are the essential fabric for where we live, work, learn and play. They are important in driving economic activity and in helping to determine quality of life. Over £24 billion of public money is spent each year on regeneration and economic renewal in the Northwest, and this programme aims to improve decision making and commissioning skills, as well as increasing awareness of high quality built environment design amongst clients and developers. Places Matter! consists of a number of complementary strands including a regional design review service for public and private sector clients and developers, which offers expert advice and aims to help improve the quality of commissioning and better end results. A major research project into the economic value of good design has been published and a two year dissemination programme is under way. The report clearly demonstrates the economic added value gained from implementing high quality design. Other activities include a schools’ education programme, a support and training network for public sector champions and decision makers, and a public realm good practice guide which is currently under development.

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 21



Conclusion FROM RECYCLING TARGETS TO LAND REGENERATION, HEALTHY LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO RENEWABLE ENERGY, AS A REGION THE NORTHWEST IS MAKING IMPRESSIVE STRIDES TOWARDS BECOMING TRULY SUSTAINABLE. But one factor underpins all of this work, and that is the move towards a low carbon economy. The Agency will continue to deliver initiatives that address climate change, while also delivering economic prosperity to the region. We will soon be introducing a new sustainable buildings policy that will crucially cover both new build and refurbishment. This will ensure that maximum energy efficiency is integral to the initial design, through both insulation as well as the use of alternative energy sources. We will also continue to support the work of region’s environmental technologies sector through centres of excellence like the Joule Centre and sector champions such as Envirolink. This will help universities and the private sector to work together, researching, developing and bringing to market the smart, low-carbon technologies we need. There will be a new emphasis on sustainable procurement too, from office supplies to building products, with procurement professionals retrained in how to create more sustainable supply chains within the Northwest economy. Through continued sustainable economic development, our goal is to make the Northwest a champion for tackling climate change and developing a low carbon economy, without damaging an energy sector that employs 50,000 people and contributes £5 billion to the regional economy. There is no quick fix on climate change. Actions, not words, are the key to tackling the likely impacts climate change will bring. Change will not happen overnight but, working together, we can safeguard the future of the region.

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 23



Northwest Regional Development Agency Environmental Policy Our aim is to contribute towards the delivery of sustainable economic development in the region and ensure that environmental objectives are integrated into business objectives of the NWDA, our partners and suppliers.

This document can be made available in the following languages: Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Somali, Urdu and Hindi.

We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint, with an emphasis on reducing our contribution to climate change, through the ongoing measurement and continual improvement of our environmental performance. We will conduct our own activities and operations to reflect best environmental practice.

Please contact the Marketing Department on 01925 400 100

Specifically we will: -

Comply with all relevant UK, European and International environmental legislative and regulatory requirements;


Achieve ISO 14001 accreditation by November 2007;


Demonstrate a high-level commitment to environmental best practice under the guidance of the Board Environment Sub Committee;


Ensure through our policies, programmes, projects and key stake holders, the Agency influences environmental sustainability across the economic agenda;


Quantify the NWDA’s environmental impact in relation to energy usage and waste production and establish annual reduction targets & publicise our environmental performance annually;


Implement continuous improvement through an environmental action plan


Ensure that all projects and programmes we fund incorporate environmental aspects in their development and are appraised for their environmental impacts through sustainable development appraisal;


Develop and implement a sustainable procurement policy;


Promote environmental awareness amongst employees through specific induction training, topic specific training and in house media;


Ensure good management practice by repeating an Environmental Audit of the organisation every two years with the next audit to be undertaken in 2008;


Review and revise this policy statement on an annual basis;

This document can be made available in large print, braille and audio tape. Please contact the Marketing Department on 01925 400 100

sustainable futures 2:Layout 1



Page 1

The Northwest Regional Development Agency PO Box 37 Renaissance House Centre Park Warrington WA1 1XB Tel: +44 (0)1925 400 100 Fax: +44 (0)1925 400 400

May 2007 NWDA H5-20