Thank you for reading Green Intelligence during 2017! Our next newsletter will be in your inbox on 10 January 2018. In the meantime, here’s a recap of the biggest stories of the year…
Despite a turbulent General Election and the continued spectre of Brexit leaving little room for fast progress, 2017 ushered in several key events for green business.
Here’s the plan
The government’s long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy, originally due in 2016 and finally published in October, sets out a blueprint for government action into the 2020s, while the new Industrial Strategy places ‘clean growth’ firmly at its heart.
There is even support from leading cabinet members for a green makeover of the UK post-Brexit.
One issue that has been stuck at the top of the green agenda throughout the year is air pollution.
Following a High Court defeat in 2016 on the lack of action being taken to rein in illegal levels of air pollution in towns and cities, the government finally published a major Air Quality Plan in July. The headline is that the reign of diesel vehicles is coming to an end.
The worst performing areas now have to produce plans for ‘Clean Air Zones’ by March 2018. Meanwhile, car manufacturers are already moving away from the combustion engine as low emission alternatives become increasingly popular, and the government has set its sights on putting the UK at the forefront of electric vehicles.
Welcome to the future
Another recurring theme of the year has been the overhaul of the UK’s energy system. As the grid is increasingly dominated by intermittent renewable energy, steps are being taken to give consumers and businesses an active, two-way role in the system - a “smart energy revolution”.
Forthcoming changes mean that businesses will benefit by helping the grid balance out peaks and troughs in demand through reducing energy use at key times or exploring the huge opportunities presented by demand response and energy storage.
Plastic not fantastic
The government has confirmed that it is considering a tax on single-use plastic packaging, among other measures.
Throughout the year we have been publishing case studies documenting firms that are taking action here in the North West, covering simple quick wins, eco-friendly products and packaging, cutting-edge machinery, factory transformations, and many more.
If you would like to re-visit more of the 247 articles we published in 2017, you can find them in our searchable News Library.
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