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Looking back on 2018

Thank you for reading Green Intelligence during 2018! Our next newsletter will be in your inbox on 9 January 2019. In the meantime, here’s a recap of the biggest stories of the year…

Thank you for reading Green Intelligence during 2018! Our next newsletter will be in your inbox on 9 January 2018. In the meantime, here’s a recap of the biggest stories of the year…

We published 271 Green Intelligence articles during 2018, all of which you can find on our online News Library. Below are some of the key themes that hit the headlines.

Plastic and packaging

2018 followed in 2017’s footsteps with more even scrutiny over packaging, particularly single-use plastics. In fact, ‘Single-Use’ was revealed as 2018s Word of the Year.

Recent polls have revealed such a strong public attitude towards unsustainable products and packaging that they surprised researchers and even put packaging above price as a major consideration for buying a product in future.

In response, major businesses have continued to announce goals to eradicate their use of unsustainable plastic, while Theresa May’s government has committed to “transforming the economics of sustainable packaging” with new policies announced in the 2018 Budget.

Air pollution

Poor air quality in our towns and cities also remained in the headlines throughout the year, with the government found guilty of flouting the law on the issue for the third time in as many years.

Tackling air pollution from vehicles has strong public backing and support from local leaders, especially as transport overtook energy this year at the UK’s biggest polluting sector.

Greater Manchester is one of the regions where air pollution has been found to be much worse than previously thought and is currently considering drawing up a new Clean Air Plan, which could include a charging zone for some vehicles.

City leadership

Despite Brexit overshadowing domestic policy, Theresa May’s government found the time for some new green initiatives during 2018, including a long-awaited 25 Year Environment Plan and the country’s first ‘Green GB Week’. However, it is cities that have shown the most leadership.

Here in the North West, Greater Manchester hosted its first Green Summit in March and the city of Manchester strengthened its existing climate change targets with a new aim to become ‘zero carbon’ by 2038. But it faces competition from old rival Liverpool, which announced its own ambitions to become the first city in the world to become ‘climate positive’.

Worsening climate change

At the global scale, the latest projections of global warming make for grim reading. Much more action is needed from both governments and businesses, scientists say, if the world is to hit its targets on climate change. Unabated, it could even take away our beer.

But the challenge also presents unprecedented opportunities for businesses that are forward-thinking enough to take them.

Success stories

Throughout the year we have been publishing case studies documenting local firms that are taking action here in Greater Manchester with our support, covering energy efficiency, sustainable packaging, innovative new products, green technologies and more. You can read them all in the ‘Customer Stories’ section here.

Here’s to a prosperous and green 2019!