As we face the decline of our natural environment, data shows that tackling climate change, air quality, biodiversity loss and plastic pollution needs to be a priority. As public concern for the environment and climate grows, urgent action is needed to drive necessary change. The new Environment Bill provides a comprehensive legal framework for environmental improvement, but how will ethical partnership help create a greener future?
The Environment Bill establishes the structure for long-term environmental accountability and governance, with measures to form a coherent system and making the government’s approach to environmental improvement transparent yet ambitious.
Improving our air quality.
Poor air quality is among the greatest environmental risks to our health, and whilst there has been considerable progress in recent years to clean up the air we breathe, this needs to be improved further if we are to achieve the goal of clean air for all. One way that ethical partnership are working to improve the air quality within our urbanised areas is by working increasingly on projects such as new rail stations and refurbishment of existing stations, logistics hubs and on the planning aspects of road developments. As an environmentally-conscious business, we seek to do so in a way that means the public will benefit from these projects, with a minimal environmental change. We have a track record of researching the ways in which new technologies can be integrated to minimise pollution and energy usage. We hope to work more on planning projects that enable us to provide more cycle lanes, in turn helping to protect the environment and reduce congestion around busy areas.
Restoring and enhancing our green spaces and natural environment.
Following numerous public consultations on conservation, biodiversity net gain and England’s trees and woodlands, the Environment Bill highlights the commitment to deliver environmental policy that will make a difference in local communities, both urban and rural. Through the Bill, the introduction of a mandatory approach to biodiversity net gain requires developers to ensure habitats for wildlife are enhanced, with a 10% increase in habitat value for wildlife compared with a baseline taken at pre-development. At ethical partnership we are committed to reversing the effects of climate change through biodiversity net gain and pride ourselves on how the work we do benefits the natural environment – the 10% increase should be seen as a minimum, not a target!
Resource and waste management reforms.
The use of materials is at the core of our economy and they allow us to grow economically. However, the current way we use and manage our resources is is unsustainable. The traditional ‘linear’ economic model of ‘take, make, use, throw’ has led to needless waste piling up, causing significant environmental damage. We are glad that the new Environment Bill is focusing on minimising waste, maximising resource efficiency, and moving towards a more circular economy. New legal powers will allow government to set resource-efficiency standards for products, driving a shift in the market towards products that are lasting, can be recycled or can be repaired. We know that many businesses need to shift towards better waste management, not only to save money and the environment but to ensure they comply with their Duty of Care. We offer comprehensive and effective waste audits to ensure that businesses comply with their Duty of Care, an area we are keen to expand to ensure that we all move towards a circular economy. You can find out about other ways that businesses can help reduce their effect on climate change by reading about our ’10 P’s campaign, working alongside the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to provide business owners with concise information about working towards ‘net zero-emission.’
The Environment Bill can be found here on the UK parliament website.
With such as vast range of experience, no planning consultancy is better suited to tackle climate change as we are. We are happy to work with local authorities, businesses and developers to ensure that all elements of the planning process make the essential impact to meet the Government’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 in fitting with the new Environmental Bill. Contact us to find out how we can help. You can also find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with everything we do!