Bristol becomes beacon of best practice for sustainable cities at COP21

The UK's first and current European Green Capital, Bristol, is encouraging other cities across the continent to 'go green' as it shares an online toolkit at the Cities and Regions Pavilion within the COP21 climate conference.


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Bristol, which is co-hosting the Pavilion during the Paris talks, is offering COP21 delegates a free online toolkit called ‘The Bristol Method’, which highlights and documents what Bristol has learnt from its time as Europe’s Green Capital.

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said: “The people of Bristol have worked incredibly hard over the last decade – and particularly during 2015 – to make this city more sustainable. As part of our year as the European Green Capital we pledged to make it easy for other cities to emulate our successes and learn from our challenges.

“I am delighted that the Bristol 2015 team and partners have created this invaluable online resource full of straightforward advice, based on our direct experience, which we will share with others at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.”

The Bristol Method covers a range of subjects including energy, resources, transport, food and nature, highlighting how other cities can use these topics as a way to kick-start greater resource and energy efficiency,

Currently, there are 24 documents available on the toolkit, with more to be added every week. Bristol wants to ensure that it leaves a valuable and beneficial legacy as its time as the European Green Capital comes to an end.

European standard

Commenting on Bristol’s offering, Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director General of the European Commission, said: “One of the reasons Bristol was chosen as this year’s European Green Capital was because we believed the city could inspire change far beyond its city walls.

“Bristol has done this by creating an invaluable repository of initiatives on how to tackle many of the sustainability challenges faced by cities across Europe and the rest of the world with the Bristol Method. This toolkit will provide a powerful legacy of the city’s experiences as Green Capital of Europe.”

As examples of Bristol’s green revolution, the city recently announced savings of £1m after installing 20,000 LED streetlamps across the city, reducing carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes in the process. Last week, the city also announced that it could soon be home to a fleet of a 130 ‘poo-powered’ buses after a successful pilot project earlier this year.

And last month, the city played host to a Business Summit, where DIY retailer Kingfisher and flat-pack furniture maker IKEA both indicated a strong desire to move towards the sharing economy and servitisation, as a “natural progression” of their business models. 

Matt Mace

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