City environment cluster seeks to build green future

The coin has dropped in Peterborough, where business leaders have recognised that building a strong reputation for environmental industries will pay dividends for the city's economy in the long run.

More than 100 leaders of Peterborough’s environment cluster- the group of local businesses and agencies involved in environmental products, technologies and policy – met last week to drive forward company growth and sustainable policies for the city.

Opportunity Peterborough, the organisation responsible for promoting the sustainable growth and redevelopment of the city, invited people to the Environment Summit to learn about the benefits of creating a hub of companies based upon environmental technologies and services.

The event was officially opened by local MP Stewart Jackson and the keynote speech was given by renowned scientist and businessman Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool, former chairman of Shell.

Lord Oxburgh told people at the meeting: “Climate change caused by human activity is a real phenomenon. We have to take action now to prevent things getting worse for our children and grandchildren.

“I am delighted to congratulate Peterborough on this initiative today which will make a contribution to combating global warming and help to position Peterborough as a leading city in the world-wide campaign to improve society’s environmental performance.”

He said there was an opportunity for companies, even small ones, to exploit growing markets for environmental goods and technologies which will help to tackle climate change.

It was a message repeated by Jonathan Selwyn, chief executive of the Centre for Economic and Environmental Development (UK CEED), who reported on research which predicts that the already massive international market for environmental goods and services is set to grow by 45% in just the next eight years.

He said that Peterborough companies are well placed to exploit this growth because of the city’s environment cluster.

“Peterborough has the biggest concentration of environmental goods and services companies and organisations in the UK,” he said.

“We have recently carried out a new study of the cluster here in Peterborough and found that there are almost 300 companies and organisations which together employ more than 5,000 people.

“We believe the future is bright. Peterborough has a head start and is well placed nationally to be the UK’s leading provider of environmental solutions. The sector is thriving.”

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