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Greener Cities

The Manchester Climate Change Partnership is supporting the city’s sustainability ambitions.


When you imagine a ‘green city’ what do you see?  Luscious green spaces and blooming vertical gardens? Tree-lined pedestrianised walkways? More bicycles than cars? 

Manchester is a brilliant example of a city that's striving to go green and we're supporting clients working to create sustainable buildings and green spaces.

Deloitte’s North-West office is proud to support the city's ambitions, as part of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership.

The spaces we live in can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing, social cohesion and even how long we live. So it’s good news that, all over the UK, energy is going into re-imagining our cities with sustainability in mind. 

One city leading the way is Manchester. Famed for the football clubs, music and culture that make it one of the most visited cities in the UK, it’s on a journey to becoming one of its greenest too.

Listed in the top 30 cities in the 2022 Global Liveability Index, it’s also been named an A List city by the CDP for taking bold leadership on environmental action, putting in the top 12 per cent of cities across the globe in 2022.

“It’s great to see Manchester recognised in this way,” says Deloitte’s financial advisory partner Simon Bedford.

According to Simon, there’s no perfect recipe for a climate-friendly city.  But creating the right conditions starts with tying its sustainability and economic ambitions together.

“Creating greener cities makes them catalysts for growth. Building green public spaces and sustainable infrastructure in a place that has culture, affordable housing and increasing work opportunities draws in talent and creates thriving local economies.

“As is often the case, it’s about bringing the right people together and providing leadership around ambitious strategies and targets.” 

“Seeing what’s possible inspires further change – and some of the recent developments in Manchester, whether urban regeneration or new, sustainable buildings, shows this happening.”

Bringing people together

Limiting a city’s greenhouse gas emissions and building resilience to a changing climate takes focus and leadership from a range of expertise. In Manchester’s case, this comes in the form of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership (MCCP).

It’s formed of 24 members representing 80 organisations and 45,000 employees from across the city's public, private and voluntary sections – from sustainable construction to smart technologies and green energy to name a few. And with Manchester council also a member of the partnership, it has targets to reduce the city’s direct emissions by 50 per cent by 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2038.

To reach this target, exciting plans are in place to make every inch of the city accessible by bike, foot or public transport, bring unused sites back to life, and build new, more efficient buildings.

“Sustainable buildings are a big part of this vision,” says Deloitte’s Michael Percival, who manages the MCCP sub-group advising on sustainable building and planning and leading net-zero planning policies for the entire city.

“Much of our built environment wasn’t designed with sustainability in mind. But we can change our approach by planning for new buildings to be greener. That’s what our role on the MCCP is all about: helping to make sure new developments consider the environment, and social factors more broadly.

“Being an active member of the partnership gives us insight into the challenges of delivering net-zero carbon development across a city. From finance and funding to technology, we can share this insight with others on a similar journey and help apply to ground-breaking projects all over the city.”

"By bringing a diverse range of voices and expertise together, the Partnership plays a vital role in this shared action for Manchester making progress towards a zero carbon, healthy, green, socially-just city where everyone can thrive."

Mike Wilton
Mike Wilton, Chair of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership

“Making cities greener makes them catalysts for growth. Building green public spaces and sustainable infrastructure in a place that has culture, affordable housing and increasing work opportunities all act as draws for talent and creates thriving local economies.”

Simon Bedford
Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte

Co-op Live

In east Manchester, next to Manchester City’s stadium on the Etihad Campus, Co-op Live offers a £365 million investment into the area. It is a joint venture between Oak View Group (OVG) and City Football Group, alongside investors including Harry Styles, and Co-op as naming rights partner. Together, they set out to create one of the world’s most sustainable arenas.

“Co-op Live aims to set an example of how the city should continue to grow sustainably and work towards Manchester City Council’s climate objectives,” says Co-op Live executive director and general manager, Gary Roden.

“As well as being climate friendly and built using local suppliers, important goals for the project include generating significant local operational and construction jobs. Alongside a positive economic impact of £1.5bn, Co-op Live will also raise at least £1 million annually through the Co-op Foundation for national and local causes.”

Jennifer Chatfield, senior planner, real estate advisory at Deloitte adds: “Our role on the project has been supporting OVG with the coordination and submission of the planning application for the arena and the ultimate aim is for Co-op Live to achieve the higher BREEAM accreditation – a standard for sustainability credentials that allows comparison with others.

“It’s been brilliant to work on the project since its initial planning stages, and watching it take shape. This will help to create both a cultural and sustainable hub for the city, contributing to Manchester’s wider sustainability commitments.”


What makes the Co-op Live arena so sustainable?

#1 The setup

The arena is 100% electric and is decked out with innovative energy efficient features like LED lighting, air source heat pumps, 10,500m2 of solar panels, and a 2,791m2 green biodiversity ring. There’s smart heating, cooling, and ventilation, and there will be no waste to landfill. Harvested rainwater will be used to flush the toilets in the building.


#2 The material


Local materials have been used in the build as much as possible to reduce travel emissions, pollution and energy consumption.


#3 The accessibility


As a major venue at the Etihad Campus that will be attracting thousands of visitors, Co-op Live has great public transport links. Significant investment in walking and cycling routes, alongside a beautiful green outdoor space and 240 bicycle parking spaces keep the surrounding areas safe for pedestrians and cyclists.

Mayfield Park

Mayfield Park is a new, luscious oasis that’s blossoming in the heart of Manchester, with over 100,000 plants, flowers, and trees. But it didn’t occur by chance.

Opened in September 2022, it’s built on a former dyeworks site that was unused for decades and it’s Manchester’s first public park to open in over 100 years. Now it’s been brought back to life as part of the MCCP’s regeneration scheme.

The river Medlock flowing alongside the park has been uncovered and rejuvenated, new wildlife and wetlands are encouraging biodiversity. And paying homage to the site’s former heritage, and with a circular economy mindset, reclaimed and repurposed bricks salvaged from the 1960s warehouses have also been incorporated in its design

“Mayfield has become an exemplar of brownfield regeneration – and with nature at the heart of the park’s recovery, it’s set the tone for how the rest of the city’s development should move forward in the future,” says Michael.

“It’s a great example of businesses and the public sector working together to help bring tangible benefits to a city.

“Hearing Manchester’s leaders talk about the jobs Mayfield has created and its potential to support growth and a better quality of life for the communities it benefits is exactly the kind of feedback that planning teams want to hear.”

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