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CITIES CONTINUE TO MISS SMART ENVIRONMENTAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Environmental Industries Commission’s (EIC) latest report analyses the extent to which cities are capitalising on the potential of smart environmental opportunities. The report finds that:

  • Cities face huge challenges to deliver their environmental ambitions.  Cities that have recorded 2020 emissions targets though the Carbon Disclosure Project are on average still 47% short of meeting those targets.  The report also looks at city recycling rates and air pollution.
  • There is a disconnect between cities environmental policies and their smart city strategies.  Of 12 cities analysed, while all had comprehensive environmental strategies, aside from smart energy management initiatives cites only on average had one other smart environmental initiative.
  • The proportion of smart initiatives that are focused on environmental problems (23%) has not increased over the last five years

The report finds that a number of factors holding back the adoption of smart environmental technologies, including:

  • Siloed approaches in city governments
  • Compliance-led environmental policy making
  • Difficulty of developing business models for smart environment innovations
  • Procurement methodology

Executive Director of EIC, Matthew Farrow, said:

‘Many cities face entrenched environmental challenges: low recycling rates, poor air quality and a struggle to meet emissions targets.  We need to leave no stone unturned in the battle to clean up our cities, and despite the enthusiasm for the smart city agenda, smart environmental applications have real potential that is not being fully utilised.  Cities need to join-up their smart strategies with their environmental ambitions and look again at their procurement practices’.

Notes to editors

A copy of the report can be accessed here

EIC is the main trade association for the UK environmental services and technology sector.  http://eic-uk.co.uk/   Its smart cities initiative is supported by AECOM and Bird & Bird.  http://www.sustainablesmartcities.org/