Sustainable Growth

Empowering the economic development of the West Midlands whilst encouraging environmental improvement

Target 1:  By 2030, increase GVA per head by 40% from 2019 levels

Target 2: By 2030, sales in the Low Carbon Goods and Services sector will reach £40 billion.

Why this theme?

The sustainable and inclusive economic development of the region is essential. The West Midlands is one of three trailblazing regions to publish its Local Industrial Strategy which includes low carbon technology, energy and clean growth as sector strengths with the draft Low Carbon Sector Action Plan recently being released.

The Low Carbon & Environmental Technology sector is expected to grow dramatically in response to the need to decarbonise our economy. The sector is expected to grow by 11% per year between 2015-2030 across the UK, which is  four times the growth rate of the UK economy overall.  In the West Midlands, the Low Carbon and Environmental Technology sector is a small but rapidly emerging part of the economy.

We will work with our existing members who operate in the low carbon goods and services sector to scale up activities and share good practice.

In April 2020, we changed the baseline for this target to 2019 from 2020 as a result of the likely skewed data that will have been established as a result of the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Events related to Sustainable Growth

News related to Sustainable Growth

Development of the target

Target 1 focuses more on the even distribution of economic growth across the region (i.e. ‘per head’) rather than absolute growth.  Developing this target has been carried out primarily by reviewing both national and local strategies. In particular, we looked at the UK Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy , the Local Industrial Strategy and Strategic Economic Plans. Updated data are available annually via the Office for National Statistics.

Target 2 is new for 2021 and has been derived via analysis into the Midlands’ Low Carbon Goods and Services Sector, published in April 2021. This study analysed the state of the sector in great depth and SWM was directly involved, leading on stakeholder engagement. Consultants kMatrix carried out the data analysis, and it is with their advice that we are able to establish this new target which gives us a strong ambition to accelerate sales in the LCEGS sector by 2030. kMatrix believe that this target is not only realistic, but necessary in line with Net Zero targets. In 2019/20, sales were just over £18bn, so essentially we need to see more than double this by 2030 to meet the target. We aim to liaise with kMatrix annually to monitor the progress we’re making as a region against this ambition.

What our Members are doing

The West Midlands Combined Authority works with our Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to achieve social, economic and environmental aims. The West Midlands is the largest economy outside of London and continues to grow. Read about the work the WMCA is doing to ensure the West Midlands remains an economically strong region.

Ricoh is a long established organisation with sustainability embedded in everything they practice. An example of how they’ve done this would be Comet Circle. In 1994, they established the Comet Circle, their own circular economy model. The Comet Circle explains their approach to reusing parts and recycling materials within the organisation and across their wider economic activities, supplier network and product lifecycles.

Other members leading on the theme of Sustainable Growth