SWM News April 2018 - One year on - the WMCA and sustainability
part of our support programme for the West
Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) I have been acting as interim
Head of Environment at the WMCA. Reflecting on the last year, I
consider the performance of the WMCA in relation to sustainability
which I recently reported on as part of the draft WMCA annual
review. My submission included:
good progress on clean growth showing a 21% increase in
economic productivity while achieving a 14.5% decrease in
carbon emissions using a 2010 baseline.
creation of a new Environment Portfolio holder and agreed set
of priorities supported by an Environment Delivery Board of
local partners coordinated and monitored by SWM.
Midlands Science and Innovation Audit
launched by the Mayor identified international strengths in
low carbon transport, buildings and energy. This was reflected
later in the year within the UK Government Clean Growth and Industrial strategies
and a successful bid to host the £80m UK battery research centre in
second devolution deal contained a commitment to recognise the
existing regional Energy Capital partnership, support an WMCA wide energy strategy and
Regional Energy Commission to
explore potential Energy Innovation Zones (EIZs) to pilot new
regulation and investment to stimulate new energy companies,
products and services.
with industry and local partners on air quality to begin to
develop a longer-term roadmap to go beyond short-term
compliance on a single pollutant and tackle a wider range of
pollutants to meet the Strategic Economic Plan’s 2030 targets
and stimulate local economic opportunities.
commissioned by Sustainable Housing Action Partnership (SHAP)
and the West Midlands Housing Officers Group to identify good
sustainability practice for new build standards for housing,
planning policies and methods of construction.
there is still much to do and in ‘Our Comment’ I identify the
priorities for the WMCA in 2018-19. The first progress meeting of
the WMCA Environment Delivery Board this May to review progress will help
the meantime, continued resilience, good humour, communication,
willingness for strategic partnership working and the ability to
build long term local capacity around sustainability are all
needed. This is what the board, staff and volunteers at SWM are all
about. Thanks to all our members, partners and supporters.
Without your help the WMCA would not have got this far on
sustainability, but more help is needed if we are to make a lasting
difference to our communities and businesses.
Simon Slater, SWM - Associate Director of Policy and Partnerships,
and WMCA Interim Head of Environment on
behalf of the SWM Team
31 May 2018. Veolia
Environmental Trust grants are for not-for-profit groups in
the vicinity of a Veolia site supporting natural, social and the built
March 2019. SMEs can
obtain free energy audits and 40%
grant funding towards energy efficiency measures in Greater
Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country areas.
food production: to meet
the growing food demand, the Government has announced £90 million of funding for
businesses, researchers and industry.
Research and Innovation:
a new fund will develop future smart energy systems
providing cleaner and cheaper energy. The first fund is worth
million is available to areas across England to protect homes from flooding,
boost the economy and the environment.
1 April 2017, we have promoted £600 million of accessible funding.
SWM and member events
Business and Environment Network (sben)
is running an Environmental legislation event
on 8 May focusing on Brexit.
SHAP Annual Conference will
be held on 15 May at Sandwell Council House
with a focus on improving the quality of the housing stock.
for West Midlands is
running events to promote its forthcoming Bikeshare scheme on 15 May in Birmingham and on 18 May in Wolverhampton.
is running an event
focusing on clean air zones and ultra-low emissions vehicles
in Derby on 17 May.
is running a breakfast
event to educate people about the possibility of using infra-red heating technology in
their businesses on 22 May.
Live 2018 will be
held at NEC Birmingham on 22 and 23 May;
be inspired by leaders and experts within sustainability. SWM
is an event partner.
Change Solutions is
running a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Showcase
at the University of Birmingham on 31 May.
will be convening the
latest Innovative Low Carbon Working Group meeting on 7 June in
partnership with the Innovation Alliance for the West
is running an environmental visit to
Staffordshire IT company Stone Computers, recipients of the
Staffordshire Chambers Environmental award, on 7 June.
European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) is
running a Value from Waste masterclass on 13 & 14 June.
Systems Catapult’s transforming
places through clean growth event is on 19 June to engage local
authorities in mapping future local energy.
in partnership with our member Fit for the Future Network is
running an event entitled
‘Biodiversity: Its role in sustainability and tackling climate
change’ on 12 July.
full list of our members is on our
SWM and member updates
and Encraft are
developing the energy strategy for Stoke and Staffs LEP and we
have recently run two stakeholder workshops.
and Groundwork have
produced their latest Environmental Legislation Update –
Volume 4 Issue 2 looking at Plastic waste and 2017
UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
searching for a new Senior Environmental Consultant
to join its team in Birmingham.
released a new integrated sustainability report,
helping consultancies to address the 17 UN Sustainable
offering businesses in Stoke-On-Trent and Staffordshire fully funded expert support on the
smart energy and low carbon economy.
has opened applications
for its Business Awards, which
showcase excellence in the Low Carbon and Environmental Technologies
LEVEL initiative is
offering a free online course to
provide knowledge of electric vehicle charging infrastructure,
procurement, installation and management.
has produced a document
for BEIS on what a heat network is and what are
the key benefits and opportunities of heat networks.
is recruiting for an Energy Policy and strategy consultant,
for which the closing date for applications is 8 May.
three West Midlands LEPs and the WMCA have opened the regional energy strategy
for consultation until 21 May.
West Midlands has a
variety of different job opportunities available and
information about them can be found here.
Country Council is
seeking a project manager to cover a
year of maternity leave to deliver the Low Carbon
Opportunities Programme supporting SMEs.
has been supporting North
Warwickshire and Hinckley College with its sustainability
agenda; contact us to find out how we
can do the same for you!
will be supporting
Staffordshire University’s GradEX event for the fifth
year running. This year’s celebration is on 4 May.
will be speaking about our
health networks at the NHS
Sustainability Regional Event in Birmingham on 8 May.
members can send their events, research or other contributions to email@example.com to be included in the
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advantages to SWM membership; find out
news and events
Wildlife Trust’s Annual
Corporate Event on 2 May reflects on the
Government’s Clean Growth Strategy and how businesses can
and Black Country Wildlife Trust
needs your help to protect local wildlife sites
due to the new changes in the National Planning Policy
Sustainable Estates Forum
for estates teams and suppliers
in higher education, healthcare, leisure, retail, commercial
and residential sectors is on 21 and 22 June.
for Cities has produced a document which
identifies six ideas for a more effective local industrial
Just is an online resource
that enables the identification of most socially vulnerable
people to climate change. It has just been refreshed!
waste: As the UK goes
through 13 billion plastic bottles a
year, a new scheme will be brought in late in 2018 to try and
reduce the extent of this waste.
A cycling and walking
safety event is being held in Birmingham on May 21, in line
with the Department for Transport’s cycling safety
Summer Showcase is a
marketplace event that brings together over 150 cleantech
developers and sustainable solutions’ providers in London on 14 June.
Heat Network Investment project is
moving towards the goals set in the Clean Growth Strategy,
with a Midlands Engagement event
in July 2018 likely.
GDPR: On 25 May, the Data Protection Act 1998 will
be superseded by the Guide to the General Data Protection
Regulation (GDPR). The basic premise is around a greater transparency
of what individuals' data is being used for, by whom and how. SWM
is currently on track to be fully GDPR compliant by 25 May. With
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