Sustainability in Sunderland Tops UK Rankings
Sunderland, a sister city of the District of Columbia, ranked first for climate change policy planning and second for the ecological footprint in the UK’s The Sustainable Cities Index 2010, an index ranking the 20 largest British cities. The Sunderland Strategy 2008-2025 sustainability policy, strategy and action plan to mitigate climate change focuses on business start-ups, waste regulation, and biodiversity. The Sunderland City Council said social and economic progress in the city must not be achieved at the expense of the environment,” which echoes Earth Day Network’s Global Day of Conversation 2011 theme of growing a green economy.
The plan, which sets a mission to turn the city into the most “livable city in the UK,” has already created more green jobs through recycling facilities, and green school design and construction. Sunderland is also the sole producer of the new electric vehicle, Nissan Leaf, bringing hundreds of jobs fueled by clean energy. It sees other great potential for economic growth through measures such as active biodiversity management and a more effective waste regulation system. The key to progress is accountability, thus Sunderland has an annual Sustainability Audit to measure and compare its performance with the nation.
Global Day of Conversation 2011 is a great opportunity to initiate dialogues with your local officials about where your city stands and what it is doing to harness a sustainable economic future. Audit your city’s sustainable measures by starting a community conversation this Earth Day!