Where are the most and least eco-friendly cities in the UK?

Bristol outperformed all other cities with regards to carbon emissions, recycling rates and gas consumption.

Bristol is the most environmentally-friendly city in the UK, whilst Birmingham has been named and shamed as the least eco-friendly, a new study has revealed.

The research, conducted by Good Move, ranked UK cities based on a variety of sustainability factors, before taking an average score to produce a leaderboard.

Bristol came out on top in three of the five ranking categories, outperforming all other cities with regards to carbon emissions, recycling rates and gas consumption. The city’s residents recycle or compost almost half (47%) of their household waste – 6% more than anywhere else – and Bristol is the only city in the UK to consume less than 3,000 kw/h of gas a year.

Such habits saw Bristol crowned the UK’s first-ever European Green Capital in 2015 and Good Move’s research shows this sustainable culture is still flourishing.

Edinburgh took second spot, mainly due to the large areas of publicly available green space. With 49 hectares, Edinburgh has more than any other UK city. Interestingly, another Scottish city – Glasgow – came second in this category, with 32 hectares.

Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford completed the top five most environmentally-friendly cities.

At the other end of the scale, Birmingham was named the least environmentally-friendly city, largely because of its poor recycling and emission statistics. Brummies only recycle 22% of their waste – the lowest in the UK – and only London, which came in second place, has worse carbon emission and gas consumption figures.

In fact, the capital produces more carbon emissions (29,709 tonnes) and consumes more gas (61,546 kw/h) than the other nine major cities combined.

Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool also ranked amongst the least eco-friendly cities in the UK.

Ross Counsell, director at Good Move, said: “The world is finally waking up to the dangers of climate change and the impact that our lifestyles are having on the planet.

“Our research has highlighted which UK cities are particularly guilty of being unsustainable, while also praising those who are taking steps to address the issues. However, progress can only be made if the country works together as a whole, making informed changes on a national scale.”

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