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Leading the way to net zero in the West Midlands

UK and Europe 24 January 2020

Cundall’s Birmingham team were proud to host the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for the launch of the #WM2041 report on Thursday 23 January.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands attended the launch, along with more than 40 representatives from businesses, local authorities, climate change organisations and young people, as the WMCA called upon local residents and businesses from the West Midlands to have their say on what they feel should be done to tackle the climate emergency.

Following the WMCA’s declaration of a climate emergency last year, the document contains 74 potential actions that businesses, councils, the WMCA and residents could take to limit the impact of climate change and achieve carbon neutrality no later than 2041. These include:

  • Expanding electric vehicle charging points across the region
  • Developing more eco-friendly homes, including introducing a zero-carbon standard for new build homes
  • Ambitious tree-planting programmes including one tree planted for each resident, and plans for a national park, building on the work of Birmingham City University
  • Exploring plans to introduce LED street lighting across the region
  • Ambitions to create the UK’s first Gigafactory in the West Midlands

In his opening remarks, Mayor Andy Street advocated a collaborative approach from the community and highlighted some of the strides the region has already taken in the journey toward net zero, including increased use of public transport. He also demonstrated how the economy can grow whilst cutting carbon emissions.

Robert van Zyl, Partner at Cundall and Regional lead for Birmingham, said:
“Sustainability permeates through every aspect of Cundall, achieving net zero carbon is a huge part of that, and we are fully committed to supporting West Midlands Combined Authority as we work together with the wider community to create a low-carbon economy in the West Midlands.
“The built environment contributes to 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and we see tremendous opportunity for us as built environment specialists to help the region achieve its goal of reaching net zero carbon by no later than 2041.”

Tim Stidwill, Partner at Cundall presented on the evening and commented:
”It was a great honour to host the WMCA for the launch of the #WMCA2041 report. The event highlighted the importance of everyone within the region playing their part in tackling the climate challenge we are currently facing.
“At Cundall we are resolved to meet this challenge and we are delighted to stand with the Mayor and those across the West Midlands to do so.”

As a founding signatory of the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Commitment, Cundall is committed to leading the way and has named 2020 as the #YearofNetZero. This starts at home, and by June 2020 all Cundall offices globally will be carbon neutral. Once this is achieved, the practice will continue along the path to being 15 per cent carbon positive by 2025.

Earlier this year, Cundall also announced its resolution to collaborate with industry bodies to revolutionise the built environment’s approach to net zero. The business will work alongside the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), the UK Green Building Council, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) to help unify the industry and define targets for achieving net zero carbon in both new and existing buildings. They will then lobby to set these targets in legislation ready to showcase to the world at COP26 which is taking place in Glasgow in November.

Click here to get involved with the WMCA public engagement.