There's been a bit of a misconception about Sheffield for a while - our out of date nickname 'The Steel City' doesn't really help, because it give the impression of being the antithesis of green and sustainable.
That's why we were delighted in November 2021 to be credited as being the UK's greenest city as part of NatWest and the University of Southampton's 'Green Cities' report.
The press release from NatWest explains that in the Report, with lead input from Professor William Powrie, the UK's 25 biggest cities by population were analysed and ranked using a range of environmental data. Seventeen criteria were considered and weighted, with cities ranked based on their scores of six overall categories: green space, energy use/production, motor vehicles, waste and recycling, commuting travel and pollution.
Sheffield ranked highly on several criteria including size of green spaces and green energy production. Thanks to 22,600 acres of green space (the equivalent of 155m2 per resident) and a high volume of renewable energy production (71MWh/1,000 people annually - second only to windfarm-central city of Hull), the city scored particularly well in key areas. Residents of Sheffield also use a relatively low amount of energy per person compared to other cities and have a high percentage of ULEZ vehicles.
Sheffield has already taken big steps towards our goal of becoming a net-zero carbon city by 2050 and we have won several awards for our ‘Grey to Green’ scheme - the largest planned retrofitted sustainable urban drainage scheme in the UK which converted former dual carriageway into greenspace and seating, a cycle route and generous footways while also improving the area’s resilience to flooding.