Clean Air Zone: How Might Manchester Businesses Navigate The Upcoming Environmental Scheme

Clean Air Zone: How Might Manchester Businesses Navigate The Upcoming Environmental Scheme

The condition of our environment has become a pressing concern for many, with changing climate conditions beginning to pose significant challenges to the way we live and co-exist with our planet. In combination with a push towards the government-mandated drive to reach carbon neutrality by 2038, being eco-conscious has begun to frame everything we do, including how we conduct business.

Manchester has taken these environmental concerns seriously, with their introduction of an upcoming environmental scheme rooted in improving air pollution on Manchester’s roads. As a city with extensive transport links, this has become a matter of urgency for Manchester City Council. The ‘Clean Air Zone’ proposes a charge on polluting vehicles that travel in the Zone, if they exceed emission standards.

These standards are most exceeded by larger commercial vehicles, which therefore poses a financial risk to businesses. However, there are ways Manchester businesses can navigate this upcoming environmental scheme, becoming more eco-conscious themselves, without taking a hit to profits.

Implement an EMS

As organisations are increasingly expected to adapt their business strategies to a more sustainable framework, it’s important that businesses look towards environmental management systems. Although increasing sustainability and hurting your business were once thought to go hand in hand, this simply isn’t true.

Implementing an EMS inspires creativity and revolution within your business, as you look to improve environmental performance on a systemic level. Sometimes, the changes needed to be made are surprisingly little!

For example, if you operate a haulage business throughout Manchester, and the vehicles you currently employ exceed the parameters of the ‘Clean Air Zone’, explore where your energy use and transportation costs can be cut down. As the government has recently provided £120m to help eligible drivers in Greater Manchester switch to compliant vehicles, see if you come under this umbrella. You could opt for hybrid vehicles as the new way to deliver goods or go fully electric.

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Unfortunately, there’s no ‘loophole’ when it comes to our environment. However, there is adaptation.

Compliance with new environmental schemes, of which there are sure to be several more introduced, doesn’t stop at our roads, either. There are over fifty green businesses that operate in Greater Manchester from technology to manufacturing, restaurants to retail and more. To achieve this status, these businesses have maximised their resource efficiency and their contribution to the local economy.

Take heed of green organisations in Manchester such as Green Growth, geared towards helping SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in navigating the upcoming environmental scheme. This is a reputable impartial support programme, in which you can pledge to reduce your carbon footprint and operating costs. By sustaining these pledges, your business can offer a brilliant contribution to a new, eco-friendly approach to commerce.

Commit to upgrading your equipment, using recycled products in the office, reducing waste as much as possible: adapting to a new environmental scheme doesn’t have to completely dismantle your business operations, but improve them.

If you’re unsure how to navigate these measures in your current workplace, consider a change. Environmental schemes are being introduced everywhere, including multiple Clean Air Zones. One such area is Birmingham, which too has a Clean Air Zone. Serviced offices in Birmingham have everything you need to facilitate eco-friendly practices at work, like recycling and reduced transport emissions, and they can be found in similar central locations across the UK. Because they have waste-friendly processes, a central location that can be attended without vehicle transport, and are created with the latest eco-conscious materials, this is a much better home base for your business to navigate the upcoming years of intense, eco-focused schemes.