Published date: 11 August 2022
Are you living in one of the UK's greenest cities?
From air quality to recycling champions, we've ranked locations on a range of different factors when it comes to the environment and sustainability, revealing the greenest cities in the UK.
Gas and Electricity Consumption
Leicester uses the least gas and electricity
Energy efficiency is key to tackling climate change. Reducing our energy consumption through measures such as switching to renewable energy sources, installing more energy-efficient appliances, improving insulation and using LED lighting all helps reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, it will help you save on bills, too!
Leicester is leading the way when it comes to cutting back on unsustainable energy consumption. At 190.9 kilotonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe), the city burns the least fossil fuels of any UK city. And even taking population into account, Leicester comes top of our energy efficiency list.
Bristol offers the best vegan dining options
With a famously eco-conscious culture, it’s no surprise that Bristol comes top of the list of vegan-friendly cities. For those avoiding meat because of the implications of farming cattle and growing crops in terms of harming the natural landscape and increasing carbon dioxide emissions, Bristol provides a wealth of vegan food choices. Local favourites include juicy burgers at Oowee Vegan, ‘vegan junk food’ at Vx, and highly acclaimed Michelin Guide restaurant, Root.
Enjoy guilt-free shopping in Bristol, which has the most zero-waste stores
Zero-waste stores are a relatively new concept, but they are sprouting up in major cities across the UK. These stores eliminate packaging waste by using eco-friendly options, such as plastic-free packaging and cardboard boxes, or by encouraging customers to bring their own reusable packaging containers.
Global Warming Activism
Manchester is most concerned by global warming
When it comes to spreading awareness about climate change, Manchester is doing its part more than anywhere else in the UK.
Mancunians have already seen first-hand the impact of global warming after the area experienced flooding in February 2020 and January 2021. The city’s residents, alongside groups like Manchester Climate Change Agency, are now on a mission to raise awareness and take steps to combat climate change, and this is reflected in their online presence and activities combatting climate change.
Bristol has the best air quality score
Vehicle emissions, fuel usage and manufacturing by-products can all lead to poorer air quality, which in turn affects our health and that of the natural environment. The IQAir index aims to combat this, ranking cities across the world on their air pollution score, with 1 being the best score and 100 the worst.
The UK cities we analysed score well in the IQ Index, with none scoring higher than 30. But the overall winner is eco-hub Bristol, with an impressive score of 2 in the IQ Index, thanks to innovative measures such as the city’s carbon-neutral Voi scooters and actions towards introducing a Clean Air Zone in November 2022.
Manchester is the least wasteful city
We’ve spoken before about the incredible ways recycling and reducing waste helps the planet. But which city comes out top for reducing its landfill waste?
Manchester has an extensive recycling program, providing plenty of accessible recycling centres across the city. Thanks to this alongside its eco-conscious residents, the city produces the least waste of any UK city.
London offers the most parks and green spaces
You might think of London as an urban jungle, but don’t be deceived: the capital actually offers a higher percentage of green space than any other major city in the UK. Using satellite imagery of different locations, we created a unique analysis of the percentage of green space vs. buildings, revealing that more than a third of London is green space!
This includes Richmond Park — the largest park in London, at 2,500 acres — and London’s most famous park, Hyde Park, right in the centre of the city.
THE RESULTS: What is the greenest city in the UK?
Manchester is the UK’s greenest city in 2022
Manchester’s proactive approach towards tackling climate change makes it the greenest UK city in 2022. The city comes first or second place for almost every metric we researched, showing its dedication to reducing landfill waste, preserving green spaces, and minimising its carbon footprint. And Manchester doesn’t plan to stop there: according to the city’s Five-Year Environment Plan, Manchester will be carbon neutral by 2038.
Help your city be greener with eco-friendly packaging supplies
Whether you live in one of the UK’s greenest cities or not, you can do your part to support the sustainability movement, including by choosing eco-friendly packaging options. Whether you’re moving house or running an e-commerce business, Challenge Packaging offers sustainable packaging options delivered straight to your door, with no minimum charge. Browse our online store today.
Cities were ranked on each metric, with 1 being the best and higher numbers being worse. These rankings were then added to reveal the best city overall.