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ACE News

04 NOV 2019


New EIC report highlights challenges for cities' green ambitions

Written by ACE sister organisation, the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), Strategy to reality: Getting smart cities to deliver for the environment, analyses 12 global cities and the extent to which they are capitalising on the potential of smart environmental opportunities.

Cities that have recorded 2020 emissions targets though the Carbon Disclosure Project are on average still 47% short of meeting those targets. The report also looks at city recycling rates and air pollution.

While all 12 cities had comprehensive environmental strategies, aside from smart energy management initiatives, they only has one other smart environmental initiative on average. Worryingly, the report also revealed that the proportion of smart initiatives that are focused on environmental problems (23%) has not increased over the last five years.

The report argues that siloed approaches in city governments, compliance-led environmental policy making, difficulties of developing business models for smart environment innovations and procurement methodologies all play a part in poor adoption rates for smart environmental technologies.

Michael Rudd, co-chair of the EIC smart cities taskforce, said: “Since 2014, environmental issues have become ever more prominent, with many cities around the world now having net zero targets and setting ambitious goals across topics such as resource use and the circular economy. Development of bespoke smart and digital strategies has become increasingly commonplace.

“Yet despite many individual smart environmental initiatives, it seems that in most cities, smart strategies consistently underplay the value of smart green tech. There are different reasons for this, which the report explores, including the distinct drivers for environmental policy compared to, say, transport, and public procurement systems which are often unsuited to capturing the innovation we see in the smart environmental world.”

Download a copy of the report from the EIC website.

The report was sponsored by AECOM and Bird & Bird.