Trafford Park key to reaching carbon neutrality

Trafford Park key to reaching carbon neutrality

Trafford Council has unveiled an ambitious green plan for Trafford Park, which will set the borough well on its way to becoming carbon neutral by 2038 while establishing the park as a beacon for sustainable business.

The Greening and Low Carbon Trafford Park studies, which were presented to the Council’s Executive Committee last week, look at how to bring a more natural environment into the industrial park while significantly cutting its carbon emissions.

If the range of interventions highlighted in the studies are introduced emissions could be reduced to net zero taking it from over 700,000 tonnes of CO2 to less than 50,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted each year, between now and 2038.

The park is the largest industrial site in Europe and responsible for over 50% of all Trafford’s carbon output.

Trafford Council commissioned consultants Arup, Siemens and the Trafford Park based environmental charity Groundwork Greater Manchester to carry out the two detailed studies, which support the delivery of the Council’s Trafford Carbon Neutral Action Plan and its corporate priority of addressing our climate crisis.

The studies were commissioned following a successful bid for external funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and include recommendations to:

•            encourage active travel to and from the park by converting disused rail lines into green routes for pedestrians and cyclists

•            deliver a park-wide renewable heat network

•            install 2,600 electric charging stations/ points for electric vehicles

•            improve energy efficiency across Trafford Park businesses

•            generate green energy as a significant power source

•            improve the infrastructure of the park while making it more attractive to businesses.

Leader of Trafford Council, Cllr Tom Ross, said: “The next phase in Trafford Park’s evolution should be for it to lead the way in sustainability and climate change. We want to harness its rich industrial history and spirit of entrepreneurship to make it a beacon for green businesses and a catalyst for sustainable green jobs.

These are ambitious plans, but the sizable reduction in carbon emissions we are aiming for will benefit the users of Trafford Park as well as the wider borough, providing cleaner air for all.

We know taking this forward will require strong partnership work, but I believe it is well within our capabilities. We owe it to future generations to find a way to succeed.”

Carl Ennis, CEO of Siemens UK and Ireland, said: “Projects like this are a vital step for the UK’s net zero ambitions. As one of Europe’s leading industrial hubs, Trafford Park now has an opportunity to lead the way and be an example of what the public and private sector can achieve together in reaching net zero.”

Peter Webster, Associate Director at Arup, said: “We are all aware of the importance of the transition to net zero. An industrial park that has low-carbon and green infrastructure design principles at heart is going to be really important in terms of retaining and attracting businesses who want an environment that is attractive and a location that employees can access in a sustainable, safe and cost-effective manner.”

Deborah Murray, Executive Director of Groundwork Greater Manchester, said: “We are delighted to see the plans for action that have resulted from these two important studies, and fully support the proposed programme of enhancements that will create a greener, cleaner and more sustainable environment for businesses, employees and visitors to Trafford Park.”

At its recent meeting the Council’s Executive committee agreed to see a prioritised list of green interventions developed for both studies, guided by the Trafford Climate Change Commission.

Research will now be carried out to identify potential funding sources and lever investment for delivering the green plans, which will require a significant financial investment across Trafford Park by 2038.

Posted on Thursday 23rd March 2023