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23 April 2007
Green is good for the economy

Investment in the local environment is returned with interest in benefits to the local economy, new research by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and Groundwork has concluded in a report published today.

Click here to download a summary of the report: The contribution of the local environment to the local economy [PDF : 97KB]

The study found that simple interventions, such as improving landscaping, security and lighting around shops and businesses, checked local economic down turn and led to greater economic resilience.  As a result businesses relocated to these areas, jobs were created and more customers visited.

The research is the first to measure the impact of the local environment upon the local economy. Previous studies have examined only specific aspects of the economy and the environment, such as increases in property prices and tourism.

Neil McInroy of CLES said, "We found that the wider economic impact of environmental improvements far outweigh the cost to the public sector of the initial investment.  In fact that investment often levered in considerably more private investment.  Without that vital kick-start the economies would have continued their downward slide. 

"Like the Stern Review's conclusion, the economic cost of not taking action is greater than the economic cost of doing so."

Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Groundwork said, "This confirms what we'd all suspected - that making our towns and cities cleaner, greener and safer is good for everyone.

"In recent months we've seen big businesses starting to examine their green credentials and pledge to reduce their carbon footprints.  Improving the environment is not only important in it's own right - to address the global issue of climate change but this research shows it also has immediate impacts closer to home."

Researchers examined four case studies and concluded:

The research also found that further research, further testing the methodology and examining the best way to measure the impact, should take place in the future.

Media enquiries to Daisy Powell on 07703 535841 or Graham Duxbury on 07701 3403086.

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