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#reuse written in colourful graffiti showing a workman wearing high visibility jacket and trousers


Our strategic priorities for business and investment in Bristol are focused on supporting businesses to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, we are  promoting digital innovation, action to become a carbon neutral and climate resilient city – including investment in the low carbon sector – and attracting new and established businesses into the region. We all need to radically rethink how we live, work and invest in the city. As a city that leads on responsible production and consumption, we can develop new business models centred on sustainable consumption, reduce waste and develop a circular economy.

Bristol is leading by example in taking action on climate change. We were the first UK city to declare a climate emergency, setting goals to become carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030, outlined in the One City Climate Strategy. Since 2005, Bristol has been delivering a wide programme of energy efficiency and investment initiatives, investing tens of millions of pounds in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency.  No wonder we were awarded European Green Capital in 2015.

  • Committed to becoming carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030
  • Take action on climate change to become a fair, healthy and sustainable city for all


We have an exciting opportunity to address the challenge of climate change while delivering new homes, reducing inequalities, and creating a city with more green spaces, places for our children to play, cleaner air, jobs and opportunities for all.

The Bristol One City Climate Strategy is a call to action, set across 10 key themes.

The strategy set out the measures and investment needed in sustainable infrastructure and services in the city.

There is huge potential for investment in both sustainable infrastructure, the decarbonisation of businesses and private homes and sustainable transport, either by the City Leap Programme, or other private sector investment vehicles.

Measure No. of units Investment (£m)
Heating networks 68,000 buildings £1,950m
Individual building heat pumps 96,000 buildings £580m
Insulation retrofit 73,000 buildings £650m
Roof-top solar PV 350 MW up to £625m
EV charging infrastructure For 120,000 vehicles £175m
Sustainability infographic

Avonmouth Severnside and Portbury Circular Economy

A circular economy zone across Avonmouth Severnside and Portbury, as part of the One City Plan, is aiming to be an exemplar zero waste programme by 2040. We will do this by establishing a circular economy hub to provide a centre for innovation in waste and resources management and re-use and building partnerships with other port city industrial areas in the UK and Europe. It will align with the Council’s Waste Strategy and aim to optimise existing processes as well as innovate. It will also further develop the local energy generation and supply network by making we can use of the many energy sources (solar, wind or waste heat) in the area.

A quarterly circular economy forum convened by SevernNet, with support from Bristol Port, brings together businesses across different industrial sectors and other stakeholders to share knowledge and expertise, and provides a platform to discuss resource flows and encourage adoption of circular economy practices.

The area is already home to many leading energy and materials companies, such as GENeco, Accolade Wines, Etex Performance Systems and Suez Energy Recovery Centre.

Strategic Alignments

To ensure plans are values led, the development plans for transport sits within wider strategic aims including the One City Economic Recovery and Renewal Strategy. This project aligns with our ambitions to make the city centre a key destination for work, leisure, tourism and investment, key to our sustainable development goals.

One City

Clean Air Zone

Clean air is our absolute priority. And clean air starts at home. By working together we can achieve a cleaner, safer Bristol for everyone. Building on the changes in working and travelling patterns during COVID-19, our approach to clean air focuses on creating and promoting effective sustainable travel options for people and businesses and implementing a Clean Air Zone.

Focused on the city centre we will introduce a charging zone for older, more polluting commercial vehicles and some private cars would pay to drive in the zone.   This will create additional demand for electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Strategic Alignments

Business and Investment

SDG: 8.4, 9.2, 9.4, 12.7, 6.3, 8.4, 12.4, 12.6, 12.7, 14.1, 14.2, 15.1, 15.2, 15.9

Making the city centre a key destination for work, leisure, tourism and investment
SDG: 5.3, 11.2, 11.3, 11.7

Accelerate infrastructure investment to create the conditions for equitable and sustainable growth SDG: 9.1, 11.2

Graphic showing a mixture of sustainable transport such as bicycles, buses and cars

Sustainable Food City

The food system is responsible for around 30-40% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

For many years Bristol has been committed to being a sustainable food city, and in 2021 it became only the second city in the UK to achieve Gold Sustainable Food City status

Such an accolade would open the door on a decade of change, placing food firmly on the agenda as we rebuild a more resilient city in the wake of the pandemic, and lay the foundations for building a diverse, inclusive and resilient food community that can make real change by 2030.

Bristolians across the city are getting involved with the Bristol Bites Back Better campaign, using and sharing resources that make it easier for us all to understand why and how we can support local, reduce food waste, cook and grow food for better health and wellbeing, and grow Bristol’s food movement.

Becoming a Gold Sustainable Food City is aligned with Bristol’s One City Plan.

Strategic Alignments

Support business investment in the green/eco/biodiversity sector, including green/eco innovation and technology SDG: 8.4, 9.2, 9.4, 12.7

Image of a heart shaped covered in soil in hands


City Leap

City Leap is a transformative project to build a city-wide energy system – representing a huge step towards a cleaner, greener Bristol. This series of energy and infrastructure investment opportunities will create a healthier and fairer city for all our residents, and help to create jobs, maintain our economic competitiveness, de-carbonise the city, build strong partnerships and empower people to take their future into their own hands.


Strategic Alignments

Support action on climate change and ecological recovery through businesses development

SDG: 8.4, 9.2, 9.4, 12.7

SDG: 6.3, 8.4, 12.4, 12.6, 12.7, 14.1, 14.2, 15.1, 15.2, 15.9

SDG: 2.4, 6.3, 8.4, 12.2, 14.1, 15.1, 15.2, 15.5, 15.6, 15.9

Image of windfarm with wind turbineand solar panels

Bristol Waste

Bristol Waste’s goal is to help all communities recycle more, throw away less and waste nothing. In partnership with the council it runs the recycling centres and a commercial waste service, and is launching workplace services such as cleaning and security. Any surplus generated is reinvested back into the City of Bristol so the whole community can share the success.

The company employs more than 600 local people who together clean over 800 miles of streets and footpaths, operate 180 vehicles and collect 185,000 tonnes of waste and recycling in 17 million scheduled collections every year. Sending 47.4% of waste to be recycled makes Bristol the number one core city for recycling.

Re-use is also part of the vision, by diverting good quality, pre-loved items from the waste stream and get them into the hands of people who can use them. In June 2020 Bristol Waste opened its first reuse shop at the Avonmouth Reuse and Recycling Centre, with a second planned in South Bristol.

Strategic Alignments

  • Support business investment in the green/ circular economy /biodiversity sector
  • SDG: 8.4, 9.2, 9.4, 12.7
  • Increase and improve the green and low-carbon skills offer
  • SDG: 4.3, 4.4, 4.7, 8.4, 12.8
Credit: Bristol Wasterecycling centre showing crushed up cans and plastics

Contact the team

Economic Development Officer

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