Business

Glasgow comes third among most green places to live and work in the UK



Several Scottish cities have ranked highly in BNP Paribas Real Estate’s top 10 list of green places to live and work outside of London.

Cambridge tops the list, followed by Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Exeter, Bristol, Dundee, Reading, Leeds, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

The ranking was generated through the property asset manager’s Next X modelling system, which analysed 30 metrics and more than 5,700 data points across 95 locations.

Next X looked at aspects such as supply of environmentally friendly office space – BREEAM rated – in these locations, as well as ultra-low emissions vehicle usage and access to electric vehicle charging stations. It also reviewed supply of cycle parking spaces at rail stations and air quality at these places across the UK.

Outside London, the number of BREEAM-rated office buildings is highest in Manchester, followed by Glasgow, Newcastle and Birmingham.

Growing evidence, suggests that sustainable offices are retaining both higher rental and investment values. Locations with strong supply of certified green offices are therefore more likely to attract both businesses, talent and investment.

Gary Cameron, head of Scotland at BNP Paribas Real Estate, said: “It’s really encouraging to see Glasgow doing so well, but not a surprise in my view – the city has been positively transforming itself from its industrial heritage and perceived ‘gritty’ image into a modern cosmopolitan city.

“The legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the major City Deal commitments are now supporting some of Scotland’s largest regeneration projects, transforming large parts of what was previously considered undesirable areas.

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“As Glasgow prepares to welcome COP26, it is positive to see that the city council continues to be on the front foot when it comes to tackling aspects like air pollution – the city low emission zone, which will ban polluting vehicles entering the city centre from 2023, is well ahead of most regions.”

He pointed out that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are now dominating corporate occupier focus when looking for their next workspace.

”In contrast to some competing constrained cities, the regeneration and availability of sites in Glasgow is allowing occupiers to deliver best in class new green spaces for its workforce – evidenced very clearly by the commitment from Barclays, JP Morgan, Virgin Money and Morgan Stanley committing to over 1 million sq ft of new best in class workspace.”

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