Green Living: Why Bristol is One of England’s Most Sustainable Cities

In 2021 Bristol took the top spot as the most sustainable city in the UK beating the likes of Bournemouth, Cardiff, and Manchester. The study took into account a range of factors, including recycling rates, renewable electricity sites, and university sustainability ratings, with Bristol accumulating a table-topping score of 6.79 / 10.

Earning such a prestigious green accolade came as no surprise to many, as Bristol has attracted environmentally conscious and sustainable businesses and individuals for decades. Even the Soil Association, the Centre for Sustainable Energy and the Environment Agency are headquartered in the city, which in itself goes a long way to highlighting just how much of an impact Bristol is having on the environmental movement.

There are, of course, a number of reasons why the city has built and maintained such a highly-regarded green reputation.


For a start, Bristol is an ideally positioned city with excellent local, national and international transport links. Notably, the Good Transport Plan, which is designed to establish Bristol as a city where everyone can easily get around in ways that are affordable, enjoyable, and convenient. This scheme is supported by numerous members, including Bristol City Council, the Avon Wildlife Trust, the University of Bristol, and the Unite Union South West.

As part of this plan, the city’s Metrobus service, which operates right across Bristol, consists of a fleet of buses that emit 95% less nitrogen oxide than the previous fleet. In addition, let’s not overlook the fact that the National Cycle Network was born in Bristol, which highlights the popularity of cycling across the city.

Education and Innovation

Bristol is an academic centre of excellence as it is home to two leading universities, both of which attract top students from around the world. Bristol’s universities cumulatively offer more than 700 degree courses across numerous faculties, including engineering, life sciences, and the arts. With such a strong focus on both the sciences and the arts, Bristol is a hub of innovation, with companies looking to make a difference to the world all vying to attract top talent graduating each year.

Quality of Life

Bristol has a strong sense of community, which contributes to the excellent quality of life it offers its residents. In addition to an array of things to see, do and enjoy, there are plenty of eco-friendly homes and apartments popping up across the city, all with excellent energy-efficiency credentials that provide insight into what the new normal in residential and commercial construction could look like.

Not only is Bristol a genuinely beautiful city with a variety of different areas with their own unique vibe, but it is also surrounded by stunning countryside and scenic harbours which remind residents just how precious our natural world really is. You can even tour the river and harbour on a hydrogen-powered boat or ferry.

Avon Gorge is an official Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its rare flora and fauna, and there are more than 3,000 acres of Wildlife Trust-protected nature reserve sites, including Leigh Woods, Brandon Hill Nature Reserve and Bathampton Meadow, all of which are havens for a plethora of creatures including dragonflies, butterflies, and birds.

In addition, as the city is surrounded by and peppered with green and food growing spaces, Bristol is known for its vibrant food scene, with many local businesses ensuring that their practices and ingredients are sustainable and ethically sourced.

A Top-Down Sustainability Strategy

No city can maintain such a green and sustainable reputation without a top-down approach to its strategy. Here, politicians, industry leaders and businesses are all largely aligned when it comes to its unified strategic approach to environmentally friendly approaches.

For example, Bristol Waste is an independent company that manages the city’s recycling and waste in ways that encourage residents to waste nothing. Of the 160,000 tonnes of recycling and waste it collects every year, 75,000 tonnes is recycled or composted.

Additionally, Bristol City Council is keen to further the city’s reputation as a centre of sustainability and has implemented a Clean Air Zone, which is designed to help the city ensure that it meets Government-set pollution limits as quickly as possible. Under the scheme, which came into force in November 2022, all drivers of vehicles that do not meet emission standards must pay to drive within the zone. To enter the zone, drivers of private petrol and diesel cars, taxis, and light goods vehicles must pay a £9 daily charge. Coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles must pay a far higher £100 daily charge.

The city has also hosted several sustainability festivals over the years, including the Festival of Nature, the Big Green Week, and the Walking Festival, and was the first in the UK to be named as the European Green Capital in 2015.

At On The Dot Removals, we’re proud to live in such a wonderful and sustainable city as Bristol and even prouder of our reputation as an environmentally friendly company. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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