Budget 2018: Investment in green spaces generates real business benefits
In reponse to the Chancellor pledging £60m in spending to plant trees in both urban areas and the countryside in today’s Budget, Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community comments on how putting a value on the natural environment is not only about doing the right thing, but also generates real business benefits as a result.
Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community, said:
“Today’s announcement is a further indication that policy for the natural environment is changing. In the 25-year environment plan the Government set out an intention to use ‘public money for public good’ to be delivered through the environment. There is a huge opportunity for business to not only do the right thing by collaborating with stakeholders such as government and local authorities to increase green spaces in the UK, but also see a healthy return on this investment.
“We are particularly pleased to see a focus on trees for urban environments. By using green rather than grey infrastructure, we can harness multiple social, environmental and economic benefits such as air quality, flood mitigation, wellbeing, property value and carbon capture. The beneficiaries of these values include water utilities, the NHS, insurance companies, local authorities and housing developers, creating an opportunity for co-investment around a shared landscape.
“The opportunity is clear for a value driven approach to environmental goods. The challenge now lies in how to capture and finance such programmes. We hope that the measures included in the budget will provide opportunities to develop long term, sustainable partnerships between national and local government, businesses and communities to build and maintain trees and green spaces for the future. The value of future programmes will be defined by understanding the outcomes they deliver, for whom they deliver and the value placed on these outcomes.
“Moving to a value driven approach will require a systems change in how we manage the environment. We will need new frameworks for governance, financing and models for collaboration that enable us to tackle shared challenges together. This approach will enable us to bring nature back into our lives, creating green urban spaces, flourishing farmland and resilience to climate change. We must recognise the value that our natural resources provide for society, the economy and the environment.”
Notes to editor
For interviews with Gudrun Cartwright, please contact Katherine Howbrook on 07515 119 096 or at Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org
About Business in the Community
Business in the Community, part of the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is a business-led membership organisation made up of progressive businesses of all sizes who understand that the prosperity of business and society are mutually dependent. We exist to build healthy communities with successful businesses at their heart.