Myles Kitcher, Managing Director at Peel L&P Environmental looks at the importance of the green economy in a post-lockdown recovery.

After coronavirus passes, we know the world needs to be different. When it comes to the green agenda, there is a chance to take advantage of some of the low carbon gains we have started to see emerge while the world is on pause.

The pandemic has highlighted the link between economic growth and environmental impact – as the economy has slowed the environmental gains have been clear to see, with lower carbon emissions, better air quality and thriving wildlife.

However, bringing the economy to a halt is not the way we’re going to meet our legally binding net zero emissions targets by 2050. The priority should be on how we can build, back, better and build, back, greener.

We’re not starting from scratch. The clean growth agenda – how we can grow our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions – has been driving innovation for a number of years and nowhere is this truer than in Cheshire.

The county is home to a number of energy intensive businesses, including the largest concentration of advanced manufacturing and chemical production nationally, with the area around Ellesmere Port using around 5% of the UK’s energy. Decarbonising industry is vital to safeguarding and growing the high value jobs that make this region thrive.

Protos is an important part of the solution. Located right in the centre of Cheshire’s industrial heartland we have been working with partners to deliver innovative clean growth solutions. We have a windfarm and an operational biomass facility which, through the creation of a smart energy grid, could supply low carbon energy directly to industry. We’re also the home to the UK’s first ever waste plastic to hydrogen facility – due to start construction later this year – with the hydrogen to be used as a clean fuel for buses, HGVS and eventually cars.

Developing clean growth infrastructure should be an integral part of the Government’s recovery plan. This is more than just protecting what we have, clean growth also represents a huge opportunity. We can become world leaders in these innovative technologies, developing skills, jobs and a supply chain that will drive economic growth. It’s a win: win situation and here in the North West we’re poised to make it happen.

To discover the opportunities at Protos, click here.