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Survey says: Bristol is most sustainable UK city

Cities and towns can be among the most challenging places to develop ‘green’ awareness but a new survey names the most eco-conscious regions in the UK. 

Four criteria were used by researchers:

  • Recycling rates
  • Air quality
  • Parks per 100 000 people
  • Google searches for key terms

The consumer comparison website,, used the criteria to conclude that the top 10 cities or large towns making the world a greener place were:

  1. Bristol, England
  2. Edinburgh, Scotland
  3. Belfast, Northern Ireland
  4. Cardiff, Wales
  5. Manchester, England
  6. Northampton, England
  7. Aberdeen, Scotland
  8. Glasgow, Scotland
  9. Bolton, England
  10. Swansea, Wales

Individually, Cardiff and Swansea lead the recycling index, although that is not surprising given the commitment to recycling by the Welsh government which boasts one of the best records in Europe. Nottingham has the best air quality while Luton has, on average, more parks and Bristol’s citizens are more likely to search for key terms ‘recycling centre’ or ‘electric cars’, based on a survey of 2000 adults.

Each of the UK’s four nations were represented in the top five but the capital London came in at number 26, scoring poorly on all factors.

‘It’s clear that the climate, renewable energy and sustainability is a huge focus right now – and so it should be. We should all be putting combined effort into finding the best eco-friendly solutions,’ says Peter Earl, head of energy at

He adds: ‘Surrounding ourselves with green space and changing our actions towards energy is a way to improve wellbeing as well as having benefits for the environment and future living circumstances.’   

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