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Live Labs 2 blog - Greenprint (South Gloucestershire Council and West Sussex County Council)

Revolutionising Green Estate Management: Embracing Innovation for a Sustainable Future

Jean-Christophe Chassard, Project Manager for Greenprint gives an update on the project.

Welcome to the world of Live Labs 2 and the groundbreaking Greenprint project!

I'm thrilled to be part of an initiative that's redefining the way we perceive and manage our green spaces. Imagine a world where 'waste' becomes 'value', where roadsides teem with life and energy, and where local authorities work hand in hand to create a better future.

As a passionate advocate for change, I'm excited to share with you the partnership between South Gloucestershire Council and West Sussex County Council.  Together, we're embarking on a mission to transform the way local authorities across the UK manage their green estates.

Greenprint: transforming verge biomass into clean heat, power, alternative fuels and additives

So, what's the big deal about Greenprint? Well, let's break it down.

Greenprint is more than just a project; it's a visionary concept that's shaking up the way we approach green infrastructure management. By harnessing the power of innovation, Greenprint introduces a carbon-negative systems model for green estates.

Imagine mitigating operational emissions and turning the narrative around biomass from 'waste' to 'value’. This isn't just a pipe dream – it's the core goal of Greenprint.

But how does it work, you ask? The magic lies in the partnership's dedication to circular economy approaches. They're pioneering a system to collect verge biomass –that lush, green roadside vegetation– in a way that reduces costs, emissions and ongoing management efforts, all while boosting biodiversity.

This collected biomass is then transformed into clean heat and power, alternative fuels and even additives for asphalt and construction materials. It's a brilliant fusion of environmental consciousness and practicality that's set to redefine how we perceive and utilise highways operations.

A blueprint for sustainable transformation

The heart of Greenprint lies in its model, a blueprint for sustainable transformation. This model doesn't just aim to change how highways and waste are managed – it's all about delivering financial, environmental and social value while reducing carbon emissions.

It's about reshaping the role and value of our green assets and making sure that various service functions work together.

Let's talk about the nitty-gritty. The journey ahead involves some exciting milestones:

  • Carbon Model Innovation: The team is crafting a carbon model that monitors the entire life cycle of the Greenprint trial. This isn't just about reducing emissions – it's about 'insetting' them, finding innovative ways to offset and reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Whole Life Cycle Management: They're re-imagining how highway verge management is approached, integrating technology, plants, materials and logistics into a holistic whole life cycle management strategy.
  • Biomass Processing Technology Evolution: They're fine-tuning the biomass processing technology, exploring the potential of hydrothermal carbonisation, pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion to create direct applications in the local circular economy.
  • Economic and Benefits Case: By creating a compelling case, the team is setting the stage to extrapolate the success of the trial into various scenarios and options.
  • Environmental Impact Monitoring: Ensuring that this transformation is environmentally sound is a top priority. A fitting and robust environmental impact is in the works.
  • Influencing decision making and future regulation: The team isn't afraid to challenge the status quo. Bringing innovation to existing practices isn’t easy – we will share our story, helping to highlight whether there are ways in which the current legal and regulatory framework serves to either encourage or constrain the potential opportunities on offer.  
  • Blueprint for the Future: The ultimate goal – an operation manual that explains how to implement a similar project and make it ‘business as usual’ for other local authorities.

Progress so far

Progress is already underway. We've moved from the project start-up to the initiation phase.

Equipment for collecting verge biomass is being tested, ecological assessments are linking up with evolving biomass collection innovations, and partnerships are forming with both public and private R&D sectors.  

As an example, we look forward to collaborating with Ricardo, whose pyrolysis plant in West Sussex is expected to begin tests later this year.

The Greenprint initiative isn't just about innovation; it's about crafting a future that's sustainable, practical and inspiring.  It's time to turn the page on 'waste' and embark on a journey toward 'value' – not just for us, but for generations to come.

Further information


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