Cities Going Green at Velocity

A new study from Bionic, the business energy experts, has revealed the cities across the world that are going green the quickest, as nations try to combat the rising impact of climate change.

Auckland ranked as the fastest city in the world going green - see where others ranked! 

Many countries are taking action to reduce their own emissions and become more resilient to the climate impacts we are currently facing. With this in mind, the business comparison experts at Bionic, have conducted a new study that has found the top cities around the globe going green at velocity - and Auckland ranks top!

Bionic looked at the most populated cities across the globe and scored them using 13 different metrics. These included pollution levels, electric vehicle uptake, renewable energy usage and more to discover the cities going green - keep reading to find out where in the world this is happening the fastest!

The top 10 cities going green at velocity - worldwide

RankingCityLand covered by forestLand covered by forest change since 1990Air quality levelPercentage of energy that is renewableCO2 (footprint Mt CO2)Beef and buffalo (cattle) meat consumption (tonnes)

Poultry consumption


Milk consumption


Plastic waste per year (tonnes)Predicted percent of worlds mismanaged plastic waste 2025Ozone concentration parts per billion 2015Ozone concentration change since 1990Number of available sustainable jobs per 100,000Index out of 100
1Auckland37.60%6.00%935.40%5.9 ±2.534,43557,485226,784177,314.000.0067%353.00%21.6178.1
2Stockholm68.70%>-1%13242.24%9.1 ±4.440,73427,872572,94226,996.500.0016%46-2.00%43.6676.0
3Lyon31.50%20.00%4311.73%6.7 ±3.140,45640,019421,707121,506.500.0013%57-2.00%10.2470.8
4Copenhagen15.70%18.00%11230.16%11.4 ±4.734,77439,706379,93722,347.500.0023%502.00%30.0770.8
5Dublin11.40%69.00%3015.45%9.2 ±4.225,50932,429366,565179,059.200.0050%482.00%8.670.6
6Cologne32.70%1.00%3317.48%69.6 ±17.116,95322,137294,140196,267.700.0007%550.00%98.7770.0
7Brussels22.80%3.00%106.94%10.2 ±5.529,02926,687498,27457,521.900.0018%5410.00%42.3869.2
8Warsaw31.00%7.00%746.18%13.4 ±5.35,83254,374368,57964,192.700.0019%55-2.00%27.8167.7
9Milan32.50%26.00%10816.29%30.4 ±9.649,00259,457777,480151,548.700.0037%74-9.00%15.1162.9
10Montreal38.70%>-1%3727.64%28.3 ±7.477,533166,870803,003128,111.700.0022%57-2.00%9.6662.1

Auckland is the world’s best city for going green at velocity, research shows 

Auckland comes out on top scoring a whopping 78.1 out of 100 in the index! Auckland is one of New Zealand’s major cities and 37.60% of the area is covered by forest, a figure that has grown by 6% since 1990. The energy used is 35.40% sustainable and there are 21 jobs in the sustainability industry per 100 people. 

Auckland is certainly a city moving in the right direction, lowering its carbon footprint to 5.9 metric tonnes and the air quality level score is 9 (0-50 is good, 150+ is not good) - the lowest of all top 10 cities analysed. 

Stockholm in Sweden ranks as the second-best city followed by Lyon in France

Stockholm ranks as the second-best city in the world going green the fastest, with a mighty 68.70% of the city covered by forest - proving how green Stockholm is! 

This capital city is leading the way for climate change controls with 42.24% of all the city’s energy being sustainable -the highest percentage in the top 10! By 2025, it’s predicted Stockholm will only contribute 0.0016% to the world’s waste plastic total, a figure everyone should be looking to emulate!  

Scoring an impressive 70.8 out of 100 in the index, Lyon rounded off the top three cities in the world going green at velocity.

 Lyon has seen its forest grow by 20% since 1990, one of the highest percentages in the top 10 and that’s just the start of its journey to becoming a more sustainable city. The quality of the air in this French city sits at 43 and by 2025 they’re predicted to only contribute 0.0013% of waste plastic to the world’s total - a great city to look up to! 

Bionic experts have pulled together 5 top tips on how businesses can be more sustainable 

There are simple things business owners can also do to become more sustainable and Bionic has compiled their top tips to make businesses more sustainable! 

Scrap the plastic

Ditching plastic is a priority in the workplace! As a small business, try to ditch plastic bags and replace them with reusable or paper alternatives, as it will make a huge difference plus it sets a great example that others will hopefully follow!

The UK plastic bag charge came into force in 2014 to put a 5p price on all plastic bags and since the scheme began, the use of plastic bags has slashed by a whopping 80%!  

Create a green team

Employ staff that will create a team of people in charge of keeping up with sustainability! 

If you don’t have enough staff for a ‘green team’, just get ideas from any employees on what will help make the business more environmentally friendly. For example, if you run a florist, offer customers one point each time they reuse a plastic plant pot and after ten points they receive a gift. Rewards tend to go down great, creating loyal customers and making them think about how much plastic they’re using.

Go green with marketing

Collectively, small changes can make a big difference! Post photos, videos, tips and tricks to show how you support going green!

When using social media you can run Twitter, Facebook or Instagram campaigns that focus on the importance of going green. By using social media, you might inspire people to be more environmentally friendly and change the way they do things.

Know how to recycle in the workplace!  

Always make sure to include an extra bin for recycled waste in the workplace! 

Try and encourage staff to be mindful about recycling. This could be a fun training day for staff so they know all about recycling and what you can do as a business to improve. 

Embrace a green workplace

Add plants around the workplace for a continuous reminder that going green is great!  

It might not seem like much, but adding plants or any greenery to the office will bring it to life. The more plants in the office means more oxygen produced but overall brightens the working environment, helping employees happiness and productivity!    

You can read the full report here.


About Bionic

Bionic is a comparison service for business, a one-stop shop for all the essential services SMEs need. Bionic’s tech-enabled experts match business owners with tailored business energy, insurance, connectivity, and finance solutions from their panel of trusted UK providers, suppliers and products.


For the index, data was used to determine which cities in the world and the UK were going green at velocity. This study was based on data from OurWorldInData to determine percentage of countries covered by forest and the change in forest coverage since 1990, percentage of energy each country uses which is renewable, average amount of cattle, poultry and milk each city consumes, plastic waste per year and the amount of the worlds mismanaged plastic waste each city is accountable for and the Ozone concentration + the Ozone concentration change since 1990. Data was also used to find the air rating and CO2 levels in each city. Data from Indeed to find which cities have the most open sustainable jobs advertised. Data was gathered, and ranked accordingly and of an equal weighting to give a fair outcome on which city is going green at velocity in the UK and Worldwide.