Today’s Solutions: October 19, 2021

Research has shown that it is possible for our world to be sustainable and profitable, but transitioning away from the fossil fuel industry requires the transfer of job skills. In England, this shift is already taking place with the growth of the green home retrofitting industry.

The Manchester Carbon Co-op People Powered Retrofit (PPR) project is focused on making the city’s homes more energy-efficient and training local workers to make these changes. The project is currently working on 60 retrofits, with a long waiting list, but their training program is even more impressive.

The initiative focuses on retraining tradespeople as well as informing passionate DIY enthusiasts on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from drafty homes. This includes seminars on using hemp and lime for insulation, installing heat pumps, and using natural ventilation methods.

Owners interested in boosting the sustainability of their homes can complete a £550 assessment with PPR which lays out recommended work and estimated costs for varying degrees of retrofitting. PPR then helps connect them with contractors to do the work.

Retrofitting a home is costly, but the demand is there and expected to grow as Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham announced £1.1m in funding for a retrofitting training program called Retrofit Skills Hub. Poorly insulated homes contribute an estimated 14 percent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so governments are eager to make the updates and homeowners stand to save big on heating bills with these upgrades.

As we green up our cities and our building codes, retrofitting jobs will become increasingly more plentiful to make homes and businesses more sustainable. This is just one example of the profitability of sustainability that we are already seeing in cities around the world.

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