Client: Birmingham City Council, 2020-2021


    The council has declared a climate emergency, reflecting the fact that climate change will have direct consequences for city residents, business and public finances for decades to come. The city council asked Inner Circle to support its internal team to establish a portfolio of projects that would help reduce its carbon emissions.

    Informed by an assessment of carbon emissions across Birmingham, Inner Circle helped the city create a Route to Zero (R20) programme, produce a business case for investment and technical work packages to research and develop a range of carbon reduction measures. The work programme ranged from heat and energy networks, urban forest to capture carbon, electric vehicle charging points and hydrogen bus pilots.

    The city council is one of the largest landlords in the UK, responsible for 65,000 homes. But the housing stock is a large net contributor to the city’s carbon emissions and the city council needs to improve the thermal efficiency of its housing stock to reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy bills, improve the quality and experience of residents and support transition to a zero carbon city.

    The council had a small number of limited retrofit projects in place. We realised rapid scaling up was necessary and needed adjustments to scope, delivery models and financing models. Inner Circle is assessing the business case for a far more ambitious project – the Whole House Retrofit Pilot (WHR) Project – for 300 homes using the “Energiesprong” new build standard and funding approach and determining the extent to which it can be applied to the council’s entire social housing stock of some 65,000 properties.


    Our Impact

    • Established a clear, prioritised portfolio of carbon reduction measures
    • Progressed research and development work on a range of technical projects
    • Secured £1m investment to progress further carbon reduction measures
    Library of Birmingham.


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