Cape Town most sustainable city in Africa

15 Jun 2022 in Where We Govern

The City of Cape Town has been rated as the most sustainable City in Africa according to the Corporate Knights Sustainability Cities Index report released today, 15 June 2022.

On Wednesday, 15 June, the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment accepted the award and participated in the inaugural Corporate Knights Sustainable Cities Index Virtual Global Launch. Alderman Eddie Andrews participated in a City Leaders Panel alongside leaders from various other cities around the globe.

Alderman Andrews was interviewed on the Sustainable Cities Index City Leaders Panel with the focus of the discussion on how cities are taking sustainability to the next level.

‘This rating speaks volumes of the City of Cape Town’s tireless efforts to incorporate its resilience and other sustainability strategies throughout the municipality’s departmental plans and practices. This is the only way we will ensure that our city remains sustainable, irrespective of the additional pressures we face.

‘I was the proud representative of the Most Sustainable City in Africa on the City Leader Panel today, where I emphasised that I believe the way we plan, design and manage Cape Town is key to our environmental sustainability. As a starting point, I advised that it is critical for cities to develop context specific and evidence-based sustainability policies and strategies as we have. Alongside this, environmental sustainability has to be integrated into broader, high level city policy and frameworks for real changes to occur within a municipality,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Andrews.

The 2022 Sustainable Cities Index is composed of 12 quantitative indicators of environmental sustainability performance. For each of the indicators, the necessary data points have been collected, either from public data sources or directly from the cities themselves.

Air quality, emissions, solid waste generation, climate change resilience and sustainable policies are the most important indicators that are measured.

The inaugural Sustainable Cities Index includes 50 populous cities and mid-sized cities. Some of the cities included on the Index are Johannesburg, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Beijing, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Istanbul, London, Madrid, New York and Sydney.

The City’s draft New Term of Office (NTO) Integrated Development Plan (IDP) (2022-2027) and Spatial Development Framework for example incorporates a major focus on building a sustainable, climate resilient; and resource-efficient city. However, in order to ensure sustainable outcomes are realised, the sustainability strategy must be effectively implemented, operationalised and aligned with service delivery.

‘The greatest opportunity for cities is to prioritise actions that support the green economy, where decent green jobs are created and resilience to future socio-ecological shocks (such as climate change) are improved. The natural resources managed by cities provide significant assets that can be leveraged to facilitate appropriate and sustainable development. Natural assets provide social benefits in the form of recreational, educational, and tourism opportunities. In this regard, Cape Town has piloted and implemented various green jobs and environmental fiscal reform initiatives,’ said Alderman Andrews

The Sustainability Cities Index is a new ranking mechanism that Corporate Knights have produced. The Index is the world’s first crowd sourced interactive sustainability index for cities that will be published annually with quarterly updates. The ranking is based on publicly disclosed data such as the:

  • C40 Knowledge Hub
  • CDP Cities,
  • International Association of Public Transport
  • REN21
  • World Bank
  • UN Habitat Urban Indicators Database.

The Methodology is based on 12 key indicators, namely

  • Scope 1 Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG)
  • Consumption-based emissions,
  • Air quality
  • Open public space
  • Water Access
  • Water Consumption
  • Vehicle Dependency
  • Road infrastructure efficiency
  • Sustainable transport
  • Solid waste generated
  • Climate change resilience
  • Sustainable policies.

Corporate Knights is an award winning sustainable economy magazine, which produces research, rankings and reports on corporate and financial rankings on corporate sustainability performance, among others.