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Environment, Energy and Infrastructure

Environment, Energy and Infrastructure in the UK

One of the best places in the world to invest in renewable energy, the UK also offers significant supply chain opportunities and high returns on investments for any business – whether in the traditional or emerging energy technologies sectors. The UK is committed to building a sustainable energy future, with regulatory and financial support measures to protect and provide attractive incentives to inward investors.


A skilled and experienced energy labour pool of more than 600,000 people has grown up over many years to support the sector, with clusters spread across the UK, including within the Thames Valley.


Discover more at Invest in Great.


Described as one of the UK’s, and Europe’s, best-connected locations for business, the Thames Valley boasts excellent transport systems and a series of major investment improvements underway, ideally located on the doorstep of London with easy access and good transport links.

In the UK…

Construction output is more than £110 billion per annum, contributing to 7% of GDP.


A quarter of construction output is public sector, with three-quarters generated from the private sector.


The industry accounts for approximately 3 million jobs, which is the equivalent of 10% of total UK employment.


Output in infrastructure grew 3.6% in the three months to April 2019, with public new housing also experiencing strong growth in the same period, increasing by 4.7%.


The Thames Valley benefits from close proximity to the UK’s only hub airport – London Heathrow – providing outstanding global connections and access to markets across Europe and the rest of the world.

The Government has confirmed its commitment to supporting expansion at the airport, proposals that will have a significant impact on the future economic growth and prosperity of the region and wider South East. Up to 40 new direct long-haul destinations will be served, alongside eight new domestic routes.

Heathrow’s position as the UK’s largest hub airport means it is able to combine direct passengers with transfer passengers, along with international cargo – which make its global network of trade routes viable to fly. As such, 95% of all trade that passes through Heathrow is cargo carried in the belly-hold of passenger planes.

TVCC, in line with its commitment to maintain the momentum behind delivering the airport’s expansion, will be responding and welcoming business to share their responses to help guide and inform our own submission and ensure that we are consistent in highlighting key issues.


For more information, click HERE.

Heathrow’s Trade Tracker (2020)

The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), carried out research on behalf of Heathrow Airport finding that:


Heathrow is the UK’s biggest port with over double the trade value of the UK’s second-largest port by value, Southampton.


In 2019, the total value of trade passing through Heathrow to and from destinations outside the EU and Switzerland was £140.9 billion, up from £109.5 billion in 2018.


UK exports passing through Heathrow were worth £66.7 billion, equal to 40% of UK goods exports outside the EU and Switzerland.

Water Infrastructure in the Thames Valley

Thames Water

With a history dating back to the early 1600s, Thames Water is the UK’s largest water and wastewater services provider, supplying around 2.6 billion litres of drinking water across London and the Thames Valley per day. Located next to the River Thames and Reading train station, their head office is home to Thames Water’s corporate teams.

ELGA LabWater

An integral part of French owned Veolia Water Technologies, ELGA LabWater has a global revenue of €2.1bn and a worldwide team of 10,300 employees. It is renowned for its capabilities in providing water solutions of any size to customers throughout the entire water cycle, with all its UK needs serviced by its Thames Valley office.


In 2016, this New Zealand based business opened its EMEA headquarters in the Thames Valley. Seequent’s 3D modelling tools and technology are applied to an array of industries, including road and rail tunnel construction, groundwater detection and management and geothermal exploration. hdjaksdhajkshdjahdajshdal

Transport Infrastructure Key Projects


Europe’s largest infrastructure project is expected to be fully operational in Autumn 2019.


Connecting Reading and Heathrow to London and the City, Crossrail, or the Elizabeth Line as it will be known, will reduce journey times across London, ease congestion on the transport network and link the capital’s major commercial districts more effectively, making it easier to do business in London and the Thames Valley.


  • Adding an estimated £42bn to the UK economy
  • Bringing 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of central London
  • Supporting the delivery of over 57,000 new houses

East-West Rail 

Re-establishing a rail link between Oxford and Cambridge, unlocking the economic potential in the north of the region, supporting significant housing growth.

  • Phase 1 of the scheme – Bicester to Oxford and London Marylebone – is now complete.
  • Phase 2 will upgrade and reconstruct sections linking Bedford to Bicester, and Milton Keynes to Aylesbury.

Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH)

Currently scheduled to be completed by 2027, the proposed new direct rail link, connecting the Thames Valley to Heathrow, will improve journeys to Britain’s busiest airport and help increase economic productivity. The journey time between Slough and Heathrow will be reduced to just six minutes.


For more information, click HERE.

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

Enabling faster, more efficient connectivity, supporting the economic growth of three of the most successful and productive cities in the country.

Smart M4

Commenced in Autumn 2018, the M4 Smart Motorway between Junctions 3 and 12 will be operational by Spring 2022.

Connectivity to global markets and to the rest of the UK is a critical factor in Thames Valley’s position as a vibrant, growing, global economy and a vital contributor to UK plc. To maintain our competitive advantage we need continued investment in rail, air and road infrastructure. 


Ruth Bagley, Director at Ardynt Consulting Ltd

Environment & Energy 

Human activity has created a climate crisis on a global scale, affecting all aspects of our lives. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses and organisations to adopt sustainable methodologies. With clean energy recently overtaking fossil fuels as the UK’s main energy source, and the country’s on-going commitment to build a viable future, there has never been a better time to invest sustainably in the UK.


Below are some examples of best environmental practice across the Thames Valley region:


University of Reading

A leading researcher in climate change, the University has several projects to encourage sustainability, and an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2021. In 2018, the institution installed 184 solar panels, accompanying a 30kw battery bank, a water source heat pump and an energy centre.



77% of the global food supply and approximately 1.4 billion jobs rely on pollinators such as bees. Oracle, partnering with The World Bee Project, uses cloud technologies to collect data from beehives and analyse their activity and surroundings. This data can then be used to combat the rapid decline in bees.

wisetek logo 2


The global volume of E-Waste could reach 120 million tonnes by 2050, toxins in these electrics are potentially damaging to soil, and are hard to remove. Wisetek are specialising in IT asset disposal, reuse and data destruction helping reduce damage to the environment, whilst providing financial benefits to its customers.

Clean Growth Grand Challenge 

The Government’s Industrial Strategy sets out 4 Grand Challenges to make the UK play a leading role in industries of the future.

One of the Grand Challenges is Clean Growth, which has two main missions:


    1. To halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030;
    2. To establish the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least      1 low-carbon cluster by 2030.


The move to cleaner economic growth presents one of today’s greatest industrial opportunities, through low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources. Existing industries have the potential to be transformed and new ones generated.

Thames Water

Thames Water have put together an environmental policy that outlines their high-level environmental objectives, guiding their overall approach to good environment management. The policy recognises that natural resources and the environment are vital to us, highlighting the necessity to comply with environmental laws, regulations and standards, effective pollution management and responsible development of water resources. More specifically, Thames Water are promoting the adoption of sustainable urban drainage systems, reducing the amount of waste we produce, making sure sewage sludge is re-used in a beneficial way and working alongside supplies, contractors and partners to improve their environmental performance.


Read more, HERE.


Thames Valley Berkshire LEP 

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP have outlined, in their Energy and Environment Sector Proposition, a £30 million energy efficiency project – the Thames Valley Vision.

The project was established to ensure a high quality and affordable electricity network for the future, benefiting customers in Bracknell and the surrounding area and helping the UK achieve a low carbon economy. TVV will collect new data and develop sophisticated modelling to allow the operation and planning of networks to afford costly system reinforcement, these methods will provide technologies that manage the way consumers use energy, promoting energy efficiency and renewable heat and electricity generation at residential properties.


Read more, HERE.