London business learns how to be greener

The business community in London is receiving advice from City Hall on how it can reduce its impact on the environment without damaging its financial clout.

Last Friday saw the first of three seminars organised by the mayor in an effort to encourage business to face up to its responsibilities in tackling key environmental issues.

Those who attended the event, which was sponsored by energy firm npower, were given the chance to quiz experts and hear the mayor's latest thinking on climate change.

The event focused on London's planned Low Emissions Zone, a kind of airborne answer to the famed Congestion Zone.

A further two environmental seminars are planned and will look at sustainable procurement and building regulations.

Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, told delegates: "The quality of our environment has direct relevance to London's economic prosperity.

"Issues such as poor air quality affect the health of those who live and work in London, and impacts upon the attractiveness of London as a place to do business or visit for tourism.

"Climate change is such a pressing concern that everyone has to consider how they can contribute to tackling it and I am certain that modern, forward thinking businesses will want to lead this.

"My vision is for London to be seen internationally as a beacon of sustainability and London's businesses have a major role to play in achieving this."

Gordon Parsons, managing director, npower business added: "Increasingly, companies of all sizes are looking to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.

"npower business is committed to helping organisations turn these ambitions into reality.

"This reflects the approach of the Mayor's office and we are delighted to support this worthwhile initiative."

The second seminar is on sustainable procurement and how businesses can reduce their impact on the environment by sustainable procurement practice.

It will detail how signing up to the Mayor's Green Procurement Code can help increase the amount a business recycles and how many recycled products it buys.

The third on environmental facilities management will update on building legislation - including the European Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings, which affects offices in London.

This also offers advice on how to reduce your businesses energy bills and improve energy efficiency.

City Hall's tips for business include:

  • Businesses can sign up to the Mayor's Green Procurement Code and find out about increasing the amount they recycle and buying recycled products.

  • Businesses can pick up the Mayor's advice for business guide which gives advice on making business greener and cutting running costs.

  • Businesses use massive amounts of energy and resources, but much of this is wasted and adds to air pollution, climate change and waste.

    Considering environmental issues in building management and operation can also improve the working environment for staff.

  • Businesses can cut the amount of emissions they produce by using more renewable energy, or generating their own energy and by buying office equipment and materials which minimise energy use, emissions and noise.

    Businesses can increase their energy efficiency through the upkeep of appliances and heating systems.

    By Sam Bond

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