Diverse champions aim to inspire Londoners to go green

Over a dozen green individuals from a wide range of backgrounds are being held up as examples to fellow Londoners in an effort to encourage the city to go green.

The London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC), appointed by the city’s Mayor, have named 15 London Leaders who will demonstrate, in a practical way, how individual action can make a positive difference.

The diversity of the leaders is immediately striking, with their number made up of individuals from the world of business, academia, NGOs, religious and community groups.

The Mayor’s office will publicise their stories in the hopes of encouraging others to promote more sustainable lifestyles in the capital.

“The London Leaders programme is a pioneering scheme which will provide London communities with the leadership and guidance needed to create sustainable environments and attitudes,” said Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London.

“A sustainable future needs leaders at all levels, from government to local business, to lead by example. By identifying and supporting these London Leaders I am confident they can inspire communities.”

Mr Livingstone told edie he would be using the full might of City Hall’s publicity machine to ensure the leaders’ messages reached a wide public audience.

“We do have the means to support these things,” he said.

“We’ve built a very good information network in London.”

The City Hall-funded newspaper the Londoner, roadside hoardings and posters in the tube will be just some of the media used in the campaign.

He said the capital’s multicultural nature also meant that good practice in the city would be noticed around the world, and hopefully would inspire people well beyond the city limits.

“London’s reach is becoming global,” said the Mayor.

The leaders include a local businessman who hopes to make Brixton into a hub of green consumerism, a vicar who plans to expand a city farm Barking & Dagenham, an ‘urban ecologist’ who plans to persuade city businesses to retro-fit green roofs on their offices, the principal of Kings College and the London director of supermarket chain B&Q who will seek to ensure the company’s practices are sustainable.

Mr Livingstone said the 15 initial leaders were just the start of a bigger programme and he would be keen to here from any edie readers in the capital who might have ideas for a project to make communities in the city more sustainable.

“We may be able to help them develop it,” he said.

Further details of the London Leaders initiative can be found on the LSDC website.

Sam Bond

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