Green entrepreneurs hold the key to London’s low-carbon future

A new report from the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) has reiterated that entrepreneurs are 'critical' to the present success and future potential of efforts to support green growth in the capital.

The report highlights why London is an ideal location for green entrepreneurs to ‘drive innovation, growth, and job creation’; estimating that London’s low-carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) sector has the potential to give an annual market value of £69bn by 2025.

LSDC is a voluntary organisation made up of individual experts from the economic, social, environmental and London governance sectors, which advises Mayor of London Boris Johnson on sustainability issues in the capital.

London’s green economy currently generates £28bn per year, with 9,000 businesses employing approximately 160,000 people. It is forecast to grow at a rate of 6% per year to £53bn in 2025.

However, LSDC wants to see a more ambitious target for the LCEGS sector in London of 9% per year which will create a further 100,000 jobs.

Table: current forecast and extended ambition for LCEGS sector growthLSDC deputy chair Paul Turner said: “By setting this new aspiration I believe we will inspire organisations and individuals to step forward and create the businesses and services we will need in the 21st century to meet the environmental challenges we will face, while remaining a competitive force on the global scale.” 

Entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor Deborah Meaden added: “The potential of London’s green economy is huge, and it is vital that we seek solutions that reduce London’s wider [adverse] impact whilst providing jobs for local people.”

Sustainable business

Recently appointed LSDC chair Greg Barker has launched this year’s London Leaders programme – designed to encourage the capital’s innovative leaders in sustainable business and communities.

This year’s Leaders include:

– Ilana Taub with ‘Snact’: making healthy snacks from fruit and vegetable surplus, as a way to tackle food waste and create employment opportunities.
– Ugo Valluri with the ‘Restart Project’: a social enterprise that teaches and repairs electronic goods to promote reuse.
– Kate Hofman with ‘GrowUp’: urban farms which grow sustainable and healthy salads, herbs and fish using aquaponics and vertical growing systems in cities.

Barker said: “Not only can these businesses thrive in their own right but they will act as a catalyst to others who want to conduct business in a sustainable way. The city is already a global centre for green business and the LSDC will take a lead role in ensuring that the capital’s green economy goes from strength to strength.”

Lois Vallely

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