London hosts energy efficiency challenge for businesses
The London Mayor's office has launched its second Business Energy Challenge to encourage corporations to step up to meeting city-wide emissions targets.
The Challenge celebrates private sector businesses who have made the biggest difference in cutting their energy consumption and cut their CO2 emissions.
Last year, the Challenge provided the city with previously uncollected energy consumption data on 1,000 new locations in London with data from businesses including Boots, HSBC, RBS, Marks and Spencer and Linklaters.
Together, the top 27 businesses of 58 entries realised savings of £12.5m on energy bills and together reduced emissions by an average of 18%, cutting energy usage by more than 180,000MWh.
The Challenge has now expanded to accept applicants from small and micro businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz said: “London businesses have a real leadership role to play in the bigger battle to reduce the city’s emissions. But they also have a lot to gain from making an effort to green their energy use, including slashing their energy costs.”
The effort to cut emissions from the capital’s businesses comes as part of London’s drive to meet overall emissions targets of a 60% reduction by 2025.
Around 75% of London’s carbon dioxide emissions come from buildings and 43% from workplaces. The data from 2014’s Challenge entries is already being used by University College London to help London businesses stay informed on energy achievements for offices and retail buildings.
One of last year’s success stories was law firm Linklaters, which cut emissions from electricity use by 27% and from gas use by 51%. The company introduced sensors for lighting and air conditioning and invested in more efficient IT systems.
London has been praised previously for its reduction in electricity use per capita in a study by the University of Toronto. The research found London was the only ‘megacity’ in the world where electricity use was falling per person while GDP was increasing.
Emissions and air pollution remain central to London’s energy policy, after it was revealed last month that air pollution was killing as many as 9,500 Londoners every year.
The Business Energy Challenge comes as part of the Mayor Boris Johnson’s city wide initiative to reduce London’s emissions, with London’s RE:FIT scheme seeing around 260 public buildings retrofitted to reduce CO2 emissions, as well as improvements to new homes.