New study will reveal London’s use of natural resources

A new study, welcomed by London Mayor Ken Livingstone, will be calculating resource consumption in the UK’s capital city, as a precursor for greater sustainability.


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The City Limits study will gather data on a wide range of activities including waste production, transport, energy and materials use in the City. Researchers will calculate the city’s ecological footprint, and will develop a range of sustainability scenarios which will show how this footprint can be reduced by initiatives in waste reduction and minimisation, renewable energy, local food sourcing and transport.

“This is an exciting opportunity to measure the sustainability of one of the World’s greatest urban populations and more importantly, to provide people with an understanding of what ecological sustainability actually means,” said Nick Chambers, Director of Best Foot Forward, the organisation which will carry out the research.

Early estimates indicate that each year Greater London consumes two million tonnes of wood products, 36 million tonnes of building materials, emits 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, produces 18 million tonnes of waste and eight million tonnes of sewage sludge. There are also 730,000 tonnes of vegetables eaten each year in the city.

The project has been initiated by the Institute of Wastes Management Environment Body, IWM, the Greater London Authority, the Institution of Civil Engineers and Best Foot Forward, and is funded by Biffaward, a multi-million pound environment fund which utilises landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services.

“Analysing resource flows and setting out London’s ecological footprint will provide a crucial baseline context for the development of my strategies,” said Mayor of London Ken Livingstone. “This is ground-breaking work and I am happy that the GLA is contributing to the study. My vision is for London to become an exemplary sustainable world city.”

The final report will be produced by July 2002.

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