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Boris applauds London organisations that cut carbon emissions

12 January 2009

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, last week congratulated more than 160 leading London organisations for actively ‘going green’, saving £1,000s off energy bills and cutting carbon emissions to boost the capital’s global competitive edge.

The Mayor hosted a City Hall event on 7th January for members of the Green500 and Better Buildings Partnership which provide support for their members to cut carbon emissions in line with the Mayor's target of a 60 per cent reduction by 2025. In doing so, they saved at least 20 per cent off their energy bills. The Green500 now has 154 large businesses and public sector members and the Better Building Partnership has 11 members representing London’s leading commercial property owners.

The Mayor singled out 17 members of the Green500 who have already signed up to detailed carbon reduction action plans since the programme’s launch last year. They include household names such as Talkback Thames, Boots, Chelsea FC, Pret, Tate & Lyle and Addison Lee. In addition, more than half of the Green500 members have completed an assessment to identify specific carbon savings, which will be used to develop tailored action plans.

The Green500 programme is unique in the UK as it rewards organisations for genuine carbon reductions. In this way, members are able contribute directly to the Mayor’s carbon targets. The Green500 has a target to cut London’s emissions by 1.5 million tonnes, saving at least £2.5million in energy bills.

The Mayor said: ‘In lean economic times, there are real financial savings to be made for businesses by becoming more energy efficient, helping them to remain competitive. This can often be done in really simple and cheap ways, and it is our job in City Hall to rally, support and publicly recognise organisations that want to do so.

‘Creating a low carbon, clean and more pleasant city that exploits new ‘green’ technologies is a key part of my vision to help London through the downturn. An attractive, less polluted city, is a place where people will want to live, work and visit. Top name London companies from all sectors are here today to demonstrate their commitment to cutting the capital’s carbon emissions. I urge others to do the same.’

He also highlight initiatives such as a Retrofitting Academy for retaining people to install insulation; the electrification of the GLA fleet of vehicles; new Awards for 'green' organisations; and proposals for cycle hire and cycle superhighways in the capital.

Addison Lee – one of London’s leading minicab companies - has signed up to a tailored Green500 carbon action plan. The company is expecting to make significant carbon reductions by cutting pick-up distances by half – saving 16,000 miles per day. In total the company has identified potential cost savings of £185,000 over three years from all carbon reduction initiatives.

Liam Griffin, chief executive of Addison Lee, said: 'Addison Lee is delighted to be recognised by the Mayor for our achievements in carbon reduction in the capital and is proud to be part of the Green500 group of climate leaders. Joining Green500 is a win-win situation for us – in tough economic times we are taking positive steps to boost our efficiency and save money, as well as do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint.'

The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) includes leading commercial property owners working together with occupiers to develop energy efficiency programmes for London’s existing building stock. It has set a target to cut 500,000 tonnes of emissions in the next three years. The BBP today unveiled a new industry-led drive to retrofit buildings with energy efficient measures that could include: updating boiler controls, converting to energy efficient lighting, more efficient heating systems, improved insulation and solar panel water heating. This follows the recent publication by the BBP of voluntary but binding 'green' guidelines to which occupiers and landlords can comply with.

Peter Clarke, Chairman of the Better Building Partnership, said: 'In uncertain economic times, positive action is crucial to secure our investments for the future. The changes that can make a real difference to the lasting value of commercial properties are behaviour-led, they don't require vast amounts of money and can deliver important cost savings. The Better Building Partnership is making good progress towards delivering sensible and workable programmes that will ensure the capital's existing commercial building stock has a competitive edge in a leaner, greener future.'

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