Keeping London at the forefront of global business
working with and for the whole UK
Securing a greener, more inclusive, resilient city for the future
At the end of 2021, the UK hosted the 26thUN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow — where the nation and its cities took the opportunity to show leadership and set the bar on climate action.
As London focuses on its return to growth from COVID-19, we have a rare opportunity to push forward a green recovery, with environmental considerations baked into plans for more and better jobs, healthier and more resilient communities.
London’s city-level government has fewer powers and resources than many of our competitor cities, which makes the role of business as a force for sustainability all the more important.
Many of our members are already stepping up and taking bold action, developing new technologies and services to help reduce emissions and changing the way they work, from transitioning to green fleets to zero carbon buildings.
But there is still a long way to go and progress will require businesses, government, communities, and individuals to all play their part.
A crucial moment for London
The Mayor of London has committed to accelerating the capital’s efforts to transform its economy to be carbon neutral by 2030 — this Mayoral term is the time to steer this transition, make tangible progress, and showcase London as a beacon for other cities.
London Met Lab: Environment launches knowledge-exchange talks
Series title: Ecological Dialogues: Sustainable Communities and the Question of Nature (London Met Lab)
Instigated by the London Met Lab: Environment initiative, a series of talks will showcase the University’s environmental research to stimulate knowledge exchange and dialogue with public and practice audiences. This timely and important series is inspired bythe COP26 climate-change summit and aims to continue its vital role of raising awareness of the environmental agenda. Each talk will be hosted by a different London Met research centre, showing the breadth of research in this field: comprising the university-wide Finding Ecologies group, and the School of Art, Architecture and Design’s Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies (CUBE) and Centre for Creative Arts Culture and Engagement (Creature). Each talk will be introduced by London Met Lab’s environment challenge lead, Sian Moxon and feature several short, engaging presentations by academic staff from these research centres, followed by a panel discussion and audience questions, chaired by senior research staff. Topics will explore the climate and ecological emergency, with a particular focus on creating sustainable communities and the value of nature to society.
London Met Lab’s mission is to tackle the inequalities facing London, improve people’s lives and deliver social justice across six key challenges facing the capital through its civic networks. Working alongside staff, students and partners, we are bringing our academic expertise to co-design solutions to the social challenges that disproportionately affect the communities that we serve. The environment challenge is collaborating with partners on innovative design and research projects to ensure that London becomes carbon neutral, has clean air and is at the forefront of urban greening.
Building Sustainable Communities
5.30 – 7pm Wednesday 19 January
Chair: Dr Beatrice De Carli
Speakers: Sandra Denicke-Polcher & Jane McAllister, Prof. Maurice Mitchell & Dr Bo Tang
The session will explore how participatory architecture can build inclusive, sustainable communities, discussing live construction projects from our Architecture for Rapid Change and Scarce Resources and Crossing Cultures research initiatives, which work within urban and rural settlements in the global south and migrant hubs in Europe.
Summary: The session will discuss the value of interaction between humans, animals and technology in the city, including how technology can support animal wellbeing through animal-computer interaction and how animals can support human wellbeing.
At ExCeL London, we are passionate about creating a meaningful and inspiring legacy and are committed to having a positive impact on our local community and the world around us.
We are proud to be part of the world’s largest sustainability initiative, the UN Global Compact, and are certified to both ISO14001 and ISO20121, the environmental standard for the events industry.
Our strategy focuses on four key areas: reducing waste, increasing energy efficiency, delivering more sustainable food choices, and supporting our local community.
Our key initiatives to maintain a zero waste-to-landfill policy, with over half our waste recycled and rest used to create renewable energy include:
The UK’s largest commercial wormery, which recycles vegetable waste from our kitchens, generating fertiliser for green spaces.
The #NoPlastic campaign commitment to reduce single-use plastic, including the installation of water fountains, the removal of plastic straws from point-of-sale and introduction of discounts for visitors with reusable cups. This campaign reduced the number of plastic bottles by more than 200,000 in 2019.
Donating surplus food and furniture from events to CFE (Community Food Enterprise), who share these items with local community projects throughout Newham.
Our key initiatives to cut carbon and increase water and energy efficiency include:
Ensuring 100% of our electricity supply is from renewable sources, and our gas supply is carbon offset using UN credits.
Replacing light fittings with LED eco-friendly lighting, resulting in a 70% energy saving per fitting. Since the programme started, we have reduced energy consumption by 22%.
Installing a living wall of over 9,500 plants on the walkway to ExCeL from Custom House DLR station, meaning fewer air pollutants, improved biodiversity, greater oxygen production and decreased noise.
Using waterless urinals, saving over 16 million litres of water every year. Pressure taps are also used in all washrooms to ensure that water usage is kept to a minimum.
Sustainable food choices:
Our key initiatives to promote sustainable food choices and improve the nutritional value of our offering include:
No longer promoting red meat on our hospitality menus. 25% of our menus are already plant-based, vegan or vegetarian.
Ensuring menus use a minimum of 80% British seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Harnessing culinary innovation and where possible, repurposing ingredients.
Collecting used vegetable oil and converting it to biofuel.
Retaining used coffee grounds to create fertiliser for ExCeL’s green spaces.
Supporting our local community:
ExCeL is proud to support several Newham-based charities — all of which undertake vital and inspirational work in our neighbouring community.
Bonny Downs provides a weekly lunch for homeless and deprived people. In partnership with ExCeL London Hospitality, we provide a full Christmas lunch, for 70 people, served by members of the ExCeL team.
Community Food Enterprise (CFE) provides healthy and nutritious food for those in need, across the London Borough of Newham, including the homeless, isolated elderly and refugees. We support their efforts with regular donations of surplus food and other items, such as merchandise from exhibitors. We also buy fresh fruit from CFE to provide ExCeL staff with a healthy snack and at Christmas, the team arrange a collection of food, toys, clothing, and other items, which CFE distribute throughout Newham.
NASSA (Newham All Stars Sports Academy) works with children and young people from Newham to provide sports coaching as a way of preventing them from engaging in antisocial behaviour and knife crime. In addition to financial support, the ExCeL team have helped to develop a new brand identity and website for NASSA, to support their fundraising efforts.
Richard House Children’s Hospice provides care to children with life limiting illnesses, and support for their families. We host an annual Christmas tree lighting event, to celebrate the work of the hospice.
London Academy of Excellence seeks to provide a greater opportunity for Newham’s young people to get into the UK’s top universities. The school prioritises places for students eligible for free school meals. We make a contribution towards the academy’s Hardship and Opportunities Fund and assist with funding for visits that raise aspirations among students.
Hope for Newham collects unwanted lost property from ExCeL including jackets, coats, scarfs, shoes, trousers, and jumpers for local homeless shelters.
You can learn more about ExCeL’s work on sustainability here
A Just Transition for London
London First is supporting Citizens UK’s Just Transition Campaign, calling for a transition to a cleaner, carbon-neutral capital city that benefits people in low-income communities and neighbourhoods. Find out more below.
London First is responding to the challenge by convening business, experts, and the public sector to look at what’s needed to accelerate the delivery of the net zero agenda within a London context – the group aims to provide business leadership, as well as practical advice to the Mayor and London Boroughs on how to deliver a decarbonised capital.
We want to hear from you and share your stories. What are you doing on climate change in your organisation? Do you have resources and guidance you’d like to share? We also have a working group focused on net zero carbon. Get in touch to find out more.
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