Monday 22 March 2021 5:02 pm City of London Corporation

Clean air and recycling dominate London’s top environmental awards

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Firms tackling air pollution and championing recycling have been recognised at the Clean City Awards, the capital’s environmental ‘Oscars’.

The financial services sector triumphed, with the Bank of England and Investec PLC praised for their work in tackling environmental issues.

The scheme, now in its 26th year, rewards City businesses leading the way in improving their environmental performance – be it by reducing plastic use, cutting carbon emissions or boosting recycling.

The winners are:

Air Quality and Climate Action Award

Bank of England – for taking practical actions to reduce the impact of their own operations, and working with suppliers to cut their carbon footprint and improve air quality.

Plastic Free City Award:

Investec PLC – for cutting single-use plastics by collaborating with catering and cleaning teams, and working tirelessly with staff to encourage positive behaviour change by swapping to reusable alternatives.

Communication and Engagement Award

Investec PLC – for encouraging, educating and inspiring their workforce to champion sustainability in their own homes.

Resource and Circular Economy Award:

Broadgate – for their strong local relationships with charities and community groups which boosted recycling.

Clean Streets Partnership Award

Mission to Seafarers and St James Garlickhythe – for their work supporting the City’s homelessness community

The Chairman’s Cup rewards organisations taking action to boost their environmental, sustainability performance, and behaviour change during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The winners are:

Chairman’s Cup – Large firms category

Bank of England – for excellent progress in reducing their carbon footprint, and engaging with staff, senior leaders and suppliers to improve waste management processes.

Chairman’s Cup – Facilities Management

1 Angel Court – for delivering first class sustainable procurement, design, operation and communications during an unprecedented year

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, Keith Bottomley, said:

“Congratulations to all the firms who have won awards this year.

“It has been a tough year for all London’s businesses, but I am proud to see such good work still being done to benefit the environment. 

“I hope that recognising these schemes will give ideas and encourage other firms to take such decisive action.”

Chief Operating Officer at the Bank of England, Joanna Place, said:

“In the last year we have had to adapt our strategy in order to maintain our commitment to continually improving our environmental performance. In terms of carbon, reduced business travel has had a positive impact on our footprint. As we consider our new, post-Covid ways of working, we want to ensure that sustainability is embedded as a key principle.

“We’re particularly proud this year of the progress we have made in thinking about these issues, and our engagement with colleagues on the part they can play. We’ve had great support from colleagues across the organisation to do this, and we are pleased to see our efforts recognised in the Clean City Awards.”

Head of UK Sustainability at Investec PLC, Teresa O’Brien, said:

“We are delighted to have won the Plastic Free City and the Communication and Engagement awards at the Clean City Awards today.  We value how the City of London Corporation is driving sustainable business across the Square Mile and are proud to have played our part since 2005.” 

The City Corporation itself has pledged to become single-use plastic free by the end of this year.

It has installed a Square Mile network of 17 on-street water refill points a bid to help eliminate disposable plastic water bottle use, as part of its Plastic Free City campaign.

The scheme calls on businesses and individuals to reduce single-use plastics across the City.

Over 100 companies employing nearly 100,000 people signed up to the initiative, with more than 620,000 plastic straws, 19 million cups, and 12 million items of cutlery cut by firms taking part, prior to legislation coming into effect on 1 October 2020. Over 600,000 plastic water bottles and nearly 3.5 million food containers have been eliminated from use.

As part of its wider environmental plans, the City Corporation has launched an ambitious Climate Action Strategy, which will make the Square Mile net zero carbon-emission by 2040, 10 years earlier than government goals. As part of this, the governing body has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2027 and 2040 across its investments and supply chain.

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