A couple of weeks ago, we asked you lot for your questions to put to Simon Mills – the sustainable development coordinator for the City of London Corporation.
Honey Shop Says:
What is the City of London doing to encourage its resident corporations to simply use less? Case in point: Making it normal for company reports and presentation documents to be printed both sides of the page (and preferably on recycled paper). Also getting invoices and other forms redesigned to use less wasted ‘white space’ and unnecessary lines in order to print out on fewer pages – all significantly reducing the amount of paper used – which actually has a cost saving too. Getting companies with a presence in the City to do this type of thing across their global operations.
What is the City of London doing to change the mindset of its resident corporations to make the same everyday steps to be greener that individual consumers are? A company policy to use energy efficient lightbulbs only across global sites?
Dear Honey, thanks for your questions. You have quite rightly identified two separate areas where we can work to help businesses become greener.
Firstly with respect to greening office operations- we have been very active in this field for a number of years- we produced the “Liveable City Handbook” back in 1999 which gave tips to businesses on how to improve their environmental performance, we established the Clean City Awards, which help to improve recycling and waste management, we established the Sustainable City Awards, which recognise and reward sustainable business practices, we established the City Environmental Forum, to help businesses share best practice, we established the City Climate Pledge to help businesses reduce their carbon footprints and we run regular seminars are briefing sessions on everything from Fairtrade to energy efficiency. All this effort is having an effect, as the majority of firms in the Square Mile do now try to do the right thing as far as their office operations are concerned. See http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/our_services/health_safety/clean_city.htm , www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/sca , www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/climatepledge , http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/living_environment/City+Environmental+Forum.htm , for further details.
However, it is your second question- which looks at firms global impacts which is most interesting- the impacts of a City firms office operations on the environment is tiny compared to the impacts it investment decisions may have. We have also been working very hard in this area too, by encouraging firms to look at sustainable finance and to take climate change into account in their investment decisions. See http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/living_environment/sustainability/sustainable_finance.htm and www.london-accord.co.uk for further details