London businesses will be excited to learn that a Green Economy Hub will soon be launching locally, hosted by the London Environmental Network (LEN). Green Economy London will join six other Green Economy Hubs in Ontario communities that support and celebrate businesses as they set and achieve sustainability goals. To date, businesses in Green Economy Hubs have collectively reduced 59,105 tonnes of GHGs – the equivalent of taking over 12,600 cars off the road for one year – while increasing their profitability.
The City of London has been exploring the development of a London Hub with Green Economy Canada and local businesses for years, with LEN emerging as a potential host for the Hub in early 2017. London businesses have been engaged and consulted through sustainability workshops and annual events at Labatt’s on Earth Day. In early November 2018, Green Economy Canada officially approved LEN’s application to join their network and launch a London Hub.
“City staff are very grateful that both the London Community Foundation and Green Economy Canada have recognized the strengths of London’s businesses, institutions and employees by supporting our collaborative application to join the network,” notes Jay Stanford, Director, Environment, Fleet & Solid Waste for the City of London. “Individually, many London businesses and institutions have been recognized leaders in the past and now have the opportunity to do this as part of collaborative actions managed by the London Environmental Network; all designed to leverage and push each other higher while reducing greenhouse gas generation and creating a stronger local economy.”
The local business community has shown strong interest in learning from each other, getting access to support, and recognition for progress towards public sustainability goals. Results from over 30 market research interviews with local business leaders conducted by LEN in 2018 confirmed that businesses have a strong appetite for support to help them reduce GHG emissions, divert more waste, and decrease water usage.
“We are excited about the possibility of working with a local sustainability hub as a way to compare our progress on green initiatives with other similar organisations. We’d love to help develop something that is practical, relevant and easy for organisations like ours to implement,” said one of London’s business leaders, Richard Hammond, Principal of Cornerstone Architecture. “We are interested in taking action on sustainability because this is a core value for our firm. We help our clients make their buildings greener, so we believe the same principles should apply to our own space and operation.”
Green Economy London is on track to launch in spring 2019 with key investments from the London Community Foundation and the City of London. “Green Economy London will have a game-changing impact on our community long-term. A healthy environment is essential for a thriving community and we believe this initiative will be the catalyst for local businesses and organizations to become actively engaged with improving the state of our local environment,” said Martha Powell, President & CEO, London Community Foundation.
Priyanka Lloyd, long-time Managing Director and incoming Executive Director at Green Economy Canada said, “Over the past two years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with LEN and the City of London to gauge interest in a Hub that would support businesses of all sectors and sizes to measure their environmental impacts, set meaningful reduction targets, and work with them over the long-term to achieve their goals. Green Economy London has all of the right ingredients for success, from the strength of LEN’s leadership, to the active support and commitment of the City, to the interest from London businesses in addressing climate change while also becoming more economically competitive.”
According to Skylar Franke, Executive Director, LEN, “We couldn’t be more excited about supporting London businesses through the new Hub. Not only will Green Economy London complement LEN’s existing programs, but Green Economy Hubs are a proven way of engaging businesses to incentivize them to tackling climate change and improving business sustainability. We’re looking forward to connecting, educating, and inspiring businesses across London as they progress in their sustainability journeys.”