Welcome to our latest environment news, covering the ways we can create a Fairer Environment for Westminster. If you’re involved in a project related to climate change, or if you know of any community projects that we can share, please email us as we’re keen to hear from you.
Tackling air quality in Westminster
At Westminster City Council, we have identified several key priorities to help us keep the air clean, such as:
- Promoting walking and cycling
- Creating better infrastructure for electric and low-emission vehicles
- Keeping pollution and emissions to a minimum when planning new developments and roads, including requiring developers to sign up for our best-in-class Code of Construction Practice
We are also making it easier for everyone to make environmentally friendly choices, and we are constantly monitoring the air quality in the city to shape policy and reduce pollution because building a Fairer Environment is one of the main pillars of our Fairer Westminster strategy.
Micrologistics hubs coming soon
We are excited to announce that we are working with the Cross River Partnership (CRP) on a six-month e-cargo bike/walking freight delivery project starting in February 2023 as part of the Clean Air Logistics for London project, which is funded by Defra and led by Westminster City Council in collaboration with 11 other project partners.
The goal of the project is to reduce traffic congestion and pollution in London by increasing the use of river transport for freight and promoting zero-emission delivery methods in central London. The project will build on the success of previous programs and focus on areas of London with poor air quality, particularly those near the River Thames, which is an important route for freight. The project will support the goals of the Clean Air Strategy and other air quality plans.
Measuring air quality
We have partnered with Hitachi to build a new interactive data platform that will show the types, locations, and results of air quality monitoring, including real-time data, across Westminster. This will help improve accessibility and transparency to air quality data – an important step in tackling pollution and reducing your exposure to poor air quality.
We also want to hear from you! As part of our commitment to a Fairer Westminster, we are now accepting suggestions for air quality monitoring sites in the city.
Support for businesses
For businesses, we have a variety of programs to help reduce carbon emissions and become more sustainable, such as the Sustainable City Charter and the Business Energy Saving Scheme.
Sustainable City Charter
The Westminster Property Association and Westminster City Council launched the Sustainable City Charter on November 15, 2022. The charter aims to reduce the carbon emissions from non-domestic buildings, which are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in Westminster. The charter is a voluntary pledge for businesses and institutions and contains 8 commitments, such as collaboration, reducing energy emissions, and promoting sustainable procurement, construction, deliveries, transportation, waste management and implementation.
Energy Saving Scheme
The Business Energy Saving Scheme is offering small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Westminster a free bespoke energy savings plan worth £500. The plan will be created by an independent energy expert from GEP Environmental and will include a review of energy bills, a visit to the business premises, a report with baseline energy use data, bespoke recommendations and benefit analysis.
Christmas tree recycling
Thank you to everyone who used our drop-off sites to recycle their real Christmas trees. In total 4,731 Christmas trees were collected to be recycled. That’s around 39 tonnes of trees! Christmas trees taken to the recycling points were turned into woodchip and soil improver.
How you can help
If you’d like to be a part of our mission to create a Fairer environment for Westminster, there are easy changes you can make that will have a real impact on improving air quality and reducing pollution. This includes reducing the amount of waste you generate and repurposing materials that would otherwise be sent to landfills. This can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere, as well as the amount of energy that is required to extract and process raw materials.
Some more specific ways in which businesses can use recycling to combat air pollution include:
- Implementing recycling programs for paper, plastic, and other materials
- Encouraging employees to recycle at work and at home through posters
- Using recycled materials in their products
- Partnering with recycling companies and organisations to support recycling efforts
- Investing in new recycling technologies
- Educating employees, customers and the public about the benefits of recycling
Recycling correctly and efficiently not only helps to reduce waste, but also to conserve natural resources and energy, which in turn can help to reduce air pollution. If you’d like more information on how you can help, please get in touch.