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Council and business partners launch new Sustainable City Charter to encourage businesses to fight climate change

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A large room with people seated on two sides of the room facing a panel discussion

Published: 15 November 2022

Westminster City Council and the Westminster Property Association launched Westminster’s first Sustainable City Charter today, Tuesday 15 November 2022, which encourages Westminster businesses of any shape or size to act to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and therefore ensure businesses and buildings are resilient to the impact of climate change, now and in the future.

The Sustainable City Charter aims to build a strong business partnership on climate action across the city, encouraging businesses to lead and collaborate with the council on climate change and sustainability. The Charter is open to businesses across all sectors who want to do their part to reduce their impact on the climate and support the sustainability of the city – whether starting from scratch or those with an existing corporate social responsibility strategy to build on.

The Charter includes eight commitments focused on commercial and institutional buildings, covering areas including energy, procurement, deliveries, waste and collaboration. Organisations participating in the Charter will provide annual updates on their progress in implementing these commitments and on their energy consumption.

A toolkit of advice, guidance and good practice will be developed for participating businesses to use to support climate action and share knowledge and expertise with others who have signed up.  Businesses who sign up will be able to help shape and evolve the Charter and the toolkit as part of a partnership of business committed to leading on this agenda and supporting others to act in a city-wide approach.

Membership also includes access to Charter branding kits and being able to participate in networking events.

Cllr Matt Noble, Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Regeneration and Renters, Leader of the Council Cllr Adam Hug, Cllr Ryan Jude, Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Biodiversity and senior leaders from a range of developers, landowners and businesses with a stake in Westminster’s commercial property were at the launch event this morning at the Royal College of Nursing in Westminster.

Cllr Matt Noble, Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Regeneration and Renters at Westminster City Council said:

“Our city is facing an unparalleled crisis as we reach a critical point in addressing the climate emergency and we have made a commitment to becoming a net zero carbon city by 2040. As part of the council’s Fairer Westminster strategy we have created a range of ambitious policies that will improve the environment in Westminster and help us tackle the climate emergency.

“The Sustainable City Charter is an exciting partnership between the council and businesses committed to leading on this agenda. It aims to provide a framework for climate and sustainability action to support all businesses across the city to act on climate change and sustainability. By signing up, businesses will be supported by the Charter Partnership and a toolkit of advice and guidance, to make progress towards reducing their contribution to climate change to create a greener, cleaner and fairer city for everyone.”

Paul Williams, Chair of Westminster Property Association (and Chief Executive of Derwent London) said:

“As a business community, and as citizens, we have a collective responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint and decarbonise our buildings and the ways in which we use them. Many of the companies and organisations working in Westminster today are making excellent progress, investing and innovating in order to decarbonise their assets and operations but we recognise that we need to move faster, and be bolder to ensure Westminster becomes a net zero city by 2040. The Sustainable City Charter will play a pivotal role in helping us to achieve this goal.”

  • Find out more on the Sustainable City Charter and how businesses can sign up.
  • Climate Essentials: This scheme to allow SMEs to track and lower their carbon emissions will be folded into promotion of the Business Energy Audit Scheme which will have a physical presence at the launch event with flyers for interested parties. The first 100 SMEs who take part in the Charter and/or Westminster’s Business Energy Audit Scheme will receive a free year’s license for Climate Essentials.
  • Business Energy Audit Scheme: Westminster SMEs are eligible to sign up for the Business Energy Audit Scheme – launched in March 2022, this scheme offers a free audit of your business and the creation of a carbon action plan. The new scheme has been created to help up to 1,000 businesses to better understand their current emissions and to make tangible changes to reduce their emissions and energy costs. Find out more.