London businesses go for gold
Businesses across London are celebrating their achievements in green purchasing after being awarded the gold level of the Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code.
The Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code is a free support service for London organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact through responsible purchasing. It is one of the measures in place in London designed to help achieve the Mayor, Boris Johnson’s, target of cutting the capital’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2025.
By signing up to the Green Procurement Code, members commit to achieving progressive environmental targets and their progress is measured through an annual survey, which asks for information on their green procurement activities. This information is used to measure members’ environmental performance and they may achieve bronze, silver or gold level of the Code.
This year sixteen signatories have achieved the gold level. These include all five members of the Greater London Authority group, two leading London boroughs, Greenwich and Hackney, as well as six small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one charity, Cancer Research UK and two large private corporations, Mapeley and Ove Arup. In addition, a further 28 companies achieved the silver level, while 24 organisations were awarded bronze.
This is a significant increase on last year’s numbers, which is all the more impressive due to the fact that this year’s criteria made it even more challenging to achieve the higher levels.
The Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code, funded by the London Development Agency, has gone from strength to strength and now has over 500 members from the public, private and third sectors. Over 180 of these members submitted data for this year’s survey, up from 126 in 2008.
As well as measuring the achievements of individual organisations, the survey also measures member’s collective environmental savings. In 2008, the combined purchases of Green Procurement Code signatories diverted the equivalent of 187 Olympic sized swimming pools of waste from landfill, representing a saving of 22,643 tonnes of CO2. Early indications are that the savings reported in 2009 will be even greater.
Companies will get the chance to celebrate their achievements at the Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code awards, which will be held at the Royal Institute of British Architects on October 26. Awards will be presented in 5 key categories – people; policy, strategy & communication; procurement process; engaging with suppliers; measurement and results; as well as an award for the best performing SME.
Graham Randles, Programme Manager of the Green Procurement Code praises the efforts of signatories. ‘We are delighted with the numbers of organisations taking part and achieving the top levels in this year’s progress review. In the current challenging economic climate it may be tempting to think of sustainable procurement as an expensive luxury, but many London businesses are realising the continuing benefits of keeping sustainability at the top of their agenda.’