Mayor praises top London businesses reducing energy usage

17 November 2015

A supermarket giant, top-ranking Premier League team and the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre have taken home awards in this year’s Business Energy Challenge, a competition run by the Mayor of London to encourage businesses to slash their energy usage.

The 110 London businesses who entered this year’s competition delivered a collective 188,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emission reductions, by reducing their energy usage by an amount that would be enough to power over 24,000 homes.

10 London businesses won the gold award for achieving the highest carbon energy intensity, including iconic venues owned by Arsenal Football Club and ExCeL London. Arsenal made a series of energy-friendly upgrades across their Emirates Stadium ground, office block and youth academy including installing light sensors and updating a computer-based management system which controls and monitors mechanical and electrical equipment. ExCeL London has introduced more sophisticated movement sensors in its carparks for lighting and is using boiler controls to reduce high water temperatures – a change which on its own reduced yearly energy consumption by more than a third.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s took home the award in the new category of ‘Climber of the decade’, which recognises businesses that have made the largest percentage reduction in the amount of carbon they use per square metre since 2005-06. Thanks to the environmentally-friendly technologies used to retrofit their properties, such as LED lighting and solar panels, the company has achieved an overall reduction of how much? in its energy usage over the past decade despite increasing their square footage across the UK by 51 per cent.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “London’s businesses continue to prove that economic prosperity and green business practices can go hand in hand, making our city a leading example for others to follow. This year’s entrants have reduced their carbon emissions by the staggering amount of nearly 200,000 tonnes, improving the environment not only for our city but also the country, and indeed the wider world. In a few weeks I will be travelling to the UN climate conference in Paris and I am very proud that I will go with such great stories to tell about what our businesses are doing to play their part.”
Eco-friendly Arcola Theatre won a new category for micro-businesses. As part of their aim to be the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre, the Arcola sources its electricity through a 100 per cent renewably sourced contract with company Ecotricity, and produces its heating through a sustainable system built around a biomass boiler which uses locally-sourced waste wood.
Around 75 per cent of London’s carbon dioxide emissions come from buildings, and 43 per cent come from workplaces. The Business Energy Challenge was conceived with the global cities organisation C40 as a way of encouraging the city’s corporate sector to step up to the challenge and do their part in achieving the Mayor’s overall targets for emissions reduction of 60 per cent by 2025. The data collected from last year’s award entries has been used by University College London to inform the development of London specific and more up to date energy benchmarks for office and retail buildings.

Businesses submit energy usage data and are assessed on the carbon intensity per square metre of their properties, so both medium and large businesses are put on an equal footing. Gold, silver and bronze awards are distributed to the businesses most successful in reducing their carbon intensity.

The Business Energy Challenge is just part of the Mayor’s wider initiative to reduce London’s emissions. His RE:FIT scheme has seen over 260 public buildings in London retrofitted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, saving over 29,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. His RE:NEW scheme for residential public sector buildings has also helped to improve over 111,500 London homes, saving around 30,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Notes to editors

GOLD AWARD WINNERS - Businesses achieving the highest carbon energy reductions - Accenture, Addleshaw Goddard, Arsenal, Capgemini UK, Capital & Regional, ExCeL London, RSA Insurance Group, Savills UK, UK Power Networks, Wincanton Records Management