Climate action pledges– what are you doing to reduce carbon emissions? 

  • Date Tuesday, 28 September 2021

We are encouraging businesses and individuals to pledge one action that has a positive impact on the environment and/or reduces carbon emissions.

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Climate action pledges– what action are you taking to reduce carbon emissions? 

2021 offers an opportunity to put the spotlight on Bankside’s Climate emissions through a united activation aligned with the COP26 Climate Change Conference. As part of this, we are encouraging businesses and individuals to take one action that has a positive impact on the environment and/or reduces carbon emissions. (You can of course pledge more than one action if you’d like!) Climate pledges are a necessary foundation for meaningful climate leadership and help focus our action as a neighbourhood to become carbon net zero. Your pledge could form part of our climate action exhibition which will take place 25-30 October.

You can pledge as a business or as an individual. The most important factor is that you take action on your promise. 

Here are some tips and ideas to think about when making your pledge: 

(1) Cut your own emissions towards zero, as quickly as possible. Reduction at speed is more important than achieving perfection  

Look hard at your own emissions and find ways to reduce them as quickly as possible. Some of these cuts will be easy and fast. But some emissions are going to take a while to phase out. Keep at it. Steady progress is what matters here. Commit to short-term and some long-term goals.  

(2) Be wary of offsets and carbon removal promises 

Vague promises of future carbon removal to avoid cutting emissions today, delays climate action. Practical changes that can be made today are far more worthwhile and will have greater impact. 

Remember, “Offsets” can give the illusion of progress without truly reducing emissions. 

(3) Pay the “Social Cost of Carbon” for your ongoing pollution. 

As your company works to cut emissions, you can also donate to funds for your ongoing pollution, to help advance the world’s broader climate efforts. Ideally, these funds would help others (especially disenfranchised and vulnerable communities) reduce their emissions, become more climate resilient, and address long-standing climate justice issues. 

Again, these aren’t to be counted as “offsets” to your own emissions. Being transparent and honest, and supporting others around the world to address climate change is a good thing to do and should sit alongside your own carbon emission reductions. 

(4) Ensure your pledge is measurable and that it inspires action. 

Don’t make a pledge for the sake of it – make it time specific or measurable. For example, if you’re going to research and change your energy provider, when will you do this by? In the next 3 months? Make a commitment and report on it when it’s completed. 

Ideas for pledges 

  • Pledge to measure and report your businesses greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis, to  prioritise areas that need the most reduction. Then implement decarbonisation strategies through business changes and innovations. These typically include efficiency improvements, sourcing renewable energy, material use reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.

 More examples:

  • Pledge to change energy provider to greener/renewable energy provider
  • Pledge to divest banks that invest in fossil fuels by changing your business or personal bank account and if you have a pension, take it further by shifting investments to climate positive funds.
  • Pledge to review what you procure, from office supplies to packaging and operations-what can be reduced, reused, or recycled? Probably a lot more than you think. This will not only make your company more eco-friendly but also help its bottom line too! For example, swapping out single use cups, cutlery, etc for reusables to reduce single use plastic (& other material) consumption. In an office, this might mean swapping plastic cups in water coolers and providing staff with reusable bottles or glasses. Maximising what is recycled in your business will help to achieve your carbon reduction goals. It will not only reduce the carbon emissions linked to your waste by  ensuring less virgin materials are processed, but will also move your business to a circular economy model. Signing up to Better Bankside’s waste management partner, Paper Round, will also reduce vehicle movements and the number of vehicles on the roads in Bankside, thus reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.
  • Pledge to incentivise greener travel for you, your staff or your visitors. Can you pledge to incentivise and advertise greener transport alternatives? Will you look for/book greener accommodation for all future holidays? Can you cycle/walk to work or business trips?
  • Pledge your volunteer days- if your business runs team building days, will you pledge to ensure these have a positive environmental impact? Sign your team up to green volunteering events such as Better Bankside’s Everybody’s Garden initiative to tidy up communal green spaces. Or volunteer with Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST) or local food waste charities like Plan Zheroes who operate in the area.
  • Pledge to choose cleaner deliveries & couriers, in a personal and business context.  Look at suppliers and choose those with a greener fleet. If you receive regular deliveries make use of Bankside’s Green Logistic Centre. Borrow a Brompton Bike from us and, if applicable, reduce your car use.
  • Pledge to reduce the amount of meat you eat by 50% or go veggie/vegan for a year?  
  • Pledge to only buy second hand/vintage/thrifted clothing for a year or only buy products made from recycled or sustainable fabrics. 

We hope you’ll join us and the wider Bankside community in sharing your pledge as we would love to include it in our climate event. Please send your pledge to Ellie Weehuizen by Monday 11th October.