Green500 – so much hot air?

Murad Qureshi AM, Labour’s London Assembly environment spokesperson, has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to ensure that business members of the Green500 initiative back up warm words with action to improve London’s environment.

Green500, the brainchild of former Mayor Ken Livingstone and Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron, aims to provide member organisations with practical advice on how to reduce their carbon emissions and reward those that do so with recognition. Today’s City Hall event, hosted by Mayor Johnson, congratulated 17 members of Green500 who have reduced their carbon emissions.

Murad, who is vice Chair of the Assembly Environment Committee said: "Green500 has the potential to make a real difference for London in the battle against climate change so I’m pleased that the new administration has carried this forward. However, this needs to involve more transparency and evidence of clear actions taken. There are lots of unspecified ‘targets’ being met and back patting going on but to properly inspire London businesses and individuals to look at their own carbon footprint these organisations need to clarify what they are doing and give unambiguous evidence of their results."

He added: "This would make it easier for ordinary people to relate to – we all have a contribution to make to the environment and this programme needs to be more inspirational. For example, Chelsea FC are members of Green500 – what if they were to lead the way in getting all London clubs to travel to domestic matches by rail where possible, for example? Lots of football fans will relate to that and think about how they can make changes themselves. It’s a good start but we need to develop it with specific targets and actions, rather than just bland ‘carbon action plans’ which don’t mean much to the average member of the public."