Council climate action and emissions summary 2022-23

Theme 6: Green Economy

Activities related to business and industry account for 15% of carbon emissions in the borough. The council has been working closely with Kingston Chamber of Commerce, local organisations and businesses to help the transition to a thriving low carbon economy. 

At the heart of the council’s work are three objectives:

  • Reducing negative impact on the environment

  • Supporting eco-innovation and securing green business opportunities

  • Developing the green skills required to achieve the two other objectives. 

The council developed two initiatives - RAISE (Recovery, Adaptation, Innovation Support for Enterprise) and the Green Business Challenge and provided around £370,000 of funding to support 27 local micro and small businesses to reduce the negative impact of their activities on the environment while developing further or new environmentally friendly products and services. 

A series of Think Green Roundtable Discussions and training sessions for businesses have been organised on a range of topics including; energy crisis management, decarbonising websites, environmental sustainability, understanding climate change, decarbonising business fleets, environmental reviews and marketing of environmental achievements.

The council has also worked with South Thames College Group, South London Green Skills Academy and Kingston Adult Education to create a variety of qualifications to help get more people into green sectors and retrain existing workforces, which will be incredibly important in the coming years. Examples of the courses include introductions to: Solar Technology, Electrification of Cars, Waste Management, Sustainable Fashion, Environmental Awareness and Retrofit.

Toward the end of 2022 the council created the Kingston Green Business Community which is an open forum for businesses and organisations committed to reducing their environmental impact, promoting sustainability, eco-innovating and thriving. It’s free for all businesses to join and enjoy benefits like networking, knowledge sharing and problem solving.

The community has over 60 active members, including small and large businesses, as well as local anchor institutions, such as Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Kingston University and South Thames Colleges Group. Third sector organisations, such as Community Brain and Transition Town Kingston have also joined the community. The community has an instrumental role in developing and shaping the borough’s journey to becoming a thriving, diverse low carbon economy. It is a hive of innovative and practical solutions. It meets regularly, to discuss and collaborate on ideas and projects which not only help them as businesses, but also help local communities and the environment.

For example, two members, JNDC and Lime Track Limited, in collaboration with Kingston Council and funding from GLA’s South London Internet of Things (IoT) programme, are piloting a project in Surbiton to help hospitality sector businesses tackle food waste, which has a significant environmental impact, and at the same time reduce their operational costs and comply with legislation. 

The project will enable businesses to easily measure, track and reduce their avoidable food waste while providing a dedicated collection service. Any food waste collected will be processed to generate renewable energy and organic fertiliser. As an example, six used tea bags could provide enough energy to boil the water for your next cup of tea if processed at a special facility called an anaerobic digestion plant. If the same six teabags went to landfill, the emissions produced would be equivalent to driving over 1 km in a small car. 

Not only will large financial savings for the businesses be made, but the project will also help to tackle climate change by ensuring commercial food waste doesn’t end up in landfill where it decomposes and releases a powerful greenhouse gas called methane.

Last Modified: 15/09/2023 15:13:08