Environmental law firm, ClientEarth, have been awarded a grant of £100,000 from the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust.
ClientEarth, based in London, is dedicated to providing solutions to key environmental challenges. As part of its work the charity is trying to achieve cleaner air in London. The grant will fund a new project working with businesses to ensure they are informed about the effects of air pollution and what can be done to tackle it. ClientEarth will seek to build business support for the policies that are needed to clean up London’s dirty air.
Air pollution affects all Londoners – and ClientEarth says there is evidence to suggest disadvantaged communities are particularly impacted by the poor air quality in the capital. London has some of the worst air quality in the UK and some of the most polluted streets in Europe. In many parts of London, legal limits designed to protect people’s health are not being met.
ClientEarth wants to make London a world leader in sustainable urban transport whilst also achieving an enhanced Ultra Low Emission Zone as part of its mission to improve the quality of London’s air.
Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“Tackling London’s air quality problem is a priority for both the City of London Corporation and ClientEarth.
We are committed to supporting Londoners to make the capital a healthier and fairer place to work and live
“City Bridge Trust is keen to help ClientEarth work with the capital’s businesses to improve London’s air quality. We are committed to supporting Londoners to make the capital a healthier and fairer place to work and live. We are delighted to have helped so many projects through the fund that are opening up incredible opportunities and enhancing lives.”
The City of London Corporation has been engaging with business on air quality for several years through its City Air Programme. It recently banned the purchase of diesel vehicles for its own fleet of 300 vehicles – and it is pioneering a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling. Its City Air app gives Londoners low pollution travel routes across London and advice and alerts when air pollution is high. Last year the Corporation agreed a deal with Addison Lee – London’s biggest private hire taxi firm – to automatically switch hybrid taxis to ‘electric mode’ in key areas of the City. The Corporation has also introduced a City-wide 20mph zone, and its new procurement rules have brought in tight restrictions on harmful emissions from bulldozers and generators.
ClientEarth spokesperson Simon Alcock added:
“We are delighted to receive this grant from City Bridge Trust. This is the perfect time to be engaging business following our court case victory and the announcements made by the Mayor of London.
“The solutions to solving our clean air crisis should benefit business and consumers. It will help protect the health of employees and make London a more desirable place to work and live. It will also create economic opportunities for businesses that develop the new products and services we will need to clean up London’s air. We want to build business support for this shift and to help make London a world leader in sustainable urban transport and clean technologies.
“Our recent win in the High Court following the victory in the Supreme Court in 2015 is forcing the UK Government to act on air pollution and has established ClientEarth as a leader in air quality campaigning in the UK. “
City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,500 grants totalling over £350 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!