Green500 Plan Commits U.K.'s Big Businesses to Carbon Cuts

Green500 Plan Commits U.K.'s Big Businesses to Carbon Cuts

Ikea, Sky and Chelsea FC are among a host of top London businesses that have signed up to a new program to help large companies cut their carbon emissions.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone launched two schemes this week, aiming to save three million tons of emissions by 2010 and save £300m (about US$612m) in energy bills.

The Green500 scheme will offer practical support to help large businesses and public sector organizations become more carbon efficient, at a cost of £3,500 (~US$7,100) for the initial membership.

Under the scheme, a carbon mentor will help companies put an action plan in place to reduce emissions, and members will have to publish their progress annually.

London's leading commercial landlords will be urged to pay £10,000 (~US$20,400) to sign up to the second program, the Better Buildings Partnership, which aims to improve the carbon efficiency of existing commercial property in the capital.

Members of the scheme -- which already include Land Securities, Hermes Real Estate and Grosvenor -- will have to set benchmark carbon levels for the properties on their books and encourage sustainable building improvements.

The Mayor said, "The impressive range of companies who have already signed up to the Green 500 and Better Buildings Partnership shows that leading businesses want to take a lead in helping to prevent climate change, and recognize that it increasingly makes commercial sense to do so.

"I am confident that many more businesses will now follow their example."

Charlie Brown, UK environment manager for Ikea, which has already signed up for the Green500, said: "We want to demonstrate that we can be a good business while doing good business.

"To that end we are committed to reducing energy consumption by 20 percent and sourcing 100 percent renewable energy."

The new schemes follow the launch of the London Green Homes programme to improve carbon efficiency in existing private homes across the city.

For more information on the schemes, visit www.green500.co.uk or www.lcca.co.uk.
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