Camden and Islington showcase those leading the way in sustainability at awards ceremony

Camden and Islington’s first ever sustainability awards took place last week to celebrate the achievements of local businesses, community groups and schools who are leading the way to tackle environmental issues locally.

The Camden Climate Change Alliance (CCCA) and Islington Sustainable Energy Partnership (ISEP) led the awards at London Symphony Orchestra’s Jerwood Hall on 21 November. Hosted by Natasha Friend, Director of Camden Giving, the evening brought together 150 guests, leading sustainable development businesses from each borough and key note climate specialists.

Earlier this year, Camden Council hosted the UK’s first Citizens’ Assembly on the climate crisis. The Citizens’ Assembly allowed residents to consider evidence and develop proposals for the practical action needed to stop climate change. These included making all new buildings zero carbon, installing solar panels on as many homes as possible, designing a new public information campaign on the climate crisis, piloting community energy schemes and installing more ‘segregated’ cycle lanes. Although at different stages of development, the Council has already put many proposals into action including offering low cost solar panels for homes in the borough last month, proposing segregated cycle lanes on Gray’s Inn Road to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and hosting the first community led ‘Car Free Day’ in Kentish Town.

Meanwhile, Islington Sustainable Energy Partnership (ISEP) is a local network of organisations working towards a zero-carbon Islington. They work with its members to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their environmental impact through direct advice, networking and resource sharing, as well as helping members get involved in local community projects. ISEP is supported by Islington Council.

Award winners were announced across eight categories, including ‘excellence in energy efficiency and carbon reduction’ which was won by iRecycle for their canal logistics project which cuts road transport and Great Ormond Street Hospital bagging the prize for ‘improving air quality’ in the borough.

Transition Kentish Town took the prize for ‘best community environmental project’ and Torriano School in Kentish Town won ‘best sustainable school initiative’.

Natasha Friend, Director, Camden Giving said: “The climate crisis is having a greater impact on people who have the least, this is true globally and right here in Camden, where poorer communities have less access to green space and clean air and people without homes will feel the affects of climate change more than most this winter.

“People who work in Camden and Islington are inpatient for climate action, this is shown by the high quality of work being done across schools, charities and businesses in both boroughs. The awards have encouraged me and my colleagues at Camden Giving on to take a more collaborative approach in our sustainability works, just as the boroughs of Camden and Islington are doing.”

Stephen McKinnell, Chair of the Camden Climate Change Alliance Advisory Board said: “It was great to see so many turn out for the Camden and Islington Sustainability awards last Thursday. It was a fantastic evening as for the first time Camden Climate Change Alliance held this jointly with Islington Sustainable Energy Partnership. Improving sustainability is high on the agenda and it is acknowledged that working collaboratively is the way to change things much more quickly.

“The night had inspirational speakers, great networking opportunities and of course some very exciting projects being showcased. Congratulations to all the winners and check out the CCCA website to see how you can get involved.”

Philip Gray, the co-chair of ISEP added: “We were delighted to strengthen our relationship with Camden at the inaugural Camden and Islington Sustainability Awards. A hugely impressive evening in the inspiring LSO St Luke’s with the aim of cultivating cross-borough collaboration at a time where positive climate action is firmly on the agenda and meaningful zero carbon pathways are in development.

“The event was a huge success, with a wide range of award winners showcasing demonstrable action in furthering the sustainability agenda in their respective organisations. On top of all of that, the three key-note speakers offered fantastic insight into their areas of expertise and left the room wanting more. I hope this event can build the momentum it needs, and we can continue to celebrate the fantastic progress of our members”

The CCCA, founded by Camden Council in 2008 is a network that works with businesses, charities and schools to encourage them to make a positive impact on the environment and support members to contribute towards a low-emission and low-waste Camden.