Tech City: Tony Juniper backs launch of firms going greener

Tony Juniper talks at Zen launch event

Tony Juniper talks at Zen launch event - Credit: Archant

A green initiative set to pioneer eco-friendly business in heavily polluted Tech City has been launched by the three councils which take in the thriving area.

E-vehicle on display in Hoxton

E-vehicle on display in Hoxton - Credit: Archant

The Zero Emissions Network (ZEN) – a collaboration between Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets councils – aims to help businesses save money, improve staff health and reduce pollution.

The scheme was launched on October 9 at the creative hub BL-NK in East Road.

Non-ZEN members got the chance to learn about cash saving deals, access advice from travel and energy experts and discuss the project with those who have already joined.

Clean e-vehicles were also on display as an example of alternative transport around the highly-polluted Tech City area.

The launch night, as well as an event in Hoxton Square earlier that day, saw 250 businesses sign up to the network.

The councils will now work with the businesses to implement the measures they are offering, including free business membership to Zipcar or City Car Club worth £160, free trials of electric cars and vans, a free bike maintenance session for half a day, a free energy audit and reduced electric taxi fares.

Most Read

Businesses can also find out about the green grants available to them and how to apply.

The project has been praised by environmentalist and Guardian columnist Tony Juniper who spoke at the launch.

He said: “The expansion of the Zero Emissions Network is to be warmly welcomed.

“Progress already made in engaging businesses to protect the air we breathe is already delivering results and demonstrates how through sensible and practical steps we can tackle even what appear to be intractable problems.

“The evening marking the expansion of the network was highly inspirational and a great reminder of the huge power that comes from bringing people together and sharing best practice.”

Feryal Demirci, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We all need to work together to try and make Shoreditch a cleaner and more pleasant place to work and live.

“I would urge businesses in the area to get involved in the groundbreaking ZEN project for free advice and exclusive offers.

“The benefits speak for themselves: better air, a healthier workforce and real cost savings.”

Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport said: “Working with other inner London boroughs such as Hackney and Tower Hamlets means we can work together to help businesses take the steps they need to reduce emissions and improve the air we breathe.”