Examples of net zero activity

Bringing to life the importance of action on net zero with examples of boroughs' activities

Here are some examples of what London's boroughs are doing that illustrate our key climate advocacy messages:

Role of local government

Hounslow green recovery board and projects

In January 2021, Hounslow Council adopted the Green Recovery Strategy (PDF 7.5MB) which sets out an ambitious green recovery programme for residents that was developed in partnership with academics, business leaders, partners, think tanks and the communities the authority represents. The Strategy dramatically accelerates the delivery of the Climate Emergency Action Plan by combining a long-term sustainable vision, close engagement with partners and delivery of actions that are fully supported by the community. This was achieved by undertaking the following:

  1. Adopting a collaborative leadership style and shared vision. Internally the Council combined public realm leadership with expertise across the directorates to create the innovative approach needed to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
  2. Leading the cultural transformation of the Council. By embracing a cross-directorate collaboration with a clear and shared vision, the change in leadership-style from the top, speaks to the trust and belief across the Council teams. Hounslow is now an exemplar environmental organisation in the vanguard for change in our Borough and across London.
  3. Working with the Community, Partners and Academics to design the Green Recovery Strategy. Leading from the front the Council responded to the dual challenge of the climate emergency and the economic impact of the pandemic by convening Innovation Labs (iLabs) – a collaboration of our residents, businesses, partners, and academics with the Elected Members and Council officers. The iLabs developed the four pillars of our Green Recovery Strategy based on firm empirical foundations that has the support of the community. Each element of the strategy is designed to be trialed, tested and refined using the ‘engage, discover, design and deliver’ approach that embeds collaboration and innovation at its heart.
  4. Creating the transformational Community Reference Groups who work closely with the Council to stimulate the wider civic support necessary to deliver the ambitious change and give the community representatives a direct voice to the Council leadership.
  5. Committing investment. Hounslow set up £250k Innovation Fund to realise the results and early actions from the iLab initiative. The leadership and approach has resulted in successfully securing funds to decarbonise the council’s own estate and schools (£18.9m) and developing the Council’s green fleet (£5m). We have recruited a Green Recovery Programme team of 12 and a new Green Recovery Board that will strengthen the delivery and further enhance the two-way communication with the community.

The impact of the Green Recovery Strategy and collaborative working has been extraordinary. We believe that truly collaborative leadership, a different mindset and community co-production is at the heart of our rapid success and creativity of the strategy. The strength of the collaborative leadership model has permeated into the managerial, supervisory and front-line. Most importantly, we have cultivated collaboration, forged extensive relationships and embraced a new culture that gives us the confidence to navigate the challenges ahead and forge new ground in the delivery of our Climate Emergency Action Plan and our Green Recovery Strategy.

Read more about the strategy on the Hounslow Green Recovery Board blog.

Green investment

The UK Cities Climate Investment Commission (CCIC) is seeking to leverage the combined scale of cities to drive investment into low and net zero carbon projects across all of the UK’s largest cities, rather than individual ones. The Commission has been jointly established by London Councils, Core Cities and Connected Places Catapult.

Retrofitting homes

Read our Retrofit London Housing Action Plan

Kensington and Chelsea SHDF demonstrator 

Transport (infrastructure)

E-scooter Trial

TfL, London Councils and nine London boroughs are running an e-scooter rental trial. Working together on a single trial means that it can run consistently across participating boroughs, with safety at its core.

The e-scooters are now available for hire in the following boroughs: City of London, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Richmond, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Westminster

The e-scooter rental trial is part of a wider effort by TfL, London Councils, London boroughs and the UK Government to enable people to use new and greener forms of transport. This approach will help reduce the risk of an increase in car use after the coronavirus pandemic, which could lead to traffic congestion and have a negative impact on London's air quality.

Other examples of net zero projects in London:

  • Pass the Planet campaign, LGA.
  • LB Hammersmith and Fulham have developed a climate implications toolkit as a qualitative self-assessment tool to help all council officers assess and improve the alignment of their projects, procurements, commissioning, and services with H&F’s climate and ecology strategy.
  • RB Kensington and Chelsea have co-designed and delivered a comprehensive refurbishment to transform Lancaster West into a model 21st century estate. This will include fabric-first deep retrofits of all 795 homes on the estate, the development of a new low-carbon heat network, and the development of increased and improved green spaces to create a garden estate in the heart of London.
  • RB Kingston upon Thames is committed to increasing the use of participatory democracy to develop responses to difficult issues. As a result, the council held their first Citizens’ Assembly, asking residents “how do we collectively improve air quality in Kingston?”
  • LB Sutton has adopted an ambitious Environment Strategy and Climate Emergency Response Plan, taking action to increase domestic retrofit, develop a zero carbon technical standards guide for all council led developments, and prevent the physical impacts of climate change through increasing access to green spaces.
  • LB Waltham Forest Council have retrofitted sheltered housing schemes by developing a solar-powered system that can generate and store enough electricity to power the lifts and LED lighting in all communal areas day and night, delivering both financial and CO2 savings.