Leaders work together to tackle climate change

  • Thursday, July 15, 2021

Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard, Vice-Chancellor of Roehampton joined leaders of public sector organisations across Wandsworth last week to discuss shared responses to the climate emergency.  

Image - Leaders work together to tackle climate change

Led by the leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia, the meeting at the University of Roehampton looked at actions the public sector can take to reduce emissions, and how it can work together and with local people on shared goals to tackle climate change.      

Organisations represented included the University of Roehampton, St George’s Hospital Trust, the Metropolitan Police, the London Ambulance Service, the London Fire Brigade and South West London Mental Health Trust.    

They agreed to continue discussions to identify common goals and to meet regularly to explore how they can support each other and collaborate.    

This could include areas such as waste disposal, reducing consumption, joint sustainable procurement, and infrastructure for electric vehicles. They will also work to align communications so that local people get a coherent message about what they can do to reduce their emissions.  

And they have all been invited to take part in November’s Together On Climate Change Festival. Organised by Wandsworth Council, this ambitious week-long festival will coincide with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and will be a mixture of virtual and in-person events.   

Cllr Govindia said: “The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and since then, working with local residents and businesses, we have made real progress in our pledge to become a net zero organisation by 2030.   

“The public sector must be in the forefront of efforts to tackle climate change. As public sector leaders in Wandsworth we have agreed to work together to share learning and good practice on climate change in order to support the reduction of carbon emissions in Wandsworth.  

"Our discussions showed that although there are differences, there are also many similarities that we can build on and I am confident that this is just the start of a dialogue that will have real and lasting benefits.”     

Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Roehampton, said: “The University of Roehampton is proud to be part of this initiative working with our community to tackle this pressing issue which affects all of us.

“Our staff and students not only want to see action on climate change, but can also be part of the solution through their research, teaching and advocacy. The University is undoubtedly privileged to have its home on a beautiful parkland campus where we can explore environmental issues, including bio-diversity, as well as be a resource for the local community.” 

Jacqueline Totterdell, Chief Executive at St George’s, said: “We, at St George’s, are committed to delivering our contribution to the NHS Net Zero plan and adopt the broader principles of sustainable development. Working with Wandsworth Council and public sector leaders will be critical to the success of delivering our plans and we welcome the opportunity to share learning and experience.”

Andrew Goodman, Director of Strategic Assets, Property, Programmes and Projects at London Ambulance Service, said: "Reducing our environmental impact and helping to make the capital a cleaner and greener place to live is a huge priority for us. We are starting to implement innovative ways in which we can do this, by modernising our fleet, improving and updating our estate so it is more energy efficient, and ensuring the suppliers and partners we work with are aligned with our environmental values. 

"We are looking forward to working with partners across London to help tackle this issue together." 

John Snelgrove, London Fire Brigade Borough Commander for Wandsworth, said: “Our firefighters are on the frontline responding to many of the impacts of climate change in London and the impact of that is only set to increase. To show our commitment to climate change we aim to reduce our CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2025 (against 1990 levels) and run zero emission fire engines by 2050.

“We fully support this initiative that will help Wandsworth residents to breath cleaner, safer air and look to reduce weather related incidents like flooding and grass fires.” 

Ian Garlington, Integrated Programme Director, South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust said: “South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust is working with its development partners to create the new Springfield Village. Set to open in 2022, the Village will deliver a mixed development of new homes, modern mental health inpatient facilities, a 32-acre community park, a school, shops, leisure and cafes.

“We recognise the role we play in our community as an important anchor institution in south west London and are excited that every element embraces our values to deliver the NHS goal of Net Zero by 2030. The Trust is also working on the transformation of community services across the borough and beyond to make our services sustainable in all senses.’

Peter Mayhew-Smith, Group Principal of South Thames College said: “As a major Education and Training Provider in the Area, the South Thames Colleges Group are delighted to be working with our Partners on Climate Change.  #STCG Delivering Green Skills for Employment, Green Communities and Climate Change”